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November 30, 2011

Chong deciding between Korea and Orioles -- not a medical holdup

South Korean right-hander Chong Tae-Hyon is deciding between staying in his native country to continue to play baseball or accept the Orioles’ offer to join their 40-man roster.

The holdup in signing the 33-year-old submariner is not medical but instead is based on whether he wants to leave Korea for the United States.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said he hopes to have a decision in a week or so. This is the first time Chong has been a free agent, and the eight-time Korean Baseball Organization All-Star is being pursued heavily in his own country.

If Chong chooses the Orioles – who likely would be offering a multiyear deal and a 40-man roster spot – he would be the first player to go directly from the KBO to the majors. That certainly has its allure.

The Orioles had hoped that Chong would sign last week. He has been in for a physical, but the sides have not reached an official agreement.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 2:27 PM | | Comments (11)


Speaks volumes when someone would rather stay in Korea than make the big bucks to play in the majors in Baltimore.

Even choosing between North Korea and the Orioles would be a tough decision.

This process of posting is absolute BS. Isn't paying for a subscription proof that we're human, or just proof that we're stupid?

Aw, shucks...I thought we had this guy convinced that our Confederate money worked in Korea..

I guarantee that Chong plays in Korea. Anybody want to challenge me?

Would he have the same quandary if deciding between Korea and another MLB team? No I wouldn't challenge you.

Reality check...ya, it's definitely a no brainer for someone to leave their home country for a place where they don't know anyone and don't speak the language.

I think you need a reality check.

Sign a pitcher named Wang so "Everyone can Wang Chong tonight".

I think alot of people love to come on here and spew their negativity. Trust me I do not live with orange and black blinders on my eyes and think the O's are one Korean pitcher from contending but I also don't purposely come on these boards just to show how cool I am to blast them. I share the same opinion that the O's may never be competitive as long as Angelos owns them but that idea may be wrong. This organization is screwed up from top to bottom but stating the obvious that they are a horribly run franchise is completely monotonous. Heaven forbid that the same opinions are stated about how the Ravens can field a competitve team year in and year out but choke away Lombardi dreams every January.

Brad Thomas is the first to jump from the KBO to the MLB.
Response from Steve Gould:
Thomas did jump from KBO to MLB, but he also had pitched in the majors before his time in Korea. I think Dan was saying that Chong would be the first player to make his major league debut straight out of the KBO.

Do you guys really think the O's struggles are known worldwide? Who knows the Japanese league team with the longest history of ineptitude? Some folks think the world revolves around their petty existence, LOL. A Korean league guy, if given the chance to play in the ML would be more focused on the cultural differences unless he had multiple offers.

Even worse than the complaining about the team is the complaining about the payment for subscription.

Absolutely the world knows about the O's struggles. Korea is not a 3rd world country. And we don't know which of Korea's teams suck. We're ugly Americans and don't need to know!

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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