KT Wiz releases Monell and looks for replacement
Korean baseball club KT Wiz released slumping infielder Johnny Monell on Saturday.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team said it has asked the league to place Monell on the waivers, and that it is trying to find his replacement as soon as possible.
Monell leaves with a .165 batting average with only two home runs in nine RBIs in 28 games.
The Wiz signed Monell, a former major league catcher, for one year at $900,000 before the start of the season, but the 31-year-old never lived up to expectations.
Heading into Saturday’s action, the Wiz ranked last in the 10-team KBO in batting average (.244), runs scored (147) and home runs (24). At 18-24, they were in ninth place, 10 games behind the league-leading Kia Tigers. KT manager Kim Jin-wook said the club had been hoping Monell would turn his season around but its patience was wearing thin.
“At this point in the season, we won’t be able to just go after a particular type of player; we’ll have to pick someone from the list of players we’ve been keeping an eye on,” Kim added. “It’d be nice to get someone who can put the ball in play.”
PyeongChang welcomes North Korean athletes
The top organizer of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea has offered to open the land route for North Korean athletes if they decide to compete south of the tense border.
In a meeting with journalists at the South Korean Embassy in London on Thursday (local time), Lee Hee-beom, head of the organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, said South Korea will welcome North Korea with open arms.
Lee has repeatedly stated that all peace-loving nations have an obligation to participate in the Olympics.
“South Korea will welcome North Korea and when they decide to come, the South Korean government will allow them to come by road,” Lee was quoted by Reuters as saying. “And when they have supporting teams, the [South] Korean government will allow them to come by ship. All nations are very welcome, including North Korea and Russia [which is dealing with a doping scandal]. We want it to be the peace games.”