Friday, April 24, 2009

KBO blackout on cable TV? Baseball fans deserve better
April 24, 2009
A disconcerting number of my stories these days begin with the words “North Korea.”

And a disconcerting amount of my waking life is spent tracking down government officials who don’t want their names used in the newspaper and talking to spokesmen who don’t mind speaking on the record but, alas, have nothing interesting or newsworthy to say.

So when I come home from a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is turn on the nightly news.

Instead, I love snuggling up to the delayed coverage of sports games.

People say there’s no point in watching sports games if you already know the result. But, as a true sports fan, I enjoy examining how plays develop and how momentum shifts in the key moments of a game.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that recently with local baseball.

Long story short, the broadcasting rights holder of Korea Baseball Organization games and the nation’s four sports cable stations remain at odds over rights fees this season. Unable to reach a compromise, the cable stations yanked KBO games last weekend.

Now we’re left with two options: watch KBO games on regional terrestrial networks or view them over the Internet (each team streams games live on it Web site). Neither is a great option.

Apparently, the cable stations didn’t actually have a deal in place before the season to carry KBO games. Instead, the stations said they were airing the games out of goodwill because the sport - fresh off Korea’s runner-up finish at the World Baseball Classic in March - arguably has never been more popular.

For baseball fans, this is deja vu all over again.

Before the World Baseball Classic, rights holders and broadcasters didn’t reach a deal until less than 24 hours before Korea’s first preliminary game against Taiwan.

This time around, the cable stations say they want to pay 1 billion won ($743,000) for the rights. The company that owns the rights, Eclat Entertainment, says it will go no lower than 1.4 billion won .

I could go on and on about who’s right and who’s wrong, though it’s hard to say if anyone’s right in this situation.

My current status as a full-time fan and part-time commentator on these pages gives me a slightly different perspective on this kind of issue. In other words, I can vent my frustration as a fan and not feel so guilty about it.

Sometimes, as the great ’80s rock band Cinderella once belted, you don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone. I was used to watching the taped coverage of four different ball games on four different channels late at night.

Now I feel lost, mindlessly surfing past mixed martial arts, billiards and Italian football.

I want my baseball back, and quick.

I imagine broadcasters are struggling to fill up air time, too. Baseball games can easily eat up three hours at a time slot when there are no live local games to televise and when hardly anyone is up watching sports coverage.

Yes, money is an important issue. I understand both sides want to get the best deal possible for their own interests.

But this stalemate doesn’t have to be all that complicated. The two sides should only remember the fans. We shouldn’t have to struggle to watch games on computer monitors or on non-sports cable channels with primitive graphics.

We deserve much better.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Fans, Only Money

On the back of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final appearance, the Korean baseball league has regained fame as one of the most popular sports in Korea, but baseball fans currently do not have any chance to watch baseball games on four sports cable networks after both sides failed to reach a TV rights agreement. / Korea Times File

KBO, Cable TV in Tug of War Over Broadcasting Rights

By Kim Jae-won
Staff Reporter

Armchair baseball fans were blacked out at the weekend after cable broadcasters failed to reach a TV rights agreement with the Korea Baseball Organization.

Eclat Entertainment, the KBO's agency, and the SBS Sports, KBS N, MBC ESPN and Xports networks are at loggerheads over the cost of the deal and the sale of rights to Internet TV companies.

``We are ready to speak with them,'' Eclat Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Hong Won-euy told The Korea Times on Monday.

``They want to cut the money to even less than that of last year,'' Hong said. ``Some of them require us not to sell the rights to Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) companies.''

An Eclat official, who declined to be named, added that ``the cable companies offered one billion won'' while the KBO requires 1.4 billion won for the season.

The broadcasters argue that IPTV can destroy their market.

``The main point is IPTV. It threatens our existence,'' an official of SBS Sports told The Korea Times.

``A million won or two is not that important. It is best for us that the Eclat does not sell the rights to IPTV (companies). If they do sell them, then we also should get some compensation for that.

``We need a reasonable rebate. How can they get broadcasting for free?'' he added.

KBO, the original owner of the broadcasting rights, countered that it has the right to sell them to IPTV.

``We have the rights for broadcasting. Major league does the same,'' a KBO official told The Korea Times. ``The cost is quite cheap compared to other countries,'' He added.

``They want to fill the deficit of airing Japanese baseball and English Premier League (EPL) games. It costs four or five times more than us.''

However, the baseball governing body also got a lot of money through the broadcasting right.

``We made a contract with Eclat Entertainment for a little bit less than 30 billion won for three years last year,'' a KBO official told The Korea Times. ``We accepted the suggestion because they guaranteed they will compensate.''

But as the standoff continues, baseball fans are the losers.
``I want to watch the baseball games on TV. Please solve the problem,'' Park Sung-ho, a baseball fan, wrote on the KBO Web site, Monday.

Meanwhile, Eclat Entertainment and cable channel The One made a deal to broadcast games on the channel the same day. It will broadcast the game between the LG Twins and the Samsung Lions, which takes place in Seoul, Tuesday.

Korean baseball fans may see a new home run king producing more than 40 dingers this year.

Each team has played 13 or 14 games, and new sluggers as well as former power hitters have been heating up the race.

Former Major Leaguer Choi Hee-seop of the Kia Tigers has taken center stage, re-gaining his power stroke and leading the league with five homers.

LG Twins big bopper Roberto Petagine, a former home run king in the Central League in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), also shared first place.

Both have failed to show their prowess in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

Choi only generated seven homers in his league debut year, 2007, and showed poor performance after only hitting six last season.

But determined Choi, who played for the Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers in his four-year big league career, fixed his swing after losing 10 kilograms.

``Advice from batting coach Hwang Byung-il has helped me a lot. And I study a lot about the pitching patterns of Korean pitchers.

``I don't worry about my number of strikeouts. Having strikeouts can also mean you are producing lots of homers. I'm not afraid of it.''

Like Choi, Petagine had a difficult first season in 2008, sending only seven balls over the fence during the entire season. But the Venezuelan has gotten back on track, with the Twins slugger hitting five homers, including three homers in three consecutive at-bats, so far this year.

Last year’s home run king Kim Tae-kyun of the Hanwha Eagles trails the 2009 leading group by one. Kim is in second place with three other sluggers who have four homers each. / Yonhap
Competing with them are Hanwha Eagles' new foreign slugger Victor Diaz ― who makes up the team's feared line-up with Kim Tae-kyun and Lee Bum-ho ― and Doosan Bears big boy Choi Joon-seok at five.

Original sluggers also put in good performances. Last year, home run king Kim Tae-kyun of the Hanwha Eagles trailed the leading group by one with Lee Dae-ho and Karim Garcia of the Lotte Giants

Last season's leading hitter Kim Hyun-soo of the Doosan Bears also joined the second group by upgrading his power.

As each team will play 133 games ― five more than last season ― these sluggers could generate more than a minimum of 47 based on the assumption that they will hit five every 13 games.

No one has produced more than 40 dingers since Lee clinched top spot with 56 in 2003, which is the most home runs in any professional baseball league in Asia.

The reason many people expect that sluggers could generate more than 40 homers is simply because there are many rivals in the home run race.

When Lee produced 56, he had a very competitive rival in Shim Jung-soo, the then Hyundai Unicorns slugger.

Many baseball fans expect to see Korean sluggers to power their way through the domestic league just as they did at the second World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March.

Korea, which has been evaluated as ``small ball'' like the Japanese, made startled baseball fans by producing a string of homers through the Hanwha Eagles' Kim Tae-kyun, Choo Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians and Lee Bum-ho, also of the Eagles.

Korean fans are ready to go wild with enthusiasm if the marker is broken, and the batters have been satisfying their expectation thus far.

Just Smile and Answer ‘World Peace’ Next Time

by Daniel J. Flynn

Why would Perez Hilton be invited to judge a beauty contest? That, rather than the fact that Miss California answers the gay marriage question as the voters of her state did, is the real scandal of last weekend’s Miss USA pageant. Hilton’s subsequent misogynistic rants–calling Miss California Carrie Prejean a “dumb bitch” and saying he regarded her as “the C-word”–should have immediately generated censure from those involved with the contest. Instead, two co-directors of the Miss California event have blasted Miss California.

