<
>

Orioles scouts banned for signing teen

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's amateur baseball governing body has banned Baltimore Orioles scouts from attending its games for prematurely signing a local high school pitcher.

The Korea Baseball Association said Friday that the Orioles violated local rules that bar the signing of student players until their graduation year. KBA officials said the Orioles signed 17-year-old left-hander Kim Seong-min last month.

The officials said they plan to notify Major League Baseball of their decision later Friday.

South Korean baseball officials fear that unrestricted signing of amateurs by foreign clubs may dry up the local pool of talent and hamper the growth of the country's professional league.