Pancake Bear

Ryu: “Angels didn’t want two Asian players on the team”

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From: https://jaysjournal.com/2019/12/26/blue-jays-behind-the-scenes-of-the-hyun-jin-ryu-signing/

Here’s the key quote:

”Despite serious interest from the Blue Jays, Ryu still wanted to wait for offers from the Angels and Dodgers. In the Dodgers case, it is believed that though there were discussions of bringing Ryu back, the offers that Ryu received were disappointing. As for the Angels, a formal offer was never put on the table. According to Ryu’s camp, the Angels didn’t want two Asian players on the same team. Rather than separating their marketing efforts between the Korean and Japanese markets (the Angels already have Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese player), they instead wanted to focus on Japan.”

This seems odd. Was this a request from Ohtani's camp? Was this Arte meddling and telling Eppler not to pursue Ryu? The info is from a translated article in Korea, so maybe Ryu’s camp was just speculating on why the Angels didn’t pursue him too hard? Really bizarre. 

But if that’s accurate that they didn’t want two Asian stars, I doubt that was Eppler making the call. Sounds more like he was given instructions from on high not to pursue Ryu. 

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I think navigating the cultural issues and the associated pressures of having both a Japanese and a Korean superstar on the same team is a real concern for an MLB team.

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11 minutes ago, Second Base said:

Wasn't Junichi Tazawa on the team in Ohtani's rookie season? And Wong was with the team briefly last year as well. 

Wong is an American. He was born and raised in Hawaii.

Tazawa is Japanese. He pitched in 9 games/8 innings in September.

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2 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

A reader forwarded this story to me and I ran it by Scott Boras and he said it’s not true. They never were told or led to believe in any way the Angels had any issue with having two Asian players. 

Thanks Jeff.

The story also says the Angels never made an offer to Ryu. Were you able to confirm this with Boras?

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