“I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Prejean answered Hilton. “No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.” Hilton intolerantly celebrates that the answer cost Prejean the Miss USA crown. “That’s not the kind of woman I want to be Miss USA,” he told MSNBC. “Miss USA should represent all Americans, and with that answer she instantly was divisive.” But Hilton asked the question, and giving a definitive answer–which is what he asked for–inevitably would have alienated some large group of people. And had she answered Hilton’s ideological quiz correctly, how would that not be divisive to somebody out there?

Cultural Apologetics: A Holy Chastising
by Reverend Woody Hol

The God of this age has declared someone un-holy. Take up your stones and follow me.

The reigning Miss California, Carrie Prejean, has sinned mightily. Not in any of the traditional ways, at least, not that we know of, but that is no matter because she has not sinned against a traditional God. She has done something far worse. She has sinned against the true almighty. She has sinned against Pop-Culture. For those of you who still cling to antiquated, intolerant, patriarchal religion, you may have a difficult time understanding why Miss Prejean must be made example of. First, you might not understand how she has made herself unclean to begin with, and even if you could understand it, you might not understand why she must be cleansed with her own suffering and blood. Of course, that is because you believe in a loving, righteous God who is full of grace. Please, grow up. Quit trying to force your religion on the rest of us. The only good evangelicals evangelize in the name of our new King, and She is right displeased with Miss Prejean.

In fairness, Miss Prejean was already on pretty shaky grounds with The Culture. After all, she is a beauty queen. I will readily admit to not knowing much about beauty queens, other than what The Culture has allowed me to know, of course, which is that they are, to a person, uniformly white, upper-class, insecure, and vapid creatures with hardly a thought in their pretty little heads. Most of them, if not all, have overbearing, hypocritical stage mother’s who don’t so much love them as they objectify them and live their own lost youth’s vicariously through them. They have no personal values, of course–any pretense to the contrary is merely a contrivance meant to earn them points with the judges, a series of sex-addled male miscreants who are themselves secretly doing drugs and sleeping with half of the young fools anyway. So, clearly Miss Prejean was already in need of some serious penance. At a minimum, she needs to get an STD, make a sex-tape, and grow up, as one Cultural Rabbi recently prescribed a wayward daughter, but there was still hope. Not anymore.

Miss Prejean’s greatest crime is not her looks, or her vestigial belief that a woman can be beautiful and feminine and still successful and proud. Her greatest crime is answering a question honestly. When asked by judge Perez Hilton, a well-known expert on women and on politics, whether or not she believed in same-sex marriage–the kind of deeply personal question it is perfectly appropriate to ask a stranger on national television–Miss Prejean slipped up and told the truth. She didn’t make a political statement, or call for any sort of action against anyone, she merely said that, based on her personal beliefs and background, she thinks marriage should be between a man and a woman. Gasps! Wailing! Gnashing of teeth! You mean she actually agrees with the vast majority of human beings who have ever lived on this planet about gender roles in marriage??? I’m sorry to say that seems to be the case. Now you know why she must be destroyed.

Keith Lewis, who runs the Miss California competition quickly denounced Miss Prejean’s heresy, lest any of the Almighty’s wrath fall on him for being a poor steward of the fragile young ladies in his care:

As co-director of the Miss California USA, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman. I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit. I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone and religious beliefs have no politics in the Miss California family.

Saddened that she executed her first amendment rights, not by volunteering a political view-point, but simply by honestly answering a direct question? Amen, brother. I’m glad we asked you. Oh wait, we didn’t… You didn’t have to get on a stage in front of thousands of people and get asked a loaded question to which there is, quite clearly, only one appropriate answer. No bother. At least you got in your lashes early. Your trespasses are forgiven. But as for Miss Prejean, there is no amount of blood-letting that will purge her sins. Our God’s tolerance, which She prides Herself on, does know some limits.

Now, there are those out there who will say that Miss Prejean has been done a terrible disservice. After all, if there is only one correct answer to a question, it seems a bit disingenuous to ask it. Almost as though the question is less of a, well, question, meant to ascertain a point of view, and more of an old-fashion loyalty test, meant to vet out apostates before they are allowed to ascend too far in this world. You might be thinking Miss Prejean should not have been asked such a question in the first place, should not have been set-up to fail, should not have been tested thus. You might feel that by asking someone an honest question, the questioner is inherently signifying that they don’t have a strangle-hold on truth, and that to bait someone with an interrogative sentence that is really no question at all is actually dishonest. If so, don’t worry. Her-highness already has Her priesthood scouring the applicable political contribution databases and your name will soon be known to all of us so that your chastising may begin. There is likely still hope for you, provided you make the appropriate prayers and offerings, and of course, that you stop watching those accused beauty pageants. Unless of course it is for the purpose of judging those poor, beautiful girls as they walk through the un-enlightened darkness..

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 19 SK 8, Hanwha 2 My record at live baseball games 2-4-1


SK rode a 3-homer offensive outburst and a solid start from Song Eun-beom to victory. Song threw 7 solid innings(108 pitches, 71 strikes) of 1-run ball. He allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk with 8 K's. After being limited to part-time duty on Saturday, Park Jae-hong returned to the lineup with a homer in the 1st inning. SK 2nd baseman Jeong Geun-woo also had a solid day from the lead off spot. Park went 4-4 with 2 doubles, a walk, a stolen base and 1 run scored. DH Victor Diaz was the lone bright spot for the Eagles. He homered for the 2nd time in as many days on Sunday.

Well that sure was a lousy game at Hanabat Stadium on Sunday. I was waiting for some friends and by the time they got to the game the Eagles were down 4-0. It was a comedy of mistakes, missed plays, missed balls, lousy hitting and just some awful pitching made this game into a sleeper very early.

The main highlight was my big ass telling the SK cheerleader/fan to "Shut the hell up" Once again, the Hanwha fans applauded me for my actions.

I must admit, I am not that impressed with Diaz at all. I made the comment to my friend, that the HR was nice, it was too late and that he was reminding me a lot of A-Rod. Empty hits and bad fielding. I hope that I am wrong with this call, but so far, I am calling it as I have seen it.

No home games until next week when the Eagles play in Chong-ju. I will try and go to one of those game at the Eagles 2nd home this year.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

With this months article, it is time once again to look towards the Summer, 2009 movie releases. What I will give you is the top 10 films that you should see this summer and the 10 that you should avoid at all cost. I will also list the opening dates of the film in Korea. I will also be listing what will be playing at the IMAX cinema this summer also.

Top 10 Films to see this Summer.

1. Terminator Salvation (May 22)- I have no real idea why but Christian Bale as John Connor just seems to sound so right for this role. I have seen the preview and it looks great. I have no idea how the Terminator will play here in Korea. My advice is to see the film in one of the many digital screens here in Daejeon and enjoy it.

2. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (May 21, IMAX)

I still have no idea why I like the first film but it did very well in Korea with Over 3 millions tickets sold. Part 2 of this series has some better actors in it and could you just think of Apollo 11 actually being launched from the Smithsonian? Please see this film in IMAX when it arrives in Korea.

3. UP- The first Pixar film to be made for the Disney Digital 3-D format. I have no idea if we can see it in 3D here in Korea. The idea is very simple, an old man decides to go on one more adventure and see the world. The only problem is that he has a child along as his sidekick. Please remember that this is a cartoon and that Korea has a very bad habit of dubbing it into Korean. Please see the film during the opening week where some cinemas with have it in English along with Korean.

4. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3- For those who do not know, this film is a remake of a 1974 film about men, who, hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom. The only reason I am recommending this, is because it has Denzel Washington vs. John Travolta. I still have no idea why they wanted to remake this film but it is worth at least one viewing to see if they got it right.

5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 26, IMAX) The first film was a huge hit here in Korea with over 7 million tickets sold, making the first film the all time foreign box office champion here in Korea. With this film also going into the IMAX and with the small pictures that I have seen of the new Transformers, This film should be a huge money maker for Michael Bay. With a plot that opens with the Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle. All of this and in IMAX.

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (16 July, IMAX) Of all of the 7 Harry Potter books, this one is my favorite and some of the previews of it have had me scratching my head. The plot of this film is simple enough, Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously "This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past. It is my favorite book because you get to see what formed evil and what loyalties ultimate price can be. I still contend that from film 4 to now,that the films should be at least 3 hours long or given the "Kill Bill" Part 1 and 2 treatment. I will see this film and hopes that it does not highly disappoint me.

