A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, like a lot of MLB players, is keeping close tabs on the Korean Baseball (KBO) league, which began its season earlier this week.
“First and foremost, we should all be hoping their health goes right,” Bassitt told NBC Sports California on Tuesday via FaceTime.
Not only in a sense of human interest, but also for what MLB can gain from South Korean teams returning to action first.
“If their health-wise goes right, it kind of opens the doors everyone else to tip toe back into normalcy a little bit,” Bassitt said.
But that is the unenviable challenge, a margin for error that is extremely minimal. Any mis-steps in procedure, or just flat out bad luck could cause a domino effect for sports leagues around the world.
“Obviously, that’s going to hurt our chances of doing anything,” Bassitt noted.
Outside of spectating for curiosity, it’s also been hard to miss how flashier baseball seems in Asia.
Bassitt thinks North America should take notice.
“That’s kind of how you stay relevant,” Bassitt said. “Some old timers may think that’s wrong, and I understand that.”
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The pitcher says he largely associates with a traditional approach to the game, but sees plenty of room for emotion and personality, for players, teams and venues.
“What we do at the Coliseum is probably the most non-old school stuff as it is,” Bassitt said. “With the drums and all that stuff. I think we need a lot more of it, to be honest with you.”