American fans looking to get their fix while they wait to learn the fate of the Major League Baseball season have to look overseas, specifically to South Korea, where the top pro league is set for Opening Day on May 5.
Fortunately for White Sox fans, there are a couple familiar faces playing in the KBO who they can direct their rooting interests toward — even if South Side fans would rather forget one of them.
Odrisamer Despaigne, just one in the parade of ineffective fifth-starter options the White Sox tried out during the 2019 season, plays for the KT Wiz. And while "Seinfeld" taught us that nobody beats the Wiz, don't blame those who saw Despaigne's brief tenure on the South Side last season for being skeptical. He made three starts in a White Sox uniform, giving up 14 runs in 13.1 innings for a nasty 9.45 ERA.
White Sox fans likely have fonder memories of Tyler Saladino, the utility infielder who spent parts of four seasons on the South Side. He appeared in 246 games with the White Sox before going to the Milwaukee Brewers, and now he's with the Samsung Lions. His .231/.281/.330 slash line is probably not as memorable as his fantastic mustache, and we'll see how that facial hair goes over in Korea.
Following these two and the rest of the KBO might be made easier if the games come to American TV. ESPN reportedly tried to acquire the broadcast rights for free, which unsurprisingly did not immediately produce a deal.
Obviously watching Saladino face off against Despaigne is not what White Sox fans had in mind coming into the most anticipated season of South Side baseball in years. But with Major League Baseball still on hold indefinitely while the world battles the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this is the highest level of pro baseball happening right now.