7. Brüno- of all of the films that I am recommending for this summer, I can not actually believe that I am going with this one. To be honest, I have no idea if this film will ever see the light of day in Korea. If you remember Sacha Baron Cohen last film "Borat" 20th Century Fox had it scheduled for release, here in Korea but at the last minute gave it a 19 screen release and dumped it onto the dvd/vcd market. The scene of him adopting a child from Africa is what sealed my recommendation of this film. Be careful, this film is not for kids at all and has been given the dreaded NC-17 rating for the USA market.

8. Inglourious Basterds- For the readers of this magazine, who know me, I am sure you are saying to yourself, "Yeah, right McStay, huge surprise here. You recommending a Quentin Tarantino film for people to watch." My only wish is that they would have had made it for modern times and not cast it as a World War 2 film. The preview of Brad Pitt unleashing hell upon Nazi Germany was just way too cool for words.

9. Public Enemies- (2 July) The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s. With the role of Melvin Purvis being played by Christian Bale, this looks like the firs real gangster film produced in while. I have no idea how much of this true story will be fictionalized in this film, but this film deserves at least one viewing to see if Michael Mann got it right.

10. Bakjwi (Thirst) (30 April) A failed medical experiment turns a man of faith into a vampire. Just on that alone and with the reteaming of Korean Director Chan-wook Park and Kang-ho Song (JSA, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) This becomes the must see Korean Film of the Summer 2009 season. What is even more interesting is that this film is a joint CJ Entertainment/Universal production. With the praise of "Twilight" and "Let The Right One In", this film could be Korea's introduction into the vampire craze that seems to have captured audiences around the worlds attention.

Now for the 10 summer films that I have my doubts about.

1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (30 April) with a plot of that the Wolverine lives a mutant life, seeks revenge against Victor Creed (who will later become Sabertooth) for the death of his girlfriend, and ultimately ends up going through the mutant Weapon X program. I've had the misfortune to see the "Workprint" of this film, I seriously have doubts that the finished product will be any better that the horrible workprint.

2. Star Trek- (May 7) With a preview of the chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members, I can't help but to think that we are getting a 90210 J.J. Abrams version of it. The previews have looked like love-tens and pain and confusion. I just have a very bad feeling about this film.

3. Angels & Demons- (14 May) They are going to release this crap on my birthday, what did I ever do to deserve this? The plot is simply that Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican. now please remember, Angels and Demons was written as a prequel to The Da Vinci code, but it will be filmed as a sequel. I still have no idea why the talk about the first film, it was boring. I will see the film but I do not expect much from it.

4. Land of the Lost (August 13) I sat back and watched the preview and I thought that I'd lost about 30 I.Q. points. For those who do not know, this film is a remake of a 1970's children TV show. In the show the story was that they are a family going on a river rafting trip and they get lost. So in the movie we get no kids and no family and they are trying to sell this junk as what? I have such low hopes for this film that I fear the day I see this at the movies will be a wasted day.

5. Imagine That. With a plot like a financial executive (Eddie Murphy) who can't stop his career down spiral is invited into his daughter's imaginary world, where solutions to his problems await. I just get the feeling that this sounds a lot like "Bedtime Stories" With this being a Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures, this will be a safe film for kids but mind-numbing for the adults.

6. The Proposal. With a bad plot idea of A pushy boss forces her young assistant to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada. So what we have here is an American actress (Sandra Bullock) pretending to be Canadian and in real life, Ryan Reynolds is from Canada, but in this film he is an American. Am I the only one not understanding this weird lineup? It looks like a "Cougar " film but with this sad plot, it is not just that original and a sad, pathetic attempt at a movie.

7. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. So they have survived the Ice Age and a flood and now we are given this. What did we do to deserve this? This film is being released in 3-D in various markets, no idea if we will see it her in this format. I have no idea why they are even making a 3 for this film.

8. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. -So GI Joe is no longer an American Hero but now he/they are an elite military unit comprised of operatives known as the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity look to dismantle Cobra, an organization headed by a Scottish arms dealer. Are they fracking kidding me, they take an American hero and make him into the frackin UN? I really hate the idea of changing GI Joe from what made me, as a child, want a GI Joe, action figure into a weird UN plot.

9. Final Destination: Death Trip 3D. -Once again after a teen's premonition of a deadly race-car crash helps saves the lives of his peers, Death sets out to collect those who evaded their end. Now how many times have we seen this type of story and the only twist is that this one is in 3D. I saw the first one and the errors in that film were just too much and now with this, what did we do to deserve it?

10. Dance Flick- Do we really need another comedy/spoof film from the Wayans Brothers and family. This one looks likes a sad remake of ,"Save The Last Dance For Me" "Step Up" and "Hairspray" I can't help but wonder why they quit making decent films and instead went straight for potty humor? It looks like another mis-step for this family.

Once again this is my Summer 2009 preview and remember, "I see the crap, so you don't have to."
April 17th SK 10 Hanwha 9 So far my record at home games 2-3-1

Well the fact that we were down 7-0 after the 3rd inning and the game was lost on the top of the 9th should tell you it made for one heck of a 4+ hour game.

This game was just so frustrating, the top of the second, SK scored 6 runs and I was thinking, OK this just isn't our night. Then after it was 7-0 after the 3rd, I stopped watching and was listening and talking to the crowd of 10+ foreigners that were at the game with me.

I started to see a small rally and I turned my hat upside down and the Eagles scored 4 runs that inning. What was really funny was their was a small, Korean child and he asked his mothers why I had my cap that way and she told him about the rally hat. He soon was wearing his hat the exact same way.

Once again, can I please say that #21 should quit and give it up? When he entered the game, I was screaming, Oh No , Its 5 and die and he has a so so inning of wok in which he gave up a run. What I could not believe was, that before the game they had a 3000 innings pitched ceremony for Song Jin-Woo, I was not that impressed to be exact and just want him to quit pitching.

On the top of the 9th is when Brad Thomas just had a bad inning, it was bases full with one out and then a deep sf and the SK team scored. During the bottom of the 9th We just couldn't get one run. I felt so sad for Brad.

I will go again on Sunday and I hope that the Eagles win this one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 years later, the real story behind Columbine
They weren't goths or loners.

The two teenagers who killed 13 people and themselves at suburban Denver's Columbine High School 10 years ago next week weren't in the "Trenchcoat Mafia," disaffected videogamers who wore cowboy dusters. The killings ignited a national debate over bullying, but the record now shows Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold hadn't been bullied — in fact, they had bragged in diaries about picking on freshmen and "fags."

MAPPING SCHOOL VIOLENCE: Major incidents since 1983
LESSONS FROM COLUMBINE: More security and outreach

Their rampage put schools on alert for "enemies lists" made by troubled students, but the enemies on their list had graduated from Columbine a year earlier. Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren't on antidepressant medication and didn't target jocks, blacks or Christians, police now say, citing the killers' journals and witness accounts. That story about a student being shot in the head after she said she believed in God? Never happened, the FBI says now.

A decade after Harris and Klebold made Columbine a synonym for rage, new information — including several books that analyze the tragedy through diaries, e-mails, appointment books, videotape, police affidavits and interviews with witnesses, friends and survivors — indicate that much of what the public has been told about the shootings is wrong.

In fact, the pair's suicidal attack was planned as a grand — if badly implemented — terrorist bombing that quickly devolved into a 49-minute shooting rampage when the bombs Harris built fizzled.

"He was so bad at wiring those bombs, apparently they weren't even close to working," says Dave Cullen, author of Columbine, a new account of the attack.

So whom did they hope to kill?

Everyone — including friends.

What's left, after peeling away a decade of myths, is perhaps more comforting than the "good kids harassed into retaliation" narrative — or perhaps not.

It's a portrait of Harris and Klebold as a sort of In Cold Blood criminal duo — a deeply disturbed, suicidal pair who over more than a year psyched each other up for an Oklahoma City-style terrorist bombing, an apolitical, over-the-top revenge fantasy against years of snubs, slights and cruelties, real and imagined.

