The Lotte Giants in Korea's top baseball league on Monday filed a complaint at the league office over an unbalanced schedule next year that they claim puts them at a disadvantage compared with other teams.
The Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), based in Busan, said they asked the league office whether it had been fair in setting out the schedule for 2013 and demanded the timetable be modified.
An expansion NC Dinos will join the KBO next year as a ninth club. With an odd number of clubs in action, teams will have multiple days off during the week.
Up until this year, the eight teams each played 133 games, and played six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday, with everyone taking Mondays off. In 2013, teams will each play 128 games, while the total number of games will go up from 532 this year to 576 in 2013.
In the schedule announced last Friday, the Giants will face teams coming off at least three days of break 12 times, more than any other club in the league.
The Giants complained that teams that have enjoyed such extended breaks will be able to send in their best starters with plenty of rest. They also said the Samsung Lions, a two-time defending KBO champion, only face such a club once all year.
"The difference between 12 and one is just too big," a Lotte official said. "We can't accept this kind of scheduling."
As Lotte fans bombarded the team's Web site with messages calling on the team to boycott the 2013 season, KBO officials said they would be willing to review the schedule.
"I understand where some of the teams are coming from," said Yang Hae-young, the KBO's secretary general. "If a club other than the Lotte Giants raises an issue, we at the KBO will take a comprehensive review of the schedule."
Yang said there will have to be one condition if any changes are made to the schedule: that the teams will not complain about the new timetable.
"Several teams have made their demands regarding next year's schedules," Yang said. "As long as all nine clubs can withdraw their requests about traveling and the number of off days and can agree to accept the new schedule, then we can come up with a new schedule."
Jeong Geum-jo, who handles baseball operations and planning at the KBO, said the league tried to be as fair to every club as it could be.
"We tried our best to avoid situations where teams played nine consecutive games on the road or at home," Jeong said. "We wanted to make sure all teams had about the same amount of rest throughout the season." (Yonhap)