Sunday, November 30, 2008

11/30 News....

*The Jiangsu Hopestars of the CBL are coming to Taiwan to train. Also to help promote the game across the Strait, the President Lions and Brother Elephants will be playing exhibition games in March in Shanghai.

*WBC Training News: OF Kuo-Hui Lo still can't take BP without having a trainer present.
RHP YF Lin is hoping to start in high A ball for the upcoming season.
RHP CM Chiang is hoping to regain some lost velocity.
LHP CH Cheng's goal is to hit 90 mph again.
RHP PH Keng is still recovering from an elbow injury; doctors have said that surgery is unlikely to resolve the issue; he doesn't want to join the CPBL right now; he wants to finish college first.

*Korea University beat TSU-Taoyuan 6-3 in the championship game of the Sino-SK University Invitational.

*Roughly 20 former T-Rex and Whales players have registered for the upcoming Japanese independent league tryout.

*Opening day of the HS Wood Bat Tourney: Yankees OF Bobby Abreu is in town for the opening ceremony. CMW wasn't in attendance, but he did send this message to the kids:

Mei-Ho RHP Wen-Hao Cheng hit 90 mph in his outing. Cheng came on in the 9th inning, K'ing the side. He was 1-3 with a double and a RBI at the plate. Mei-Ho won 5-1.
Yu-Fan Tsai of Chiayi HS K'd 11 hitters in 7 innings of work (1 ER on 2 hits to go along with 5 BB's), leading his team to a 3-1 win. He also was 1-3 with a double at the plate.
Hualien PE HS defeated Taoyuan Agricultural HS 10-1 in 7 innings. 2B Kai-Wen Cheng was 3-3 at the plate with a triple, 2 SB's, and 4 runs scored.
Taitung PE HS won 8-3 over Yang-Ming HS. Taitung PE SS Ren-Hao Wang was 3-4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. His teammate C Ren-Chieh Wang also had 3 hits (3-4, 2B, 3B, RBI)

*In preparation for the WBC, the NT will be training in Australia in February of next year.

*I've added a new Chinese Links section on the right hand column. Be sure to check out this site
(Babel Fish required), there's an interview with Terry Reynolds (Reds) regarding Tzu-Kai Chiu and Yen-Wen Kuo & Ross Atkins (Indians) regarding Chun-Hsiu Chen, Sung-Wei Tseng, and Chen-Chang Lee.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

HS Class of '09 Top 10 Revisited....

Ok, the HS preseason top 5 was posted a while back. This is a bit late, but I'll list the rest of the preseason top 10:


RHP Ming-Chie Lin (Chung-Dao HS) DOB: 3/18/91 H: 6'3" W: 195 lbs


RHP Po-Cheng Chi (Shi-Yuan HS) DOB: 10/31/90 H: 6'1" W: 165 lbs


RHP Wen-Hao Cheng (Mei-Ho HS) DOB: 12/13/90 H: 5'9" W: 190 lbs


IF Wei-Chen Wang (Ku-Pao HS) DOB: 7/3/91 H: 6'0" W: 157 lbs


RHP Yu-Te He (Chung-Dao HS) DOB: 9/21/91 H: 6'0" W: 185 lbs

This list is subject to change as the performances of the kids fluctuate.
*Updated with pics

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Updates...

*CL Hu is playing in the Mexican Winter League. He's playing with the Tomateros de Culiacan and is hitting .172 through 7 games.

*TSU-Taoyuan advanced to the championship game of the Taiwan-SK University Invitational with a 4-3 win over their SK opponent. TSU-Taichung lost 3-0 to Korea University and was effectively eliminated.

*An all-star team from Tokyo, Japan (Click here for roster) swept a doubleheader on Friday against Kainan University (4-1) and Chinese Culture University (5-2). Kai-Wen Cheng started for CCU but was roughed up for 4 runs in 3 innings - he took the loss. Former Gao Nong HS star Chen-Yu Hong provided the only bright spot with a solo HR. The Japanese all-star team will play another doubleheader on Monday, December 1st against Taipei PE College and Fu Jen University.

*If the Sinon Bulls elect CH Hsieh with the first pick in the draft, they'll honor his previous multi-year contract. The CPBL has stated that former T-Rex & Whales players who get selected in the special draft will not have their current salaries reduced by more than 30%.

*Despite his breakout season in '08, HC Kuo has been playing second fiddle to CMW - he hasn't received much love from sponsors (no new endorsement deals as of yet).