Along the way, they saved money from after-school jobs, took Advanced Placement classes, assembled a small arsenal and fooled everyone — friends, parents, teachers, psychologists, cops and judges.

"These are not ordinary kids who were bullied into retaliation," psychologist Peter Langman writes in his new book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters. "These are not ordinary kids who played too many video games. These are not ordinary kids who just wanted to be famous. These are simply not ordinary kids. These are kids with serious psychological problems."

Deceiving the adults

Harris, who conceived the attacks, was more than just troubled. He was, psychologists now say, a cold-blooded, predatory psychopath — a smart, charming liar with "a preposterously grand superiority complex, a revulsion for authority and an excruciating need for control," Cullen writes.

Harris, a senior, read voraciously and got good grades when he tried, pleasing his teachers with dazzling prose — then writing in his journal about killing thousands.

"I referred to him — and I'm dating myself — as the Eddie Haskel of Columbine High School," says Principal Frank DeAngelis, referring to the deceptively polite teen on the 1950s and '60s sitcom Leave it to Beaver. "He was the type of kid who, when he was in front of adults, he'd tell you what you wanted to hear."

When he wasn't, he mixed napalm in the kitchen .

According to Cullen, one of Harris' last journal entries read: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't … say, 'Well that's your fault,' because it isn't, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don't let the weird-looking Eric KID come along."

As he walked into the school the morning of April 20, Harris' T-shirt read: Natural Selection.

Klebold, on the other hand, was anxious and lovelorn, summing up his life at one point in his journal as "the most miserable existence in the history of time," Langman notes.

Harris drew swastikas in his journal; Klebold drew hearts.

As laid out in their writings, the contrast between the two was stark.

Harris seemed to feel superior to everyone — he once wrote, "I feel like God and I wish I was, having everyone being OFFICIALLY lower than me" — while Klebold was suicidally depressed and getting angrier all the time. "Me is a god, a god of sadness," he wrote in September 1997, around his 16th birthday.

Klebold also was paranoid. "I have always been hated, by everyone and everything," he wrote.

On the day of the attacks, his T-shirt read: Wrath.

Shooter profiles emerge

Columbine wasn't the first K-12 school shooting. But at the time it was by far the worst, and the first to play out largely on live television.

The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Education Department soon began studying school shooters. In 2002, researchers presented their first findings: School shooters, they said, followed no set profile, but most were depressed and felt persecuted.

Princeton sociologist Katherine Newman, co-author of the 2004 book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, says young people such as Harris and Klebold are not loners — they're just not accepted by the kids who count. "Getting attention by becoming notorious is better than being a failure."

The Secret Service found that school shooters usually tell other kids about their plans.

"Other students often even egg them on," says Newman, who led a congressionally mandated study on school shootings. "Then they end up with this escalating commitment. It's not a sudden snapping."

Langman, whose book profiles 10 shooters, including Harris and Klebold, found that nine suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts, a "potentially dangerous" combination, he says. "It is hard to prevent murder when killers do not care if they live or die. It is like trying to stop a suicide bomber."

At the time, Columbine became a kind of giant national Rorschach test. Observers saw its genesis in just about everything: lax parenting, lax gun laws, progressive schooling, repressive school culture, violent video games, antidepressant drugs and rock 'n' roll, for starters.

Many of the Columbine myths emerged before the shooting stopped, as rumors, misunderstandings and wishful thinking swirled in an echo chamber among witnesses, survivors, officials and the news media.

Police contributed to the mess by talking to reporters before they knew facts — a hastily called news conference by the Jefferson County sheriff that afternoon produced the first headline: "Twenty-five dead in Colorado."

A few inaccuracies took hours to clear up, but others took weeks or months — sometimes years — as authorities reluctantly set the record straight.

Former Rocky Mountain News reporter Jeff Kass, author of a new book, Columbine: A True Crime Story, says police played a game of "Open Records charades."

In one case, county officials took five years just to acknowledge that they had met in secret after the attacks to discuss a 1998 affidavit for a search warrant on Harris' home — it was the result of a complaint against him by the mother of a former friend. Harris had threatened her son on his website and bragged that he had been building bombs.

Police already had found a small bomb matching Harris' description near his home — but investigators never presented the affidavit to a judge.

They also apparently didn't know that Harris and Klebold were on probation after having been arrested in January 1998 for breaking into a van and stealing electronics.

The search finally took place, but only after the shootings.

Meticulous planning

What's now beyond dispute — largely from the killers' journals, which have been released over the past few years, is this: Harris and Klebold killed 13 and wounded 24, but they had hoped to kill thousands.

The pair planned the attacks for more than a year, building 100 bombs and persuading friends to buy them guns. Just after 11 a.m. on April 20, they lugged a pair of duffel bags containing propane-tank bombs into Columbine's crowded cafeteria and another into the kitchen, then stepped outside and waited.

Had the bombs exploded, they'd have killed virtually everyone eating lunch and brought the school's second-story library down atop the cafeteria, police say. Armed with a pistol, a rifle and two sawed-off shotguns, the pair planned to pick off survivors fleeing the carnage.

As a last terrorist act, a pair of gasoline bombs planted in Harris' Honda and Klebold's BMW had been rigged apparently to kill police, rescue teams, journalists and parents who rushed to the school — long after the pair expected they would be dead.

The pair had parked the cars about 100 yards apart in the student lot. The bombs didn't go off.

Looking for answers at home

Since 1999, many people have looked to the boys' parents for answers, but a transcript of their 2003 court-ordered deposition to the victims' parents remains sealed until 2027.

The Klebolds spoke to New York Times columnist David Brooks in 2004 and impressed Brooks as "a well-educated, reflective, highly intelligent couple" who spent plenty of time with their son. They said they had no clues about Dylan's mental state and regretted not seeing that he was suicidal.

Could the parents have prevented the massacre? The FBI special agent in charge of the investigation has gone on record as having "the utmost sympathy" for the Harris and Klebold families.

"They have been vilified without information," retired supervisory special agent Dwayne Fuselier tells Cullen.

Cullen, who has spent most of the past decade poring over the record, comes away with a bit of sympathy.

For one thing, he notes, Harris' parents "knew they had a problem — they thought they were dealing with it. What kind of parent is going to think, 'Well, maybe Eric's a mass murderer.' You just don't go there."

He got a good look at the boys' writings only in the past couple of years. Among the revelations: Eric Harris was financing what could well have been the biggest domestic terrorist attack on U.S. soil on wages from a part-time job at a pizza parlor.

"One of the scary things is that money was one of the limiting factors here," Cullen says.

Had Harris, then 18, put off the attacks for a few years and landed a well-paying job, he says, "he could be much more like Tim McVeigh," mixing fertilizer bombs like those used in Oklahoma City in 1995. As it was, he says, the fact that Harris carried out the attack when he did probably saved hundreds of lives.

"His limited salary probably limited the number of people who died."

Contributing: Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY

Mainstream Media: All Bias No Thunder

by Spike Spencer

President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to the troops recently in Baghdad. For that I applaud him. The troops were buoyed up by a visit by their Commander and Chief. And that is a good thing. He also praised them for their service and commitment. Also a good thing. Then he went on to say that they had done a remarkable job in giving Iraq a great gift; the chance to govern themselves in a Democratic fashion. A free people now able to seek their own path thanks to the efforts of the U.S MILITARY!

Uh, come again?

President Barack Obama just praised the troops for winning the war that he voted against. The war that, up until his election, we were told we were losing and never should have been there in the first place. Am I wrong in seeing this as a inadvertent stealth justification of Pres. Bush’s Iraq policies? Doesn’t this seem like big news? Shouldn’t this be striking like a lightning bolt across the screens of every television and newspaper across the globe? So where’s the thunder?

Isn’t this the President from the party that has called our servicemen and women murderers, rapists, and torturers? Didn’t Senator John Kerry (D-MA) say that our soldiers were smashing down doors in the dark of the night terrorizing innocent Iraqi citizens? Didn’t Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) call the Iraq war a failure and that the surge didn’t work at all? Didn’t Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) recently say that her vote to go to Iraq was a mistake and she shouldn’t have made it? Didn’t Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA) call them murderers and say that we can’t win? Didn’t President Obama call it a dumb and rash war?

So, after what the President said to our soldiers in Baghdad, um, wouldn’t that make those on the left, uh, how do I put this gently,,, WRONG!?

