Choo Likely Exempt From Military Service

Shin-Soo Choo will likely be exempt from military service since he helped South Korea beat Taiwan for gold at the Asian games yesterday, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). As Bastian explained yesterday, able-bodied South Korean men must spend two years in the military by the end of their 30th year. There's a way out, though; athletes receive an exemption if they win gold at the Asian games.

The 28-year-old Scott Boras client would have lost some prime seasons if he had been required to serve. Choo has been remarkably consistent for the past two campaigns, following up a .300/.394/.489 line with a .300/.401/.484 line. His well-balanced play makes him an offseason extension candidate.


52 Responses to Choo Likely Exempt From Military Service Leave a Reply

  1. well, at least he didnt have to go to canada.

    • Well take some pride in your country. In college, I knew an American citizen of South Korean ancestry who went back to serve because of family pride (and grandparent imposed guilt).

      • DEEDZITO 5 years ago

        haha that’s not only because of his family pride but to gain citizenship of south korea so that he could have his options opened for job markets and so on~~ Duel citizenship is allowed in south korea only if you go to serve its military or if you are Hines Ward type of guy~~

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      😮

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      That is something his agent would do.. Or anywhere else to escape anything compelling but outrageous rubbish he spews forth this time of the year when his clients become free agents.

      Why doesn’t Boras just take his place and serve the 2 years for him.. A perfect picture.. Seeing Boras digging holes in the mud he slings all the time with his mouth.

  2. Montero1220 5 years ago

    So happy for him! He’s seriously one of the best/underrated outfielders in the AL. Would love to see him in pinstripes!

  3. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Didn’t even realize the Asian games were going on. Well good for Choo, he’s got a great career ahead of him.Meanwhile in some out of the way bar Bill Bavarsi is trying to convince someone Ben Broussard for Choo was a worthwhile deal.

  4. As a Twins rube, it’ll be unfortunate to have to face him for the next 2 years. But, all the same, it’s great to see a player get to keep playing, especially considering the fact that North and South Korea may not be the best places to be these days…

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

      its just north
      south is like japan

      • seanbergmanrules 5 years ago

        South Korea is an amazing story. Over a period of about 35 years they went from being the poorest country in the world to one of the top 15 economies.

        • FriedCalamari 5 years ago

          hardworking and prideful nation.

          • I wrote a thesis for my doctorate explaining how I think the fact that North Korea being so close caused the South Koreans to work harder than any other nation and became what they are today.

      • sry, south korea is NOT like japan. try to avoid statements like these around koreans, for they will not be well received.

      • DEEDZITO 5 years ago

        south is like better than japan~~ get it right~~ lol

  5. I think now that this service issue is cleared up, Choo def. gets extended this offseason. The Indians would be crazy not too, since he is there best player.

  6. MetsEventually 5 years ago

    WOOO! Thank goodness

  7. Rootdown 5 years ago

    So if they lose the finals and get silver, he has to serve?

    So the act of playing for the national team is not enough, only if you win?

    • FriedCalamari 5 years ago

      they already won the GOLD!!

    • DEEDZITO 5 years ago

      maybe that’s why US came up short in WBC because they don’t care about winning but find it prideful just to play for the country~~ what a shame~~ they should be able to KILL everyone like the DREAM TEAM of the 90’s~~

  8. dc21892 5 years ago

    It’s very odd to be exempt because of that.

  9. This is a bigger win for Choo than it would seem. Had Choo not won, he would have very likely become a U.S. citizen at the expense of the South Korean military rule (and fan base). The government has a tough time making an exception for anyone qualified to serve physically and it would have been a real shame for Choo to renounce his South Korean citizenship.

    I’m sure he feels a weight off of his shoulders with the win. He’s an easy baseball player to root for, and while I am not Korean (or Asian, for that matter) he is quite the hero over there, so I am happy that he will likely be exempt and still maintain his Asian fanbase.
    -wtk

  10. optionn 5 years ago

    Like a millionaire from a U.S. baseball team would have EVER gone to serve in a tough South Korean army and make less than 10,000.

    • Ignorant comment. He would have had no choice. What do you not understand about that, kid?

      • As ignorant as the comment sounds Choo would actually of had a choice. He could of kept playing baseball whether he was exempt or not and just forfeited his citizenship in South Korea. In this case if he ever returned to South Korea, he would have been arrested but they wouldn’t come over here and physically make him go back and serve.

        • While this is a choice to most Americans, just about every other country (especially in Asia) still believe in honor and family. To us it would seem he would have a choice, but I can almost bet he felt he didn’t, and would have served in the military if they asked.

          • I’m not debating that honor and family aren’t a very integral part of Asian culture. That is no secret. I was stating the kid was right about the fact Choo does have a choice even though he portrayed it in an ignorant fashion. There is no “to us he has a choice”. He does have the choice and the assumption is to him it would have probably been a no-brainer because of his values. Nevertheless a choice still exists. When your only skill is baseball you only have a certain amount of time to make your living. Don’t think that wasn’t debated even by him. Americans used to hold honor and family as high as anybody else but unfortunately times change. Times are changing around the globe and more and more of the younger generations in Asia are starting to stray away from ‘traditional’ beliefs. We cannot assume Choo’s beliefs unless you know him personally. Which I would bet none of us do.

