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Baltimore Orioles scouts banned from Korea Baseball Association events

by on Feb.10, 2012 @ 5:34 pm, under Other

USA Today Daily Pitch's Seth Livingstone reports the following:

South Korea has banned Orioles scouts from attending Korean Baseball Association events, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The move is fallout from Baltimore's recent signing of 17-year-old pitching prospect Kim Seong-min, who Wednesday was banned from playing or coaching baseball in his home country.

...

"Poaching our players like this makes it difficult for (South Korea) to keep its scouting rules tight and to develop our youth sports programs," said Michael Park, the KBO's operations manager. "We only have 50 high school teams and taking promising players away like this makes it very hard for Korean baseball to stay strong."

The Yonhap News Agency article goes into a little more detail on the ban.  A snip:

The Korea Baseball Association (KBA) announced Thursday it has informed the MLB commissioner's office and the Orioles of its decision, saying scouts from all major league teams in the future signing Korean student athletes not in the final years of their schools will be banned from KBA-sanctioned games. That will include all national high school and university tournaments, often frequented by major league scouts.

"To prevent a further exodus of top prospects, we will limit (major league teams') access to players," the KBA said.

This could set an interesting precedent.  The NPB is no doubt keeping a close eye on developments.

UPDATE 2/11 @ 6:31pm - The Associated Press is reporting that the Baltimore Orioles have apologized to the KBA and KBO.  A snip:

Dan Duquette, Baltimore's new executive vice president of baseball operations, apologized to the Korea Baseball Organization and the Korea Baseball Association for an "unintentional breach of protocol in failing to tender a status check in the process of signing" Kim.

"The Orioles respect Major League Baseball's recruiting policies and the governing bodies and people that contribute to the growth of baseball around the world," Duquette said in a release issued Friday night.