If this were the other way around; we would never hear the end of it. How many times during George Bush’s term did the press try to get him to say he made a mistake? They were relentless. Now that it is blatantly obvious that all the critics were wrong and their leader just stood up and more or less stated exactly that, where are the journalists? Where are the pretty bobble head TV news teleprompter readers? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the pride in a job well done? Where’s the mea culpa from the left? Where is the thunder after Obama’’s lightning bolt?

As usual, what do we hear? Crickets.

Now I’m not saying there’s an obvious bias here. No, that would just be silly right wing conspiracy talk. The sad truth is, it’s no conspiracy at all. It’s blatant, in your face, and completely tolerated by a populous that is spoon fed left wing pablum daily from every media outlet. We are watching the unraveling of what our country stands for right before our eyes and being told we are not seeing it. Our representatives voted in a huge budget-busting “stimulus” plan that is no stimulus, chock full of pork projects, and none of them even knew what was in the bill. Chris Dodd (D-CT) votes to give the CEO’s their bonuses, then tells us the next day, he didn’t. Pres. Obama subserviently bows to the leader of another country and we’re told he didn’t. All of these are proven lies with an abundance of evidence.

So again I ask… WHERE’S THE THUNDER!?

I’ve heard it said that we used to roar like lions for liberty, but now we blather like sheep for security. I think Benjamin Franklin said it best when he stated “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We sit and watch as our liberties are taken away with lies and deceit from the left and we say nothing. Well, I say, enough. Take action. Speak out. Call your Senators and Congressmen. Remind them who they work for! I pray it’s not too late. I pray that we can turn this big ship around and head in the right direction. For if we can not; where else can we go?


Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12

Lotte 7 HANWHA 4 me at home games 2-2-1

I think the film "Forest Gump" said it best, "Stupid is as stupid does." It really described today's baseball game to me.

The Eagles left 2 pitchers in too long and they both game up runs that solidified the win for the GIANTS

The other major error was a few stoopid base running plays by the Eagles. Games like this are just frustrating for a baseball fan. You know you had the better team, you know that you should, could have won this game but due to leaving in your pitchers in for too darn long and by stoopid runners, the Eagles lost this game.

To me the key of this game was the 7th. The score was 4-4 and my thinking was this, Ok its the top of the 7th and we need to hold them to no runs and all we need is one run during the bottom of the inning and this game is over. Brad Thomas hasn't pitched in a few days and tomorrow is an off day so he can go for 2 innings. Now this is what I was thinking...Now for what actually happened..

The pitcher looked tired and he should have came out but nope not our Manager, he keep in in and at the end of the inning we're down by 3 and we can kiss this one bye bye.

Now for the fun shirt story of the game, I was sitting next to this Korean guy and he had a shirt that said, "the different colors of my small balls". I know, yes its childish and juvenile but yes it was also too darn funny. I had a great time at the game.
April 11th.

HANWHA 10 Lotte 6. Me at home games 2-1-1

Well I sure was not expecting a sell-out yesterday but that is what happened. I was talking to a friend of mine who live in Taiwan and he asked me what I was doing here and not at the game already because there was a huge crowd at the stadium. I texted the people that I was going to the game with and off we went. We got luck because someone we knew was already their and got us tickets.

I flat out could not believe how crowded the game was. The Lotte section had a nice size and so did the Eagles.

I think I can honestly say now that Song Jin Woo #21, should retire. He came in and tried to do mop up and was lit up like the 4th of July. He just looked horrible.

Well the game started off with us being down 1-0 with an early home run. Then as soon as it started to cool down, the HANWHA bats started to hit. I saw a few nice home runs for the Eagles and then they took a nice led over the Giants.

Their was a person at the game from India and I was teaching him the rules and strategies of baseball. I told him about Karmin Garcia. I said that he is a power hitter in the KBO and that he is starting to come out of his slump, with the cool bats I would walk him because if they don't, he will hit a home run, 2 pitches later, Garcia makes me look like a fracking Genius. He hits a monster home run and the guy is looking at me like, How did you know that?

It was a great game with the Giants getting close and then the Eagles would get a few more runs. I did not see Thomas pitch, so it looks like he will go 2 innings today, if its a close game.

Now While I was watching the game I was talking to a lot of different people and One of them was Eli's (A new teacher, who works at Woosong with me) girlfriend. (Yung-soo). I started talking to her and the girl knew baseball. I also found out that she teachers classical music, so I asked her why were the "WonderGirls" popular here in Korea? She said that have pretty faces and can dance but that are not great singers. I liked her answer. I found out that her and Eli are engaged to be married and I with them both the best with their life together.

i had a great time at the game and the Eagles won and I was doing my anti- Lotte Cheer, The Eagls fans who knew English were laughing, when they heard my words to it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 10, 2009 HANWHA 8 Lotte 3... me at games 1-1-1

What a game this one was.

I went to the game early and got me a nice seat. I saw someone that I knew, Mark, and said hello and sat down and had some of the Mexican chicken that they sell at the game. Ryu Hyun Jin (#99 Monster)was going to be pitching and I wanted to see him pitch.

I got a text from a friend of mine telling me that they were also at the game and I found them and sat down next to them and watched the rest of the game with them. Apparently I was on TV Thursday night because a lot of people pointed at me and said you TV.. From what i was told I was eating chicken and they were also marveling at the lack of my dancing skills, I was shown dancing for donuts on Korean TV. After the game A few of the Lotte fans wanted me to pose with a photo of them. I was also told the the Koreans think of me as a super HANWHA FAN. Like I have always said, the truth will be stranger, than any lie that I could possibly come up with.

We sat on the 3rd base side, that was the Lotte fans part and we started jawing toward each other. The Hanwha fans were cheering me on. Once again you must remember, Korean fans are polite to each other and to the umpires. So when I yell at the umps for a blown call, my big ass voice can carry. A while back I was told that the batters and the players can hear my big voice. So I have to try and play nice, yeah I know..Mike, that dog ain't gonna hunt for long.

What I also found out yesterday was that the Hanwha fans, along with the Korean newspapers, seemed to really like the new foreign player Victor Diaz (빅터 디아즈). He has some game but I will wait and see over a few months before I make my mind up about him.

The Eagles jumped to an 8-0 led and I was worried that after the score went to 8-3 that they might get another tie but this time the EAGLES WON THE GAME!!!

The CF for the Giants made a bad play last night, he misplayed the ball and it went passed him and ended up next to the CF wall while 2 runs scored for the Eagles. I couldn't believe it and I actually felt sorry for the player. The Lotte fans were their usual loud fans but with a win they didn't say much expect for the Lotte Cheer, which is a copy of an UK Soccer song. I reminded them of that and that started it up between me and them for the rest of the night.

Looks like I will be at all 3 of the home games this weekend. It should make for some good baseball games.
Angels return to play with Adenhart on their minds

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Torii Hunter and John Lackey stood on the pitcher’s mound at Angel Stadium, each holding Nick Adenhart’s jersey, their caps off and heads bowed.

The rest of the Los Angeles Angels took their places along the third-base line, while the Boston Red Sox lined up on the first-base side. The pregame music went quiet and a hush fell over the red-clad crowd.

The Angels paid tribute Friday night with a moment of silence for Adenhart and two of his friends who were killed about 36 hours earlier in a car crash after being broadsided by a suspected drunk driver.

Andrew Thomas Gallo, a 22-year-old from San Gabriel, was charged with three counts of murder by the Orange County district attorney on Friday. He ran a red light in his minivan and hit the car carrying Adenhart and his friends, police said.

Hours later, Adenhart’s smiling face appeared on the stadium’s video board, followed by clips of him pitching six scoreless innings Wednesday against Oakland in the best game of his brief major league career.

Cameras flashed in the stands as the teams and crowd stood silently. Then Lackey and Hunter hugged before Lackey carried Adenhart’s jersey back to the dugout.

Hunter jogged slowly toward center field, headed to the black-and-white picture of Adenhart on the wall. Hunter touched the photo next to No. 34 and Adenhart’s name in a black circle, then took his usual position to start the game.

Angels players wore a No. 34 patch on their uniforms. Adenhart’s number also was painted in red on the back slope of the pitcher’s mound, where he had struck out opposing batters two nights earlier.

