Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Korean Series, Game 6

SK 5, Doosan 2
SK wins the series 4 games to 2

For the last seven years SK fans have had to ask themselves the same question. "When?" When are we finally going to get the championship that has evaded us for seven long years? Are we cursed? The seven year championship draught that SK fans labored through is evidence enough that the team was somehow cursed. Everyone who has ever watched baseball knows that the only reason teams don't win championships is because of strange voodoo curses and not because of poor play and inept management. The most famous example, of course, is the Chicago Cubs. The ancient magicks have been working their vile mojo on the Cubs or almost 100 years with no end in sight. Cubs fans believe the only way to end the curse is to show up everyday and hope that the losing stops. Forget getting better players or running the franchise well. The best way to stop a curse is to keep watching. Wyverns fans were starting to wonder, "Will we suffer the same fate as the drunken buffoons in Chicago?" Will our favorite franchise become a punchline for generations of Koreans?

Until this offseason, there was little hope. Lee Man Soo was hired away from his duties as White Sox bullpen catcher and joined the Wyverns as a "bench coach." Bench coach is just code for "Curse Destroyer." Lee's warm smile and outgoing personality was the difference this year for SK. Without his happy face there is little doubt that the team ERA wouldn't have been anywhere near its league best 3.24.

After the final outs were recorded and the team celebrated, I swear the crowd was chanting "Reverse the Curse," in Korean. It might have sounded like "Chekang SK," but the feelings were clear. SK fans could finally lead normal lives. They could stop worrying about how they were going to fail and start thinking about how they can succeed. It truly is a great day to be Wyverns fan.

The hero: MVP, Kim Jae-Hyun. He was the man for SK throughout this series and he came up big again in the deciding game 6. His solo homerun in the third inning proved to be the winning run.

The goat: The Doosan offense. After winning the first two games, Doosan combined to score 3 runs over the next 4 games.

The game was over when: SK reliever Chung Dae-Hyun struck out Lee Jung-Wook for the final out. Lee represented the tying run and two runners were in scoring position.

Next game: In the spring, but check this blog frequently. I'm going to do team-by-team analysis, as well as covering any player movement and a few feature columns on team history. The hot stove will be roaring in a few weeks.

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