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Shin-Soo Choo is trying to slug his way out of the army

Nov 15, 2010, 10:33 AM EDT

Shin-Soo Choo

As we’ve mentioned before, Shin-Soo Choo is up against South Korea’s mandate that all able-bodied men must serve in the armed forces for two-years prior to turning 30. Choo is 28, and his military obligation is falling concurrently with his arbitration and free agency years. The straight-from-Hollywood-twist: if he can lead the Korean national baseball team to a gold medal in the Asian Games, he’ll likely get out of his commitment.  Really, all this is missing is an angle in which he’s teamed with prisoners or something.

Well, the Asian games have gotten underway, and Choo is off to a good start: he hit two two-run homers Saturday as South Korea beat Taiwan, 6-1. Taiwan was the gold medal winner the last time around, so this is probably a good sign for Choo.

And if he fails: he, Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder and Grossberger can all escape while the rodeo is ending. Or something.

  1. Lukehart80 - Nov 15, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I did not expect to be keeping tabs on the Asian Games. He won’t REALLY miss two years from the prime of his career for this, will he??? Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse for the Indians…

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 15, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    My suspicion is that if they don’t win the gold, Choo will apply for American citizenship. It will make him wildly unpopular at home, but I don’t know how he could risk tens of millions of dollars by sitting out his late arbitration/early free agency years in the army. That’s likely going to be the only big payday he ever gets.

  3. Adam - Nov 15, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Craig – Do you think he would get his American citizenship before he had to start serving his military term? If he has to get 2 years in before he’s 30 it would seem they’d be waiting with an application for him to fill out the moment his team loses. And if he’s in the military I would think it’d be tough for America to grant him citizenship and not harm foreign relations.

  4. frankvzappa - Nov 15, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    with the millions he will get, he can buy himself out of the problem through back channels…lets not pretend this world works differently

  5. Reflex - Nov 15, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    If he wins I’ll cheer him on as its a legitimate method of avoiding service as per his nation’s rules. If he loses and then abandons his country for the money, well, I won’t ever cheer for him again.

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