Sports

Live Sports Are Finally Back on ESPN

That’s right, live sports are back! Well, not any of the major professional leagues in America, but we’ll take what we can get at this point. The Korean Baseball League started up early Tuesday morning, and ESPN will be broadcasting six games per week. If you’re a night owl who misses live sports in your life, the KBO is here for you until U.S. sports start up again.

What is the Korean Baseball Organization?

The Korean Baseball Organization is the professional baseball league based in South Korea. The KBO started in 1982, and it’s grown to become one of the most competitive baseball leagues in the world. With just 10 teams in the entire KBO, it’s a much smaller league than the MLB, but it’s just as fun to watch.

Each team plays 144 games every season. The top five teams in the final standings make the playoffs, but the bracket is much different than any found in American sports.

In the KBO playoffs, the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds play each other one time in the Wild Card round. Whichever team wins moves on to play the No. 3 seed in a best-of-five Semi-Playoff series. The winner of that series plays the No. 2 seed in another best-of-five series for a chance to go to the finals.

The Korean Series is a best-of-seven series between the No. 1 seed from the regular season and whichever team survives the three previous playoff rounds. The best team during the regular season automatically punches its ticket to the championship series, so every game matters that much more.

The KBO is known for its incredible bat flips

The KBO doesn’t have as much talent as the MLB, but its players sure love to have fun on the diamond. Over the past few years, the KBO has become famous for its monster bat flips after home runs.

There’s nothing more disrespectful to a pitcher than giving up a mammoth homer and watching the batter fling his bat in the air in celebration. As if giving up the bomb wasn’t enough, a well-executed bat flip can take a pitcher mentally out of the game in a second.

Jose Bautista made bat flipping popular again during the 2015 MLB playoffs. Bautista belted a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers and flung his bat as far as he could afterward.

KBO batters have made bat flipping an art form. The quickness they show from contact to flip is unparalleled. They must practice the actual flip in batting practice just as much as their swing. Do yourself a favor and check out the best bat flippers in the KBO. You won’t be disappointed.

You can now watch live KBO games on ESPN

The KBO became one of the first professional sports leagues to start up amid the global pandemic on May 5. Five games were played on Tuesday morning, and the Samsung Lions faced off against the NC Dinos live on ESPN.

ESPN will air six KBO games per week across its network. The schedule for the first week of play can be found here.

Unfortunately, the KBO plays most of its games after midnight on the east coast. The first broadcast started at 1 a.m. EST, but some games start closer to 6 a.m. How can you beat waking up to live baseball in the morning at a time like this?

The MLB is still far away from beginning play, but the KBO will have to suffice until then. Trust us, the bat flips make the KBO as entertaining as American baseball, if not more so.