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The Gachon Herald
’Stove League’, a Sports Office Drama That Makes Us Feel Hot in the Heart.An office drama which is based on baseball.
Seo jun yeong  |  sjy5878@gachon.ac.kr
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Updated : 2023.12.28  16:06:34
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  While watching 'The Ultimate Baseball', which is gaining popularity on JTBC, I thought, 'Indeed, sports are dramas without scripts.' However, in 2019, 'Stove League' aired, transforming sports into a 'scripted drama,' delivering excitement and thrill to its viewers. Much like 'The Ultimate Baseball,' 'Stove League' garnered praise from numerous baseball fans. Therefore, for those who want to watch a well-made sports drama, I'd like to introduce 'Stove League.'
 

 'Stove League' refers to the time when professional baseball teams reorganize their rosters after the regular season, strengthening their teams through player acquisitions and salary negotiations. Stemming from fans gathering around a stove to discuss player salaries, trades, and more after the season, this sports term and, thus, the title of the show emerged. 'Stove League' is an office drama centered on sports, allowing viewers to immerse themselves more into the story of the team's front office than other sports dramas that focus on the actual games. It delves into the immersive experience of being inside a baseball team and addresses incidents and issues arising within the sports world.

Chapter 1: The Bold Moves of a Rookie Baseball Director
 'Stove League' is a tale of a newly appointed director of the last-place team even devoted fans are tired of preparing for an extraordinary comeback season. Embedded within the various episodes are heartfelt details that captivate drama enthusiasts and baseball fans alike. Dreams, a perennial last-place team, welcomes a director who knows nothing about baseball, Baek Seung-soo. Dubbed the 'hired gun for championships,' Baek Seung-soo has a history of leading various sports teams, including handball, wrestling, and ice hockey, to victory. Simultaneously, the team he takes charge of is haunted by a jinx that leads to its dismantling the following year.
 Dreams' parent company, Jaesong, intends to dissolve the perpetually losing baseball team yearly, appoints Baek Seung-soo as the director. However, the team, thought to be destined for dissolution, becomes the hottest team in the 'Stove League' offseason. Implementing radical measures such as trading key players and recruiting a former ace pitcher and current national team starter with over 20 years in one team, or even firing the scouting director, the drama unfolds.
 
Chapter 2: Front Office vs. Parent Company
 Jaesong Group, the parent company, displeased with the director's reforms, drastically reduces the operating budget allotted to the team, causing disruptions in player salary negotiations and foreign player acquisitions. In response, Baek Seung-soo orchestrates an unprecedented event of voluntary salary returns, leading to a resolution in player salary negotiations. Kwon Kyung-min, the owner of Dreams and a member of the Jaesong Group, not only advises Baek Seung-soo to resign due to his unilateral actions but also urges for improvements in team performance rather than its dissolution.
 Nonetheless, unable to easily dismiss Baek Seung-soo, who already carries the myth of voluntarily returning salaries, a tumultuous turn of events leads to his reinstatement as director, with a clause of voluntary resignation upon the regular season's commencement. Despite this, Kwon Kyung-min cancels Dreams' overseas training, yet Baek Seung-soo and the front office apologize to the team for the chairman's actions and vow unwavering support for the team's needs.
 
Chapter 3: Front Office's Efforts to Protect the Team
 Amidst the efforts of the director and the front office, the overseas training resumes, yet another storm brews for the front office. Kwon Kyung-min is appointed as the chairman of Dreams after being ousted as the owner. He begins the process of dismantling the team, citing Dreams' poor performance and a 7 billion won deficit. However, already accustomed to the conglomerate's tyranny, Baek Seung-soo and the front office plan to sell the team to a software company, PF SOFT, for 20 billion won before its dissolution.
 
 The most striking character in this drama, 'Stove League,' is Baek Seung-soo, the protagonist and director. While not all aspects can be captured in an article, delving into his past, relationships with family, and a change in character from initially being cynical due to his baseball player brother's accident to later understanding and supporting his brother's desire to work in baseball, reveals a warm-hearted character. Witnessing him to become aligned with the team and the front office, running for Dreams' success rather than personal gain, showcases Baek Seung-soo's pride in the work he loves.
 His ability to pour passion and dedication into his work while caring for those around him demonstrates the competence and inclusivity one should have while working with diverse individuals. Consequently, I found myself empathizing with the character of Baek Seung-soo and being deeply engrossed in the drama.
 The smooth script and well-rounded characters create a sports drama that resonates with a scripted narrative. 'Stove League,' an office drama within the sports genre, imparted the importance of fostering inclusion and building camaraderie with colleagues as one's own people. For me, this drama didn't just offer enjoyment from its script and interest in sports but also introduced a new way of dealing with others.
 If you enjoy sports and want to experience intense excitement through solid acting and storytelling, binge-watching the drama 'Stove League' will heat up this winter for you.

 

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