When people ask you if we’ll ever see another Ted Williams, tell them to look no further than Cleveland Indians platoon-y outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who could find himself in a different kind of platoon in a couple of years.
THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER notes that Choo must fulfill a homeland obligation of two years in the South Korean military, with the enlisting deadline being 2010. Much like the Splendid Splinter, Choo might have to miss some of his most productive years. Certainly this may be his biggest roadblock between himself and 500 home runs and a .344 career average.
Choo notes that he could loophole out of the two-year agreement if he wins an Olympic medal made out of some sort of metal. But the country doesn’t allow participants to be on an MLB 25-man roster, and it’s unlikely the Indians will send him to the minors just to do that. (And, c’mon, even though Korea finished tied for third at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, they sort of overachieved in that tournament.)
This puts a huge dent in the SPORTSbyBROOKS 2010 Cleveland Indians Depth Chart Projection (we have one for every team going ten years into the future … don’t question it.) We now have Andy Marte playing in left field every day. We apologize for the correction, and be afraid, Cleveland. Be horribly, horribly afraid.