KIA’s newest foreign pitcher, Mario Sanchez, 29, is having an unexpectedly difficult time adjusting to the KBO.
Sanchez made waves with his unique pitching style on July 9 against Suwon KT, his first game after joining KIA. KT manager Lee Kang-cheol complained about a double-kicking motion when pitching and a fake run blocking motion, but the umpires at the time pointed out that the double-kicking motion was a “balk if it happens again” and the fake run blocking motion was not a problem. Sanchez pitched 6.1 innings of five-hit ball, striking out 10 and walking one to earn his first win.
Sanchez did not commit the double-king that was called on him in the first game, but he continued to use the fake blocking motion.
When a runner is on first base, Sanchez suddenly bends his knees and turns his back to the left to look at the runner. Sometimes he stays there, sometimes he looks back at the runner without stopping, sometimes he turns his back to the runner and stops, and sometimes he gets back into his set position and stops. The point is that the runner is surprised by the sudden backward glance and finds it difficult to move.
“I saw a teammate do it in Taiwan and tried it, and I was able to catch the runner right away,” Sanchez said of his first win. I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. It was his “routine.
However, since then, referees have been calling him out on the move. The content has also changed.
On July 11, the last day of the three-game series against Samsung after the first inning, Jong-cheol Park, then head of the umpiring team, visited KIA to warn them about Sanchez’s blocking motion. He told Sanchez that it was okay to fake a sign while facing the batter and opening his shoulders to the runner, but that it was a walk if he turned his back to the runner on first base and kept his shoulders completely closed. The focus seems to be on whether the runner can see the pitcher’s shoulder and prepare for the move.
The umpires made no mention of Sanchez’s second and third appearances in the second half of the season, but he was warned again in his fourth appearance, this time at Pohang Samsung Electronics. This time, it was the team manager Choi Won-soo, who had no problem with the opponent’s protest in Sanchez’s debut. The warning was that if the player took the set position again after the fake move and made a normal check, it would be recognized as a normal play, but if the player made a check with the fake move, a balk would be given. This can be understood to mean that all checks that follow the fake move are deceptive unless the set position is properly reset. This is different from what Team Leader Park Jong-cheol conveyed earlier.
However, on the 6th of this month against Gwangju Hanwha, the same move that was warned by Choi Soo-won at Samsung Electronics on the 1st was used. In the top of the second inning, Choi Jae-hoon made a fake move at first base and unknowingly blocked the ball without being in set position. Sanchez was then called out, and pandemonium ensued. The game was umpired by Team Korea’s Jong-cheol Park. Immediately after the incident, the umpires gathered to discuss the situation.토토사이트
The umpires weren’t completely clear on the interpretation of the play, as it was a unique move that hadn’t been seen before in the KBO, or there was a problem with the communication process. However, if there was a possibility of deception, it should have already been cautioned in the first game, when Lee Kang-chul protested. If there were subsequent corrections that needed to be made, they should have been made quickly, but the question of whether or not Sanchez’s move was deceptive was not resolved for a month.
The pitching motion that has become a routine with runners on base has been called out for something else over and over again, and Sanchez has wandered off. He hasn’t pitched more than five innings in back-to-back starts in the last two of five games.
Kia president Shim Jae-hak, who spoke with Sanchez, said, “I made the corrections as I was told, but then I heard something else, and I think the player was confused because if he actually made that motion, he should have been given a walk. As the story kept coming up, it seemed like he was fighting with his pitching motion when he should have been fighting with the batter. I think the umpires need to make a uniform call on the motion itself.”