Baseball Is Back In South Korea. What Can MLB Learn From The KBO?

While Major League Baseball is considering creative proposals to get on the field at some point this year, baseball fans do have alternatives to watch now. Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League — currently playing with four teams — started play on April 12, and South Korea’s 10-team KBO League opened on Tuesday looking like this. 1 The KBO in particular, which has been around since 1982, could be the focus of a lot of attention in MLB’s absence: ESPN struck a deal to televise six KBO games per week, bat flips and all. MLB itself might learn something from the leagues that have started playing ball. Players in both South Korea and Taiwan are discovering how to play without fans present, and the KBO has plans to gradually return fans to stadiums. But even the basic structures of the games could give MLB ideas: The KBO has game-length limits with ties allowed, a universal designated hitter and an interesting wild-card format.

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