Former Oakland A’s pitcher Aaron Brooks released due to vape pen
By David Hill
There are certain pitfalls with being in a foreign country. There may be customs and laws that one is not familiar with, but has to follow anyway. Former Oakland A’s pitcher Aaron Brooks learned that lesson the hard way as he was attempting to ressurect his career in the Korean Baseball Organization.
Brooks was undone by a vape pen that he had ordered online. When it arrived, the pen contained traces of marijuana, which is banned in South Korea. This led to his being released by the Kia Tigers.
Aaron Brooks released due to vape pen issue
Brooks was one of the pieces that the A’s received as part of the Ben Zobrist trade. He spent parts of three seasons in Oakland, with treks to the Cubs and Brewers organizations in between. Overall, Brooks had a 5.71 ERA and a 1.413 WHiP in his 104 innings, striking out 79 batters with 30 walks while allowing 21 homers.
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He was in his second season with the Tigers, having been one of the better pitchers in the league in 2020. Before he was released, Brooks had produced a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.151 WHiP in his 229.1 innings, striking out 185 batters with 40 walks. With that type of production, Brooks could have had a lucrative career pitching in the KBO.
It is possible that will still be the case. He claims that he did not know that the pens had traces of marijuana in them, and, in fact, had not actually received the vape pens in question. Considering that he did not order anything specifically involving marijuana, it is uncertain as to whether or not Brooks can be punished.
Even if he is unable to return to the KBO, Brooks should have other opportunities. His production there could result in an opportunity in Japan, or potentially a look by a major league organization. While the KBO is not the offensive haven it had once been, his numbers are still impressive and worthy of getting a chance.
Aaron Brooks has learned the hard way that different countries have different laws. A tainted vape pen cost the former Oakland A’s pitcher his spot in the KBO.