Hot Stove League returns for another strong episode, one that focuses this time on the growing conflict of interest between the Directors and Seung-Soo doing his best for the team. As we near the Spring Training of the players, a big curveball ultimately leads to a showdown at the end that poses a very intriguing notion going forward with this baseball drama.
Following the incident in the previous episode, episode 11 of Stove League begins with the Junior Managing Director dropping to his knees at the office and speaking to his Father, who tells him he won’t fire him but goes on to discuss the situation and how beatings appear to be a family tradition. After promising to be better, the Junior Managing Director heads to Dreams where he spots someone outside who’s about to retire, snapping photos of messages outside on the walls. He tells him he’s been there for a long time and brings up the Director’s Father too, which doesn’t go down too well with him as he starts to frown.
Seung-Soo is called into the office and questioned about Spring Training before the Directors ask him to cancel off-season training. The Junior Managing Director tells him it’s too “troublesome” to take the team abroad and incredulous at this request, Seung-Soo asks why he’s doing this. The man confidently smiles, telling him it’s “because he can”.
Seung-Soo relays this difficult message to the rest of the team and inevitably it doesn’t go down well with them. However, he decides to head off and speak to Jin-Woo, desperate to find out exactly what the conditions were like when the team finished in second place. After a scrutinous meeting at the KPB regarding transport, Seung-Soo heads back to the office where they discuss Min-Ho and his psychological issues. Soon after, the meeting with Jin-Woo begins and he tells them about what things were like when Dreams finished in second place.
Afterward, Se-Young and Jae-Hee both head out to find out more about the team, scouting individuals to help with bullpen training in the upcoming Spring Training. With the extra money saved from plane tickets, Seung-Soo confronts the Directors again and tells them what they’ve done to help with the team, including signing up lucrative ex-players to get the best out of the current team.
Spring Training begins and with the former players at the helm, losing the ability to go to Australia may just have been a blessing in disguise. After a decent enough session (and an extra talk with Yeong-Ju surrounding his hemorrhoids) Seung-Soo books in a friendly with Vikings, including two matches; one at their ground and one at Dreams.
As the match looks set to begin, Seung-Soo finds himself face to face with Dong-Kyu again. He whispers something in Seung-Soo’s ear and stares him down as the episode ends on a big cliffhanger.
What did Dong-Kyu whisper in his ear? Will Dreams lose this friendly? And how will the players cope with the publicity after this friendly, regardless of outcome? There’s plenty of score now for the dramatic tension to increase going forward and it’ll be interesting to see how the team will proceed from here. So far this baseball drama has done a good job building things nicely and the final act of this one may just see us graced with some on-pitch action after all.
The situation surrounding Seung-Soo and the Directors is far from over though and quite what they have in store for our General Manager next remains to be seen. For now though, there isn’t an awful lot going on this episode but the conclusive portion including the upcoming friendly poses a very intriguing prospect indeed.
|Hot Stove League is available to watch on Viki. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|