Well, it probably won't come as much solace to the Paul DePodestas of the world, but for one week, anyway, the stat nerds have been vindicated; the much maligned Hee Seop Choi is beating the piss out of the world's pitchers. Last night he hit a three-run homer off Team USA's Dan Wheeler — wait ... Dan Wheeler is on that team? — that secured a 7-3 victory for Korea. It was the U.S.' second loss in the World Baseball Classic — Korea is the only undefeated team — and they need a win tomorrow against Mexico (and a little help) to advance.
Meanwhile, there is Hee Seop Choi. We have always liked him, because we love players who are huge, lumbering, clumsy and still productive; it reminds us that baseball has always been less of an athletic endeavor than other sports. We remember being at Wrigley Field a few years ago, when Choi pinch-hit in the 11th inning of a game against our Cardinals. Wrigley rocked with the sound of "Hee-Seop-CHOI! Hee-Seop-CHOI! Hee-Seop-CHOI!" In the clutch situation, Choi, true to form, walked.
The Joy Of Choi [Baseball Musings]