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.


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52 Comments on "Choo Likely Exempt From Military Service"


4 years 9 months ago

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

4 years 9 months ago

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
4 years 9 months 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
4 years 9 months ago

😮

johnsilver
4 years 9 months 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.

Montero1220
4 years 9 months ago

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

start_wearing_purple
4 years 9 months 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.

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
4 years 9 months ago

its just north
south is like japan

seanbergmanrules
4 years 9 months 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
4 years 9 months ago

hardworking and prideful nation.

4 years 9 months ago

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.

4 years 9 months ago

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

DEEDZITO
4 years 9 months ago

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

4 years 9 months ago

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.

4 years 9 months ago

Problem = Boras

MetsEventually
4 years 9 months ago

WOOO! Thank goodness

Rootdown
4 years 9 months 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
4 years 9 months ago

they already won the GOLD!!

DEEDZITO
4 years 9 months 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~~

dc21892
4 years 9 months ago

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

4 years 9 months ago

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

optionn
4 years 9 months 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.

4 years 9 months ago

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

4 years 9 months ago

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.

4 years 9 months ago

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.

4 years 9 months ago

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.

4 years 9 months ago

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.

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

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

dapoktan
4 years 9 months 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
4 years 9 months ago

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

BentoBox
4 years 9 months ago

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

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Wow, Jordan Bastian quickly working hard for the Indians.

4 years 9 months ago

Hehehehehehehe

penpaper
4 years 9 months ago

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

suffern
4 years 9 months ago

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

4 years 9 months ago

I say gold or executions!

TeamCropDusters
4 years 9 months ago

Castration.

NYBravosFan10
4 years 9 months 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.

NYBravosFan10
4 years 9 months 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.

Commander_Nate
4 years 9 months ago

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

Commander_Nate
4 years 9 months ago

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

icedrake523
4 years 9 months 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
4 years 9 months 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~~~

4 years 9 months ago

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.