He was at his locker that night when teammate Joe Saunders leaned over, patted the rookie on the back and said, “Great job.”

Saunders now wishes he had said so much more. But at the time those simple words let Adenhart know what he had longed to hear—that he finally belonged in the big leagues with the Angels after trying to get there for nearly five years.

“He gave us a chance to win and I knew he was really proud of that,” Saunders recalled. “I know he felt elated that he pitched such a great game. That’s what I’m going to remember.”

The Angels, their fans and Adenhart’s parents held tightly to their memories Friday, cold comfort to a group still stunned by the sudden deaths of the 22-year-old pitcher and his friends Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson.

Gallo had nearly triple the legal blood-alcohol level and could get nearly 55 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges, police said.

“Unfortunately, it happens every day in our world and it happened to touch us this week in a tragic way,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Flags flew at half-staff at Angel Stadium and around the major leagues to honor a rookie who had accomplished little but showed the promise and potential for a long career.

Still wracked by grief, the Angels returned to work Friday against the Red Sox after postponing Thursday’s game against Oakland to absorb the stunning news.

“We’ll all be saying stuff to them during the game,” Boston’s Kevin Youkilis said. “I didn’t know Nick at all, but I wish I would have met him and talked to him.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona and his coaches, usually joking or talking about the upcoming game, instead were silent as their cab approached Angel Stadium.

An image of  Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart is shown on the video screen at Angel Stadium during a moment of silence for him before a game between the Angels and the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, April 10, 2009. Adenhart and two other people were killed early Thursday in an auto accident in Fullerton, Calif., just hours after Adenhart pitched in his season debut.

“You’re supposed to show up and have fun going to the ballpark, but it doesn’t seem like that is appropriate today,” he said.

Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher was closest of all to Adenhart, having helped the rookie develop the mind-set he needed to challenge major league hitters throughout spring training.

Adenhart departed Wednesday’s game with a 4-0 lead that the Angels’ bullpen failed to hold, and the team wound up losing to Oakland, 6-4. Adenhart left the mound and Butcher walked up to his protege, asking him how the ball felt coming off his fingertips.

“Butch, I got it,” Adenhart replied.

In recalling the moment Friday, Butcher paused to gather himself, tears glistening in his eyes.

“That was a pretty special moment to see a kid figure it out that early and understand it and own it,” he said.

Butcher’s cell phone rang at 2 a.m. on Thursday. Grabbing it, he glanced at the screen that identified the caller as Nick Adenhart. Butcher figured he was going to have to go get the rookie somewhere.

Los Angeles Angels teammates Torii Hunter, top left, and John Lackey hold the jersey of Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart before start of the baseball game  against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, April 10, 2009. Adenhart and two other people were killed early Thursday in an auto accident in Fullerton, Calif., just hours after pitching in his season debut.

Instead, it was Jim Adenhart, explaining that his son had been in a car accident and was hospitalized in critical condition. The older Adenhart had traveled from Baltimore to Anaheim to watch the game at his son’s request.

Butcher made his way to the hospital not fearing the worst.

The next few hours were a blur of conversations with Adenhart’s father about his son and their family and a nurse who kept the men updated with what little information she had about the pitcher.

“I knew we weren’t in a good situation at that point, no one was really coming out to talk to us,” Butcher said.

“It was only a few hours later where he lost his life. That was a very tough time for his family. It was something you never want to go through as a parent. Very numbing.”

Angels pitcher Dustin Moseley, briefly replaced in the starting rotation last season by Adenhart, found out something was wrong when his 22-year-old brother texted him saying he was sorry about Adenhart.

Los Angeles Angels fans gather around a temporary memorial for Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart before the Angels' game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, April 10, 2009. Adenhart and two other people were killed early Thursday in an auto accident in Fullerton, Calif., just hours after Adenhart pitched in his season debut.

“It seemed like a dream to me. I lost my dad in ’04 and the same feeling came over me,” Moseley said. “I pretty much cried for quite a while and got to the park and it pretty much started all over again when you see his name on his locker.”

Moseley teared up as he spoke about his minor league buddy who had made it to the big time, too. He was drawn to Adenhart’s joking personality and ability to mimic people’s voices and mannerisms.

“To see someone lose their life at such a young age takes you out of that bowl you think you’re in and you say, `Tomorrow could be my last day and what kind of impact am I making?”’ Moseley said. “Nick made a huge impact.”

Saunders left the team’s private gathering at Angel Stadium on Thursday and immediately called his father. Then he went home and hugged his wife and young daughter.

Adenhart’s divorced parents, Jim and Janet, each removed jerseys from their son’s stadium locker before Friday’s game.

His mother took the red cap her son wore in his final game. The rest of the locker’s contents were left in place, including Adenhart’s iPod, and they will remain there for the rest of the season. On the road, a locker will be set aside for him in remembrance.

Los Angeles Angels fans look at a temporary memorial for Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart before the Angels' game against the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, April 10, 2009. Adenhart and two other people were killed early Thursday in an auto accident in Fullerton, Calif., just hours after Adenhart pitched in his season debut.

“I’m proud to know him,” Moseley said. “I’m sure God’s proud to know him right now, too.”

Another passenger in the car, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite of Manhattan Beach, remained in critical but stable condition Friday and doctors believe he will survive, a hospital spokesman said.

Gallo will likely be assigned a public defender at his first court appearance, scheduled for Monday.

According to court records reviewed by The Associated Press, Gallo pleaded guilty to drunk driving in 2006 in San Bernardino. He was sentenced to two days in jail, three years of probation, a $1,374 fine and a four-month alcohol treatment program. He didn’t serve any jail time, however, because he received credit for time served.

A judge also restricted his driving privileges for three months, allowing him to commute only to and from work and his treatment program.

The district attorney, however, said Gallo’s license had been suspended since 2006.

Court records show Gallo violated some terms of his probation, causing it to be extended by a year, to 2010.

Police said Gallo was arrested for public intoxication in March 2007 and convicted of disturbing the peace in January

Friday, April 10, 2009


Hanwha Eagles pitcher, Song Jin-woo threw his 3000th KBO inning last night. He is the first pitcher in KBO history to reach 3000 innings and he is already the career leader in innings pitched by a wide margin. The 43-year old pitcher is in his 21st KBO season. He broke in with the Eagles in 1989(Then sponsored by Bingrae) and actually started out as a reliever. In 1992, Song finished the season 19-8 with 17 saves in 48 appearances. He tossed 191 1/3 innings that year. In 2002, he set a career mark for innings pitched with 220. He finished with a 18-7 record over 31 starts. For his career, Song boasts a 210-153 record with 103 saves. Last season he recorded his 2000th career strikeout. He's also 1-4 in his career at the plate.

Doosan 11, Hanwha 2
W - Kim Sun-woo(2-0), L - Jeong Min-cheol (0-1)

The big story here was the record set by Song Jin-woo, so no one really seems to care that Hanwha got absolutely pummeled. Doosan left fielder Kim Hyeon-soo had a huge night for Doosan. He finished 4-4 with 2 doubles, 1 walk, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Doosan's Choi Joon-seok clubbed a solo homer in the 3rd inning. Doosan DH Matt Watson also got in on the action. Watson hit a 2-run bomb in the 5th. Matt finished the night 2-5 with 3 RBI. Doosan starting pitcher Kim Sun-woo turned in his 2nd straight quality start. Kim worked 5 2/3 innings(84 pitches, 52 strikes) of 1 run ball. Kim allowed 5 hits and 2 walks with 4 K's on the night. The only run he allowed came on a Kim Tae-gyun solo homer. The homer was Kim's 2nd of the season.



So far this season 0-1-1 in games I have seen live.

Promising pitcher Adenhart dies in crash

Yahoo! Sports

Nick Adenhart had softened. He’d smiled more.

Once content to linger on the edges of a clubhouse community whose energy is in its all-for-one spirit and drama, Adenhart had become a part of it.

Still quiet and still reserved, he’d turned 22, he’d become familiar, and he’d earned and accepted a place among them.

Photo Nick Adenhart pitched six scoreless innings Wednesday night, just hours before the car he was traveling in was hit by a drunk driver.
(USA Baseball)

He died early Thursday morning in a car wreck in Fullerton, Calif. He was a passenger in a silver Mitsubishi along with three others when a van ran a red light and broadsided the vehicle. A female driver and male passenger in the Mitsubishi were dead when police arrived. Adenhart died at a nearby hospital as the result of his injuries.

