New Cards pitcher Seung-Hwan Oh brings with him a great nickname
Reliever called 'The Final Boss' makes one-year deal (with club option) official with St. Louis.
At a press conference Monday afternoon, St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said new right-hander Seung-hwan Oh would "compete for late-inning role" in 2016, and that incumbent Trevor Rosenthal remains the team's closer. The Cards will pay Oh a total of around $5 million, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
A job is one thing, but Rosenthal does not possess the nickname Oh was given in his homeland of Korea, where the 33-year-old has competed for most of his professional life:
"The Final Boss."
Wow, that's good, and especially appropriate for a guy with 357 saves between the KBO and the Nippon Central League. Possibly more amazing is that Oh has a backup nickname, as if he'd need one, that might be even better.
"Stone Buddha." It's for his emotionless "poker face" on the mound, notes journalist-scout Daniel Kim, via the blog Viva El Birdos. (One problem with "Stone Budda," no matter how appealing it sounds, it might be taken with disrespect by Buddhists. It's hard to imagine a nickname with "Jesus" in it gaining a lot of popularity here, for example. Still, it's there if you want to call him that.
Going by this photo taken by Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch, either nickname seems well put:
A photo posted by Derrick Goold (@dgoold) on Jan 11, 2016 at 10:22am PST
Here's Oh pitching most recently for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan:
Oh's backstory is no less interesting. Reportedly, he is under a pending suspension from the KBO (and subject to punishment by the South Korean government) for gambling in a foreign country. His pending suspension is not for betting on baseball, Kim says, but instead for going to casinos not based in Korea. It's against the law for a Korean to do that.
The Cardinals agreement with Oh came before the KBO announced its penalty against him
There are many gambling opportunities for Oh in the St. Louis area, but this doesn't seem like a case that will be resolved with federal agents from Seoul rappeling from a ceiling at the Argosy while Oh plays high-stakes poker with his buddies. It only matters once he goes back to Korea.
Hey, we all have to face our own Final Boss at some point.
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