BUSAN, South Korea –– Ten Lotte Giants have been named starters for the KBO All-Star game, which is set to take place in Daejeon on July 21. The Giants, along with Samsung, SK and Doosan make up the Eastern League stars.
Catcher Kang Min-ho led all players with 892,727 votes, which took place from May 29 through July 8. Pitcher Song Seung-jun, first baseman Park Jong-yoon, second baseman Cho Sung-hwan, third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun, shortstop Moon Gyu-hyun, outfielders Son Ah-sup, Jeon Jun-woo, Kim Joo-chan and designated hitter Hong Sung-heun were also selected as starters.
The popularity of the Giants around the country was surely noted in the voting process, but also showed the flaws of the system. The Giants are paired with league leaders Samsung who are currently a half game ahead of the Giants, but the defending Asian Series champs failed to field even one starting All-Star. Lee Seung-yeob, currently in the top five in batting average, home runs and RBIs was the most notable snub to fans.
SK, with Choi Jung's 18 home runs and all Doosan players also failed to make the cut.
The Western league starters are pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (Hanwha), catcher Heo Do-hwan (Nexen), first baseman Kim Tae-kyun (Hanwha), second baseman Ahn Chi-hong (Kia), third baseman Lee Beom-ho (Kia), shortstop Kang Jung-ho (Nexen), and outfielders Lee Byungk-kyu (LG), Lee Yong-kyu (Kia) and Lee Jin-young (LG). The DH is another LG star, Park Yong-taek, according to the Korea Times.
However, the All-Star game could still be canceled if the association of professional baseball players refuses to play after its threat to boycott over the KBO’s recent decision to delay expanding the league by one team.