Angels wept.

Jim Adenhart, Nick’s father, had watched him pitch the night before at Angel Stadium. By dawn, the ballpark empty, he was at Nick’s locker.

Nick had come to the Los Angeles Angels’ organization going on five years ago, a right-handed pitcher from Maryland with uncommon skills and a bad elbow.

He’d chosen professional baseball over a scholarship to North Carolina, at the time telling the Washington Post, “My future is more straight. And I know what’s going to happen.”

Before his first pro summer was through, he’d had Tommy John surgery and, at 18, had begun the endless journey. He made it to the big leagues in less than four years. And Wednesday night he’d thrown six shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics.

So an organization that on its uniform sleeve mourns the off season passing of 85-year-old Preston Gomez, now bears the loss of a young man it helped raise.

The Angels will recall him as a good kid, one who’d grown up quickly and stayed grown up. They will recall him possessing a confidence, a resoluteness, that bordered on aloof. They will recall an old soul’s countenance on the pitchers’ mound, and a relentlessness that put him there, and how the repercussions of a single tragic moment have marginalized a baseball season.

A good man is gone. A teammate went with him.

“The Angels’ family has suffered a tremendous loss today,” Angels general manager Tony Reagins said in a statement Thursday morning. “We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick’s family, friends, loved ones and fans.”

The Adenhart family also issued a statement.

Photo Nick Adenhart, left, celebrates with Brandon Wood, center, and Mark Reynolds after the U.S. clinched an Olympic berth in 2006.
(USA Baseball)

“Nick’s family expresses sincere gratitude for all the help the Angels have provided,” it read. “He lived his dream and was blessed to be part of an organization comprised of such warm, caring and compassionate people. The Angels were his extended family. Thanks to all of Nick’s loyal supporters and fans throughout his career. He will always be in everyone’s hearts forever.”

On a cool night in Anaheim, before a full stadium, Adenhart had pitched. He’d been great and he’d been so-so and he’d been lucky, the usual path for a young pitcher, and he hadn’t allowed a run in six innings. A year before, he’d made his big-league debut and afterward told reporters, “I knew I wanted to pitch in the major leagues by the time I was nine years old. It was a great experience. I took it all in.”

Presumably, with his dad somewhere in the stands, and zeroes across the scoreboard, and an entire season stretched before him, he did again. Presumably, with so much ahead of him, he would have again.

He’d touched his teammates’ hands on his way off the field, on his way down the dugout stairs, on his way to the clubhouse. He’d become one of them this spring, more than ever.

“He was really starting to come into his own in terms of his personality,” a team official said quietly. “He was a good kid. And he’d come into camp showing a greater fire on the mound.”

Hours later, he was killed in a Fullerton intersection.

“This hurts,” the official said. “This is devastating. It’s just such a tough loss. I can’t believe it’s true."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stephannie White tours Gyeongsan sauna where son was found dead.


On April 3rd, Stephannie White toured the Royal Hawaii sauna in Gyeongsan where her 14-year-old son Michael was found dead last year. The judge ordered it because, as Stephannie wrote to me, there were discrepancies in the statements of the sauna employees. If you're on Facebook you can view the photos and the comments here; if you're not on Facebook, use this link. Not surprisingly, obstruction seemed to be the name of the game during the tour, as has been the story for the past eleven months.

You can read more about Michael's story, and his mother's nightmarish ordeal with the authorities, at her website Mightie Mike. If you have time to spare, give those episodes of Seoul Podcast a listen, too. There are transcripts of the podcasts on the site as well, or you can browse a few excerpts from this post last July.

Ask a Korean! News: The Best Commentary on the North Korean Missile Launch

One of the Korean’s favorite blogs is Nambukstory, written by Mr. Joo Seong-Ha, reporter for Dong-A Ilbo, which is one of the largest dailies in Korea. Mr. Joo writes about many things, but his specialty is North Korea. If you know how to read Korean and care even a little bit about North Korea, please read his blog. His commentaries are always the most insightful, not simply because he is a very smart person. He was born and raised in North Korea, and graduated from Kim Il-Sung University. In other words, he was on track to be an elite officer of the North Korean regime. Instead, he escaped from North Korea into China, and eventually made his way into South Korea, to work as a reporter.

Because of his unique background, the perspective on North Korea that Mr. Joo offers in his blog is unlike any other. The Korean believes that there is absolutely no better way of understanding North Korea. Therefore, when this whole North Korean missile thing came about, the Korean knew where to go. And sure enough, there was a great post from Mr. Joo that the Korean was compelled to share. Below is the translation. The original post is here. The Korean focused more on making the post sound intelligent (because it is, in Korean,) than making the literal translation – thus, some parts of the translation is are an exact match. At any rate, translation comments are always appreciated.

How to Screw Over Kim Jong-Il

The clamor over North Korean “rocket” reminds me of the phrase from Art of War: “If you fight when you want, where you want, and how you want, you never lose.” Currently, I am sure that there are many who wonder why this topic is given so much attention. I spent all day at the company [i.e. Dong-A Ilbo] on Saturday because of the news of North Korea’s satellite launch, although it was my day off. The same with Sunday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs had an emergency response meeting starting 8 a.m. on Saturday. While it looks funny to have a response meeting when there is no response to be made, I am sure they were more afraid of appearing to do nothing – at least they should pretend to do something. The president also held a meeting with national security ministers. Would those meetings provide any good answer? (Would anyone expect them to?) I doubt that.

Even the Blue House [= presidential residence] meeting on Sunday after the rocket launched was limited to re-asserting the previous stance. But then again, there is not much more to do. In this light, at least the remark by President Lee Myong-Bak on the 5th [=Arbor Day in Korea] was wise – “while North Korea fires missiles, we plant trees.” Since there is nothing to do, at least he can grab a shovel and plant a tree.

Let us return to the Art of War above. This battle about the satellite is a battle we can never win, because Kim Jong-Il has all the choices with respect to the when, where, and how. This is how North-South relationship generally has unfolded so far.

To compare it to ping-pong, it is as if Kim Jong-Il continues to drive the ball and we are only defending. We are tense and befuddled because we don’t know where the next ball will fly to. It is pathetic in some respects. South Korean government says the principled thing is to stay calm. I would like them to do at least that, but it is not as if they are staying calm, as they are busy coming up with clumsy responses.

Strictly speaking, my personal view is that the media, including Korean ones, are taking treasonous actions. Treasonous action is nothing complicated; it is, literally [in Korean], an action that benefits the enemy. The following is why I think so.

First, the media is providing the stage for Kim Jong-Il’s play. Kim Jong-Il can trot around with that crude missile is thanks to the capitalist media that incessantly chatters for him. When the media chatters, the politicians are in the difficult situation of having to do something.

That missile is something that can never be used in an actual situation. Would a military satellite, which can measure shoe sizes on the ground, simply sit on the missile’s movement in the time of war? The missile takes several months between assembly and launch, and is immediately noticeable no matter where it is hidden. The idea that Kim Jong-Il can surprise America with an ICBM in the face of obvious self-destruction is clearly a fiction.

Second, the media, beyond serving its function of providing information, is terrorizing Koreans. Television only showed the missile news all day Saturday – it seems that the media is firing the bullshit cannon on behalf of Kim Jong-Il. It is not difficult to realize who gains from the atmosphere of fear resulting from such chatter. Further, although all three network television stations clamored in their special programming, the ratings did not even hit the average for the same time period from January through March. In other words, Koreans do not even care now.

I wish the media knew enough to simply graze over the news. For example, what if the media were to report – perhaps after it covered celebrity gossip – “Despite the hoopla, launch fails as expected”; “The result of decade’s worth of research was on display”; “Lack of funds leads to poor research”? Wouldn’t that frustrate the person who played the missile card thinking it would be a great piece of strategy?

