Nobody, nobody but Choo

By Anthony Castrovince/

It was South Korea’s answer to Babe Ruth meeting South Korea’s answer to the Spice Girls.

This was, by Korean standards, a major meeting that took place in front of the Indians’ dugout Sunday morning at Progressive Field, when Shin-Soo Choo met the Wonder Girls, the girl group whose smash hit single, “Nobody,” sounds suspiciously like an homage to the Tribe’s right fielder (“I want nobody, nobody but Choo!”)

Here in the States, Choo is still an up-and-coming outfielder proving himself in his first full Major League season. And the Wonder Girls are opening acts for the Jonas Brothers on their world tour, which recently stopped next door at the Quicken Loans Arena.

But in Korea, Choo and the Wonder Girls are sensations.

“What just happened here,” said Tribe bullpen catcher Dave Wallace, “is going to be on the front page of every paper and in all the magazines in Korea.”

HQ1F7462.jpgIt was Wallace who bailed Choo out when the Wonder Girls asked Choo to dance with them for some publicity photos (credit for this one goes to Dan Mendlik of the Indians).

“I’m not a good dancer,” Choo said.

So in stepped Wallace to show Choo the “Nobody” dance.

“That was the highlight of my year,” Wallace joked.

A red-eyed Choo was battling jet lag after returning to Cleveland late Saturday from a quick trip to his home near Phoenix for the birth of his second son, Aiden. So he probably wasn’t in much of a dancing mood.

But Choo, who was in Sunday’s starting lineup, seemed relieved after meeting the Wonder Girls, who gave him a hat, a T-shirt and a CD.

“I was nervous,” Choo admitted. “Playing the game will be easier [by comparison].”

Choo will play his game and the Wonder Girls will sing their songs (they were set to perform at the Taste of Cleveland later Sunday) with pride in their native land.

“They told me, ‘Don’t give up, show everybody we are Korean,'” Choo said. “When I play good, everybody sees and says, ‘Where is he from?’ And when they sing, everybody sees and says, ‘Where are they from?’ We’re from Korea.”


  • The CastroTurf Commenters (who are nearly as popular in Korea as the Wonder Girls) seem, by and large, to fall in line with those who believe Grady Sizemore should have been shut down sooner. And I certainly think the concern that a guy playing through those injuries could be opening himself up to further damage or a longer rehab by playing every day is a valid one.
  • But I also think that this issue wouldn’t be getting nearly as much attention if Sizemore wasn’t the one involved. Kelly Shoppach, for instance, played last season with a bum knee that required arthroscopic surgery at season’s end, and no one paid it any mind. Of more precise comparison is Travis Hafner’s elbow issue that hampered him throughout the 2004 season. Pronk had surgery at season’s end to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from the elbow joint. He recovered in plenty of time to post one of his finest seasons in 2005.
  • My point is that players gut it out through pain all the time — often unbeknownst to us — and perhaps a professional team of doctors and trainers has a better feel for this kind of thing than the rest of us do.
  • If anything, fans’ concerns should be pointed toward Sizemore, who waited more than two months to tell the training staff he was dealing with the elbow issue.
  • CF Michael Brantley is off to a nice start — a five-game hitting streak to open his Major League career. He’s batting .368 (7-for-19) with an RBIs, two runs and a steal.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Chris Gimenez, who gets a rare start behind the plate today, is 2-for-39 and 1-for-23. Also of note: Hafner is 2-for-17 with a homer, Matt LaPorta is 2-for-20, Andy Marte is 1-for-16 with a homer and Luis Valbuena is 2-for-19.
  • Joe Mauer has hit safely in all 11 games against the Indians this year. He’s batting .512 (22-for-43) with three doubles, four homers, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored. If you go back to last year, he has a 14-game hitting streak against the Tribe.
  • Jason Kubel also kills this team. He is batting .404 (19-for-47) with six walks, four doubles, six homers, 15 RBIs and nine runs scored against the Tribe.
  • The two things I’ve heard most in and around the ballpark the last few hours are: “Did you hear the Wonder Girls are here?” and “Who are the Wonder Girls?”
  • Finally, it needs to be said: I love that Shin-Soo and Woon Mi Choo have named their sons Alan and Aiden. They must be embracing their Gaelic side. Aiden, for the record, was born at 12:38 p.m. Saturday and weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces.


UPDATE: I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble, but not only do the Wonder Girls lip synch, but they use not one, but two fake microphones. They wear the McDonald’s drivethru-style mic headset, and they have microphone stands in front of them. Talk about overkill.


AC, your comparison to Pronk is a good one, but I think you’re stopping short. I think the Sizemore situation can also be compared to Pronk from 2008 — and it’s not likely he’s returned to every day form this year.
And that’s what I’m saying. You’ve got a guy on the roster who exemplifies the uncertainty of surgery and rehab as far as timelines are concerned, so why not use him as a cautionary tale?
And I don’t think any of us have a problem with the decision to play Sizemore when they didn’t know about his injury. Our issue is that they said he’d need surgery in the off season way back in July, so once this season was all but lost, it seems odd to keep playing him, given they a) knew everything and b) had conceded the season.

Oh, and Shoppach was never inteded to be our every day catcher this year, so his condition during last season wasn’t a concern because, well, he wasn’t going to be out there all the time. If he didn’t recover in time, it just meant Victor would catch every game — something most of us wanted this year, anyway.
Particularly with the rebuilding we’re doing, Grady is key to just about everything.

