Out of all the Korean dramas on TV right now, one of the more consistent and grounded is Hot Stove League. Every week this baseball drama manages to surprise and entertain, with some decent character-driven drama mixed in with the political aspect of running a baseball team. As we approach the final act of this series, Stove League looks set to complete a home run as all the pieces start to come together for the final next week.
Episode 14 of Stove League begins with Se-Young heading in to see Doo-Ki and telling him about the upcoming decision to bring Dong-Gyu into the team again. Soon after, she calls a meeting with the board to try and convince them as to why Dong-Gyu being brought back is a good idea. Seung-Soo meanwhile, heads off to speak to the Vikings’ team manager to make him an offer. To get Dong-Gyu back, he proposes a trade for Kwan-Sik and Joong-Seob, the latter a rookie with a huge potential to grow into a star in the future.
The Vikings Manager phones through to Reporter Park and contemplates with them whether he should go ahead with the trade or not. This sparks a new report to go live regarding the situation with Dong-Gyu, prompting the Junior Managing Director to call Seung-Soo into a meeting with Oh Sa-Hun too to discuss the trade. Inevitably things become heated as the trio disagree over the best way to tackle this situation, leading the Vikings Manager to finally cave and decide to take Seung-Soo’s original lucrative offer.
Dong-Gyu returns to the Dreams locker-room to rapturous applause and a nice Halloween-themed trick too. The team invite him back in with open arms and all appears to be good. Unfortunately as Seung-Soo soon learns, the situation is anything but. The Junior Managing Director refuses to pay the additional wages to approve this trade throwing further question marks into the team’s chances of winning this year.
Desperate to try and negate the cost of the transfer and avoid more players from being traded out, Seung-Soo discusses the advertising strategy with Mi-Sun for the team. While they do, Doo-Ki takes the team out for Korean barbeque. As the episode closes out, Seung-Soo learns that Doo-Ki has been traded to the Titans, betrayed by the head coach who went behind his back to work with the Junior Managing Director. Clenching his fist he looks set to explode into rage at this betrayal.
What a shocking twist! The Head Coach going behind his back, especially after Seung-Soo’s words of encouragement to him earlier in the episode is a really bitter pill to swallow and Seung-Soo has had to endure a lot over this season. Seeing the team getting along really well is a reminder of just how far the team have come since those early episodes of the team at each other’s throats. Quite what this week’s episode has in store for us remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure, Seung-Soo is not going to take this betrayal lying down.
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