Also, there is no report within the news inundation that convincingly explains why an ICBM is dangerous for Koreans. The media says the missile can become a nuclear weapon’s delivery mechanism. However, although Korea already is completely exposed to North Korea’s nuclear attack, I don’t remember if Korean media ever clamored this loudly on that issue. If the media is not concerned about Korea’s exposure to nuclear attacks, does that mean they are more worried for America? Are they maybe concerned that the crappy nuclear delivery mechanism would threaten America enough to discontinue military aid toward Korea? That is a separate political issue, but let us not forget that U.S. is a country that survived the Cold War against Russia, which had 10,000 nuclear warheads.

Personally, I believe that the true danger for Korea is the SCUD missile and long-range artillery. Specifically, there is truly nothing Korea can do against missiles like KN-02. Seoul is utterly exposed to North Korea’s long-range artillery and missiles without any defense. This situation did not happen yesterday, and this is the true danger.

Some eminent scientist on the news said “an ICBM can fire against Korea depending on the angle,” to emphasize ICBM’s danger against Korea. This is laughable. The media, with a straight face, is stating the sophism that North Korea is building an ICBM to attack Korea, although it can attack Korea with a cannon at any time.

(True danger to Korea is the missiles and long-range artillery, pictured above.)

Third, the media is assisting North Korea’s technical analysis. With North Korea’s technology alone, it would be difficult to figure out the post-launch status of the missile. However, once launched, America, Japan, or Korea kindly analyzes the status, which is relayed back to North Korea through the media. Using high-tech equipments such as satellites and Aegis cruisers (which costs more than a trillion won per ship), the media provides such details as where the first stage rocket landed, where the second stage rocket landed, what the ability of this missile will be and how likely the success would be, and so on.

Honestly, without the analysis from America, Japan and Korea, aided by such cutting-edge equipment that cost billions of dollars, I am not sure if North Korea would even know where its rocket went. Kim Jong-Il is in the cat bird seat in that respect – he just needs to launch, and there are all these great people who know to bring over the newest equipment possible to let him know exactly where, how, and why his rocket failed.

As an aside, Dong-A Ilbo’s report that ICBM technology is far more advanced than a satellite technology was a very good one. I believe that it was a good report in the time when everyone was reporting as if satellite rocket can be turned into an ICBM by simply changing the launching angle.

I can understand the overreaction on the part of the Japanese media. In the long term, emphasizing the threat from North Korea helps the militarization. Also, it can distract the eyes and ears focused on the administration with falling support. But Korea faces a different circumstance from Japan. Why must we engage in hysterics?

In fact, there is not much Korea can do against North Korea’s action. This is the difference between “closed society” and “open society”. Because of the many factors to be considered, Korea simply cannot respond in the thuggish way to North Korea’s thuggish action. Because of the backing from China and Russia, taking North Korea to the United Nations is difficult as well. Then what must we do? Should we simply sit and chatter as we do now? Is that all we can do?

I believe that for Korea’s benefit, the media must ignore Kim Jong-Il’s theatrics. A show requires a passionately reactive audience to be successful. Kim Jong-Il must be loving it now, since other countries are creating such reaction. One can tell how much he is enjoying this episode from the way he tricked the whole world on Saturday. I cannot be the only person who got screwed with high blood pressure from having to stand by on his day off.

But for a showman, the most discouraging thing is the non-reaction from the audience. It is truly devastating if no one even watches you. What is a showman to do in that case? He would try to take out another card and try his best in attracting attention. But there are only a limited number of cards for Kim Jong-Il to take out. If the missile thing does not work, there can be such things as “military provocation”, “nuclear test”, or “hostage situation,” etc. As far as the next cards of Kim Jong-Il go, these are about it – and this does not take an expert to figure it out. With this knowledge, South Korean government say there is nothing that can be done. But is that really the case?

Isn’t it about time that we move on from passivity and research a way to screw Kim Jong-Il over? I will quote the Art of War once again: ““If you fight when you want, where you want, and how you want, you never lose.” Can’t we win based on this?

This type of analysis is common in the Korean media: “The reason why Grand National Party is being dragged around by Democratic Party is because the former is trailing the latter in the ability for setting the agenda and naming the problem.” But I have never seen a media report that applies this type of analysis to North Korea. In this analysis, Korea would be the larger but incompetent and befuddled Grand National Party, and North Korea would be the small Democratic Party that overwhelms Grand National Party.

Let us analyze Korea’s advantages over North Korea. A quick list includes wealth, democracy, stronger military, etc. – in fact, it is difficult to name them all because there are so many. Korea can screw with North Korea using these advantages to their maximum effectiveness. But an idiotic eye-to-eye strategy cannot beat North Korea. A rich man who dislikes being beaten cannot get into a fistfight with a thug.

Then what can be done? I have thought of many possibilities, but I do not need to list them all, since national strategy is not decided on one person’s opinion. But I believe that we must publicly solicit the ways in which we can take over the agenda, utilize our advantage, and negotiate our way. We must bring the experts on North Korea together and formulate such policy – a policy for which, while avoiding outright collision, North Korea has no recourse other than to fume, like we do right now. For example:

Example 1: Kim Jong-Il announced that North Korea will launch a missile, but South Korean media is strangely quiet. When Kim Jong-Il begins to wonder about the absence of reaction, suddenly South Korean media causes a sensation with a report, “North Korean Labor Party secretary defects to South Korea.” No matter how many announcements about missiles are made, South Korean media only pays attention to the North Korean elite’s defection. The embarrassment from the defection by the elite, and the apathy to the missile, would surely piss off Kim Jong-Il.

Example 2: A foreign corporation that used to deal with North Korea suddenly announces that the relationship is terminated, saying that it would deal with South Korean corporations now. Whenever North Korea tries to buy anything, the foreign corporations reply that they would only deal with South Korean corporations that pay more. Nations friendly to North Korea slowly turn against it. The situation is infuriating, but it is not something that can be addressed militarily; all North Korea can do is to feel the misery of not having any money.

Such responses may be criticized on the grounds that they are reenactment of the competition during the Cold War era. But our advantage is that we survived that very competition. In the very least, Korean government loses the incompetence of getting dragged around by being unable to take the initiative.

If that’s not good enough, there are other ways such as: What if we gave such an exorbitant aid that North Korea cannot control it? We can give so much that North Korea cannot afford to turn down such an overwhelming aid, and that the entire [North Korean] Security Forces cannot control where the aid goes. Imagine the Gaeseong Industrial Complex becoming 10 times bigger. North Korea will have a lot of trouble gagging the laborers and preventing the leak of Korean pop culture, eventually causing a headache for maintaining the current regime. My personal estimate of the amount enough to overwhelm North Korea is around 2 percent of South Korea’s budget. Even the much-criticized “excessive” aid during Roh Moo-Hyun administration was less than 0.2 percent of the budget. Giving as much as my estimation for five years does not even amount to the cost of constructing the second Lotte World [amusement park in Seoul currently being built], which costs around 2 trillion won.

We keep focusing on how to respond to Kim Jong-Il, but that is not the right point to focus on. Korea’s leader must draw his own image of what Korean Peninsula would be like at least 10 years into the future. We have already seen Kim Il-Sung, who appeared as if he would live forever, suddenly disappear one day. Life is finite. Looking just a little beyond the finite lifespan may provide a new answer.

This is what happens with incompetence: although the “missile” is a greater threat to the United States, and was made for the purpose of talking with that country, Korea screamed and hollered while U.S. remained calm. Embarrassingly, there was no effect to such hysteria. Also, Korean government obstinately ignored the opinion for recognizing the projectile to be a satellite, insisting that the projectile is an ICBM. But once the U.S. said it was a satellite, Korean government sheepishly corrected the description as a rocket. Then, once the launch happened, Korean government recognized the projectile to be a satellite. Once U.S. changes the description again as a “missile”, Korea would have to follow again. How does this make sense?

This missile ruckus is reminiscent of the humiliating episode in November 2008. Korean government had totally ignored North Korea’s repeated request for military communication material and equipment, until that point. On the day North Korea cut off the North-South Hotline, Korean government groveled and said it would provide the equipment. (I feel personally embarrassed as I write this.)

In this episode too, Korean government led the charge in overreacting, hollering that launch would be unforgivable. But once it became obvious that there is nothing Korean government could do, it quietly corrected itself, saying, “There will be no military response.” Korea would publicly assert that North Korea will pay for its misdeeds, but it quietly set its butt on the chair in the six-party talks. Truly, what embarrassing and sad scenes.