Passport Loss Leaves BK Out of WBC
Kim Byung-hyun's nine-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB) is full of dumbfounding affairs ― allowing a game-tying homer in the ninth inning for the second-straight game of the World Series, a middle-finger gesture to home fans of the Boston Red Sox and several refusals to pitch.
Now, the dormant Kim has finally found another to stash away amid the recesses of his storied career as the 30-year-old sidearmer failed to join the South Korean national team practice in Hawaii due to the loss of his passport.
``I was informed that Kim had lost his passport,'' Korean team manager Kim In-sik told the reporters, Sunday.
``As we have to submit the final roster for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) by Feb. 22, we have agreed to take him off the list.''
Free agent Kim, who had been training on his own in Los Angeles, reportedly returned to Korea recently after injuring his ankle.
Kim, a former Arizona Diamondbacks closer, attempted to get a new passport, but, because it took several days, the headman and his coaching staff have decided to remove him from the 32-player training roster.
``By Feb. 21, we have to finalize the list after checking up on individual players' condition,'' Kim, 61, said.
The national team, which reached the semifinals of the first baseball world cup in 2006, has to cut its members down to 28.
Kim, a native of Gwangju, is 54-60 with 86 saves, most of which were gained in his early career.
Meanwhile, the Korean team's injury woes are continuing with inured shortstop Park Jin-man now expected to be out of the final roster.
``I think I will not be available in the tournament because the pain in my shoulder has not stopped,'' said the 32-year-old, whose solid fielding was showcased at the WBC three years ago.
Since the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, the infielder has played for the national team in 50 games.
Worse, Lotte Giants shortstop Park Ki-hyuk, a top replacement for Park Jin-man, picked up a rib injury during team practice.
Manager Kim has called in Son Si-hyun of the Doosan Bears to fill the position.