The K Cup kicks off tomorrow. Opening games will match up the CBA All-Stars and the President Lions; & the SK Wyverns against the Chunichi Dragons. 2007 Taiwan Series MVP Nelson Figueroa is expected to start against the Chinese All-Stars. Figgy's teammates Wei-Lun Pan and Pete Munro are expected to match up against the Dragons and Wyverns respectively.
Here's a shocker: more disparaging remarks about Taiwanese baseball from the Korean media. It's obvious the Korea Times isn't giving much respect to the CPBL and the President Lions. With headlines like "Wyverns, Dragons Clash for Bragging Rights", and a comparison of the CPBL to the CBA:
"The Wyverns and Dragons are considered a level above Taiwan's Uni-President Lions and China's China Stars, which means that the winner of today's opener would be a good bet to win it all."
you would think that the President Lions have no chance in the K Cup.
Two things are a given in this tourney: the Chunichi Dragons are the tourney favorite while the CBA All-Stars will be hard-pressed to win one game. Contrary to the general concensus in Korea, the President Lions will be extremely competitive in this competition. This year's CPBL representative has more overall talent and depth than the 2006 La New Bears. Also when you look at the brief history of the K Cup, the games between the KBO and CPBL champs have been decided by one run both times. In 2005, the Sinon Bulls lost 4-3 to the Samsung Lions. In 2006, the La New Bears defeated the Samsung Lions 3-2. If anything, the two games have proven how similar the talent level is in Korea and Taiwan.
I hope Lions Manager Lu pins this crap on the team bulletin board to help get the team fired up for Saturday's game.