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Big League Stew

Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu receives new identity on Fox Sports broadcast

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(Fox Sports West - MLB.TV)

As the old cliché goes, it's spring training for everybody.

That includes players, umpires, announcers, and yes, even those behind the scenes of Major League Baseball telecasts need a little time to knock the rust off. For a classic example of just how bad it's needed by all parties involved, look no further than the person in charge of graphics for Fox Sports West during Friday afternoon's Cactus League battle for Los Angeles between the Angels and Dodgers.

With one of the Dodgers’ prized offseason signings, South Korea's Hyun-Jin Ryu, taking the hill for his second spring appearance, a graphic appeared correctly identifying Hyun-Jin as the starting pitcher. Good start, and really all that was necessary under the circumstance, but it was decided to go the extra mile by including the 26-year-old rookie’s career stats.

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Unfortunately, with his official major league debut still one month away, he doesn’t have any of those just yet. The numbers you see actually belong to another South Korean pitcher named Jae-Kuk Ryu, who indeed hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008 after cups of coffee with the Cubs and Rays, and at last check isn‘t even an active player.

Yikes.

But hey, what can you really say? Sometimes blunders and oversights just happen. I’m certainly not above typos and confusion myself, as I’m sure you’ve learned over the years. It’s just a funny occurrence considering all the hype Hyun-Jin Ryu received after signing his six-year, $36 million contract with the Dodgers in December.

It's also a mistake that will likely never be repeated, so best to get it out of the now while people like me are the only ones paying attention.

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Now, as for Hyun-Jin Ryu's pitching performance on Friday. That may have actually resembled Jae-Kuk Ryu's career a little too much. While he did strike out three Angels over his two innings of work, he also allowed four hits, including a two-run homer to Josh Hamilton. Not a great day, but we're sure those numbers will improve greatly as he gets settled in and that any further confusion will be eliminated once and for all.

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