          • I’m not debating that honor and family aren’t a very integral part of Asian culture. That is no secret. I was stating the kid was right about the fact Choo does have a choice even though he portrayed it in an ignorant fashion. There is no “to us he has a choice”. He does have the choice and the assumption is to him it would have probably been a no-brainer because of his values. Nevertheless a choice still exists. When your only skill is baseball you only have a certain amount of time to make your living. Don’t think that wasn’t debated even by him. Americans used to hold honor and family as high as anybody else but unfortunately times change. Times are changing around the globe and more and more of the younger generations in Asia are starting to stray away from ‘traditional’ beliefs. We cannot assume Choo’s beliefs unless you know him personally. Which I would bet none of us do.

  11. safari_punch 5 years ago

    I’m sure he could have bought his way out too.

    • dapoktan 5 years ago

      While rich people have been known to be able to dodge the draft, Choo would have been too famous and too much of a national icon to have bought his way out of it.. And it would have been hard to not return to Korea and not serve, just the way Korean society works.

      • safari_punch 5 years ago

        Are you Korean or have been over there for some time?

    • BentoBox 5 years ago

      You can’t do that in South Korea. Even the most famous idols there had to go the army.

  12. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Wow, Jordan Bastian quickly working hard for the Indians.

  13. Hehehehehehehe

  14. penpaper 5 years ago

    Why aren’t the Indians trying to extend him? He should retire as an Indian.

  15. suffern 5 years ago

    Talk about motivation to win a ball game! Maybe someone should slip a note to Coach K and get Team USA fired up :)

  16. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    Wow this is absolutely phenomenal. If he would have had to serve and not made it back for whatever reason it would have been the saddest story ever. However if he had gone and made it back it would have been the best feel-good story since Dimaggio and Ted Williams. I’m just glad the guy gets to avoid all of that.

  17. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    Wow this is absolutely phenomenal. If he would have had to serve and not made it back for whatever reason it would have been the saddest story ever. However if he had gone and made it back it would have been the best feel-good story since Dimaggio and Ted Williams. I’m just glad the guy gets to avoid all of that.

  18. Commander_Nate 5 years ago

    Congrats to Choo, but extension for a Scott Boras client? ROFLMAO!!! Yeah right.

  19. Commander_Nate 5 years ago

    Congrats to Choo, but extension for a Scott Boras client? ROFLMAO!!! Yeah right.

  20. icedrake523 5 years ago

    Good for him. Though he should have gotten the exemption earlier. IIRC, they gave exemption to the players on the 2006 WBC team (which Choo wasnt on) but not the 2009 WBC team (which Choo was and got further).

    • DEEDZITO 5 years ago

      that’s because at the first tournament the korean government didn’t expect the team to do so well~~ and raised the morals of citizens of south korea by getting as far as the team did. However, the second time around the bar was raised and the exemption was placed on winning the tournament. which i think is fair~ and most koreans found it fair except I guess choo~~ lol but I’m happy for him now~~ Choo Choo~~~

      • I do not think you can assume most Koreans found it fair as I, among many others, thought it was NOT fair. Korean government is not very well known for consistency.

  21. sportsnut969 5 years ago

    This made Boras very Happy, and the Indians front office who now will have him another year before they have to really decide what team they will have to trade him to.

    Everybody knows that Choo will not playing very much longer for the Cleveland Cheaptons, the team that will be cellar dwellers for many years to come, Heck their payroll will be near half of what the Royals will be falling in the 35 to 40 mil range.

    And the payroll will also be dropping more before the end of the year when they deal Sizemore when he has proven he is all the way back by the All-Star Break.

    The best team to trade him to will be Seattle ( His Hometown ) and where it has been rumored that even Sizemore has said he would like to finish his career.

  22. optionn 5 years ago

    The guy would have renounced his citizenship and kept playing. This stupid story has been infecting the internet for about 2 years. He is a millionaire in the United States playing baseball- no way in the world he was ever going to serve. If he wanted to serve he would have a long time ago.

    • Unfortunately or fortunately (whichever way you choose to see it), most famous and rich Koreans tend to postpone/extend their enlistment date until the gov’t no longer allows them to. Many actors/musicians making a fair sum of money (Choo has only made just over $1 MM over his baseball career: 2008 $390,000, 2009 $420,300, 2010 $461,100) work until they can no longer receive extensions. They then enlist; generally to much fanfare in Korea (including pictures published of them in their fatigues with their brothers in arms.) A big deal is made when they finish their service. IMHO, I believe Choo would have eventually gone back to serve.

  23. Ethanator99 5 years ago

    Sweet. Now Reds, trade for him and throw him in LF

  24. TeamCropDusters 5 years ago

    Best ALL-AROUND RF in baseball. Seriously…. name a better all around RF’er in baseball. The only one close is Nelson Cruz and Upton is behind both of them.

  25. pokesaladannie 5 years ago

    Is there any truth to the rumor floating around the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Orlando that Shin-Soo Choo may be dealt to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp?

  26. gigantes2425 5 years ago

    Let’s hope so

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