[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Chauvinism decried on sports pageI’d like to respond to Brian Lee’s column (“Lions’ Lee swings for records, fences,” June 21). I believe it represents a dishonorable and dishonest aspect of Korean journalism which is quite common, but rarely challenged.
Attempting to compare Lee Seong Yup with Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx or any other major league baseball player, does all a disservice. There is absolutely no basis for comparing Lee’s achievements in the Korean league to any major-leaguer, past or present. Anyone who looks honestly at both leagues, without the nationalistic blinders, can see this. What Brian Lee is doing is not reporting, it’s cheerleading. The Korean media have become notorious for waving journalistic pom-poms for domestic athletes, making ridiculous and outrageous comparisons of Korean sports stars with those from the rest of the world.
Lee Seong Yup did not break Jimmie Foxx’s record, and did not break A-Rod’s record. What he did was break the Korean baseball record for fastest player to 300 home runs. Nothing more, nothing less. The Korean league has nowhere near the talent level or depth of major-league baseball. It should be painfully obvious to those who claim to be knowledgeable about baseball. The fact that I have to point it out to your sportswriter does not bode well for your sports section.
by Kevin O’Brien