Very good point LACF, I agree with you on everything. Oh and AC, the only reason why Castro’s Commentators aren’t as popular as The Wonder Girls yet in South Korea is because “Friends Forever” hasn’t been released yet. We are just tweeking it as we speak. And when we also perform a scene from “Weekend At Bernies…A Musical” I have one thing to say….overnight sensation. I guarentee it.

The Wonder Girls don’t lip-synch. Have you wondered why they would even decide to have 2 sets of microphones? The standing mics are stage props that go along with their retro-themed song ‘Nobody’. Since they’re constantly changing positions, they can’t possibly sing into the standing mics that don’t move. So they use the headset mics instead. If they lip synched, why would they have two mic sets… Would make more sense to just have the standing mics. You should try to think?

What are you talking about? They DO NOT lip-sync. I bet you only saw one performance of them and you judged them like that. By the way, the standing microphones are props, hello? Did you not realize that? Their real mics are the headset. Duh. Don’t mean to sound rude, but you should research a bit more before you make incorrect comments.

Admittedly, I only saw one performance. I stood 15 feet from the Wonder Girls today, and they were lip-synching. So why wear the prop for this particular performance? That’s my point. And it was made in jest, anyway, so please pass along my apologies to the rest of the Wonder Girls fan club.

AC, you’ll be proud of CC’s performance of “Friends Forver” and we won’t be lip-synching. I guarentee that.

This I’ve got to see.

Hey, dipshit? Um, one, the mic stands are meant to be props and only an inbred would not be able to tell that, and two, go watch some videos of them on youtube, they don’t lip sync. Go get your ears checked. Deuces!

But good minutiae, aside from that idiotic comment. Sorry, in nations other than America, the artists can actually sing. I know, us Americans are used to the Katy Perrys and the GaGas who are actually horrendous.

AC, you think you could update us with Wood’s contract status? When does his vesting option kick in, will he reach it this year, etc. Maybe in the next minutiae or even on this post. Thanks.

nmf227, you are all around quality. I’m sure those Youtube videos are great, and maybe they generally DO sing for real when they perform, but given that AC was standing right there today, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Artists like that can lip sync for any number of reasons, like if one or more of them is sick. So while they might not normally do it, they might have today.
I heard Choo HIT sync’s all the time! Hey-OH!


I just saw the Wonderful Girls on a television show and I can vouch that they sing for real as I could hear their voices breaking up due to close proximity to the microphone and the wrong audio line impedance.

They still sounded pretty good and in a way the audio problems added a touch of authenticity. If they lip synched at Progressive stadium it could have been because of echo feedback issues???

LACF, you are correct the 2008 Hafner situation is more comparable.

Here is a comment from Shapiro on 10/07/08 in an article

“In talking through things with Lonnie,” Shapiro said, “there’s nothing that could happen this offseason that wouldn’t have him (Hafner) at 100 percent by Spring Training.”

I guess the professional doctors aren’t always correct. All the more reason to have the surgery much sooner.

AC, you are correct that Sizemore was stupid to hide the injury. Even Hoynsie ranted about it.

Hafner should have been shutdown a month ago too.

Wow. You know, I’m wondering if maybe Carrasco’s next start might be his last of the year, depending upon how he does. Because hello Johan Pino! Check the line in AAA today:
7 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 SO.
He could be the steal of the year for Shapiro, since the Pavano deal was something of an after thought for many.

LACF, that’s a solid line for any pitcher, I agree with you on what seems like a great trade. Shapiro has been pretty good with his trades. Especially if Marte ends up panning out to be a legit player (which it seems like he is, but I am not ready to say for sure), Shapiro has been phenomenal with trades. I just wish his draft picks could be as good. I doubt that they would bring up Pino for a start in the majors. If I recall correctly, I think you said he began the year at AA? That would be quite a leap for a pitcher to make a big league appearance after starting at AA. But you also said his numbers have IMPROVED since being promoted, which is amazing. I would love to see the kid, but I just have a feeling they would give Rondon a look before him.

Were they lip synching in that video? That’s on Wendy Williams and they had bad mics and you can clearly hear the mics were picking up their breathing noises. The mic stands are just props, and they sing into the headset. If you watched more than one performance on their US tour, you can hear their voices crack or falter in some of the performances. If you’re going to slam a group with lip synching, you should really be sure of it, or you will look like a total idiot as you do now. Ignorant tool.

At least it’s out in the open now: AC HATES the Wondergirls and will, in fact, LIE about them any chance he gets.
It had to come out sometime. This explains why he never gets to interview Choo (aside from all the times when he does).

such anger and sarcasm in this thread. Who is nmf227 and why are they causing such animosity?

I hate it when mommy and daddy fight. It forces me to go to my special place in my mind… mmm ponies and flowers.

Hafner and Sizemore should have been shut down at least a month ago:

to settle their injuries and to settle themselves down.

They both need to rehab and then start from scratch next year.

If they DID get shut down a month ago – then Marte could be DH

with Peralta at 3B and Laporta going to 1B

so that the Tribe could bring up Jordan Brown.

Brown could man LF with Brantley in CF.

There it is right there. Perfect way to fit everyone in.

Marson called up?!


Thank goodness Shop is out – he is great…. at striking out.

And at snapping bat’s over his leg.

Does he ever snap it over his head?

He should give it a try!! =)


#35 mlblogs

Ahh, AC… You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”, but only slightly less well-known is this: Never rile up millions of irrational teenage fans with pesky accurate journalism. They’ll have nobody, nobody but your head on a platter.

That said… nice pitch, Sunny! Better than many!

I like your style, losangelesclevelandfan. I like your style.
And ragers, consider the lesson learned.

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