Yang Sang-moon, the head coach of the South Korean women’s national baseball team, exploded at the umpire’s behavior.
The team took part in the Women’s Baseball World Cup 2024 (WBSC) qualifier against Australia in Thunder Bay, Canada, on Nov. 11 (KST).
The game was officiated by Italian referee Elsia Cicconi. However, umpire Cicconi rushed the game even though there was still time left in the game when the pitcher was changed without any prior discussion or consultation.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Korean National Team switched pitchers from Choi Song-hee to Lee Ji-sook. Due to the structure of the stadium, the pitcher from the bullpen pitching area had to walk a long way around the stadium to reach the mound. However, referee Chiconi did not take this into account and allowed Lee Ji-sook, who was late to the mound, to throw only two practice pitches before proceeding with the game.
National team coach Yang Sang-moon jumped out of the dugout and protested, but Chiconi refused to allow her to throw additional practice pitches, saying that the walking time was included.
Soon after, Referee Chiconi took issue with Lee’s “habit” of bringing her hand to her mouth and blowing “hoo-hoo” to shake off the rosin after applying it. Referee Chiconi strongly warned Lee Ji-sook, saying, “It’s a spitting behavior.” Earlier in the day, Chiconi also warned Choi Song-hee, who started the game, not to blow rosin with her hands.
Then, in the dugout, the national team coaches instructed Lee Ji-sook, “Don’t blow with your hands together, but spread them out to show that you don’t intentionally get spit on.” In baseball, saliva is considered a foreign object. Throwing a ball with a foreign object on it is foul play.
To demonstrate her lack of intent, Lee opened her palm and blew the rosin powder in front of the umpire, but the umpire, Chiconi, suddenly became agitated and penalized Lee.
But even this penalty was outrageous. With runners on second and third, Chiconi moved McClain from first to second base. This is not in the penalty rules.
Finally, Yang exploded. Yang took to the field again and argued with the umpire, shouting “Why,” which means “why” in English.
If the pitcher fails to comply with the umpire’s warning, he will be charged with one ball. Instead, the umpire called for a runner to move to second base. The team protested strongly, and the Australian officials shrugged their shoulders and looked puzzled by the move to second base.
After a lengthy discussion, umpire Chiconi corrected his decision and awarded a single ball. However, Lee was unfazed, and with runners on second and third, she got Aaron to ground out in front of the pitcher to end the inning without further damage.
The reason why Cicconi’s warning seemed like a “futile rant” was because the team had never been called out for this behavior in international competition before. However, Cicconi continued to criticize the habits of the national team’s pitchers. 먹튀검증
Chiconi’s “atrocities” didn’t stop there. This time, he pointed out the color of the glove of Kim Na-yeon, who pitched in relief of Lee Ji-sook. The reason given was that Kim’s glove was white, but she had pitched 2.1 innings the day before against the United States. Umpire Chiconi ordered a glove change, and Kim went back to the mound with pitcher Choi Song-hee’s black glove.
The team lost to Australia 3-10. It was a game of skill, with six defensive errors, but it was also a game of focus, with the referee constantly calling Korea out. In many ways, it was a disappointing game against Australia.