*TSU-Taoyuan coach Kong liked what he saw from Wang-Yi Lin's workout in Taichung. Lin, who was clocked at 85 mph in HS, hit 91 mph this past season.

*Taoyuan County is planning to develop more baseball programs after Kui-Shan elementary school won the Little League portion of the recently completed aborigine tourney.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Turkey Day News....

*Seibu Lions RHP Ming-Chieh Hsu was only 1-3 with a 5.12 ERA this past season and spent a chunk of the season with the nigun team. However, he will remain with Seibu, albeit at a significantly reduced rate (he took a 20% cut and will receive 20 million yen in 2009). He is interested in playing for the NT at the WBC.

*RHP Chien-Ming Chiang didn't get much love in the tryouts held for players released by NPB teams. The Japanese media reported that Chiang had no command and no longer had good wrist action. Chiang has said that he hopes to play in the WBC and will continue to seek an opportunity with MLB and NPB teams in the future. He is not thinking about joining the CPBL draft. CPBL Sinon Bulls GM Chih-Shen Liu, who saw Chiang at the tryout was disappointed in Chiang's performance.

*After a rough year in the US minors, Indians farmhand RHP Sung-Wei Tseng is working on developing his slider.

*TSU-Taichung beat TSU-Taoyuan 4-3 behind Ching-Lung Pan's GW hit in the 9th inning.

*In the CPBL, the President Lions released several players, signed draft pick INF Yu-Chen Liu, and are hoping to reach an agreement with their top pick from last year, LHP Wei-Hua Lee.

The special draft for Chinatrust & d-media players will held in mid-December.

In a move to cut expenses, the Brother Elephants released three coaches. This move followed the release of four Sinon Bulls coaches. With the T-Rex and Whales organizations folding, that leaves almost 24 formerly-employed coaches without jobs.

*Discussions continue to decide if a government funded, military based teams will be reinstated to take place of the CPBL minor league system. The CPBL minor league system began at the end of 2003.

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Ok, so the winter training roster for the WBC is finally set. Originally set up with 21 players, there were a few adds (+4 including CH Hsieh) and drops (-3). There are two late additions as the Atlanta Braves gave the ok for C Meng-Hsiu Tsai and P Wei-Chen Huang to partake in the training session. The two were originally scheduled to stay in the Dominican Republic till December 11th, but will instead head to Taiwan as of the first of the month.

*The high school wood bat tourney kicks off on Nov. 30th and will run until December 14th. Ku-Pao will look to defend its title. The top 8 finishing teams from last year (several are traditional powerhouses that have sent their share of players overseas) will get a bye until the second round of action. The 16 other teams in the tourney will have to advance to the next round through preliminary play. Expect to see some top notch pitching performances in the tourney(several kids throw > 85 mph).

*Have a safe and relaxing holiday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Wed. Updates...

*As mentioned by Stevo in the comments section, the Taichung city government will most likely sponsor the Sinon Bulls with a 10 million NT/year contribution (rather than form its own team).

*NY Yankees OF Bobby Abreu will be attending the upcoming wood bat HS tourney opening ceremony. It will be interesting to follow top 10 '09 HS prospect RHP Wen-Hao Cheng in the tourney. Cheng has stated that his goal is to hit 150 kph (93 mph). His coach has admitted that his velocity has dropped these past two years. Cheng is represented by former coach Chien-Chen Chen and Samuel Fu.

Chun-Hsiu Chen continues to rake at the Taiwan-South Korea University Invitational. Chen had 3 hits, 2 doubles, a RBI, and 2 runs scored. His teammate has also been carrying a hot bat as of late. Chih-Pei Huang also had three hits (he had 5 hits a few nights ago). TSU-Taoyuan ended their game in a 3 all tie. Chen was also lauded by his coach for showing good blocking technique at the plate.
RHP Ying-Shan Wang pitched well for TSU-Taichung, which won its game 2-0. Wang is preparing for his showcase next year (1/09) in the US.

*RHP Po-Yu Lin is still recovering from a shoulder injury. He still has aspirations of playing in the US and plans to go to a tryout (in the US) in '09.

*Good read on the recently completed Kuan-Huai Cup by Twins scout JB at the EWC. Hualien PE HS RHP Chun-Chen Chiang was clocked at 89 mph in the tourney.

*He may have been cleared by his team to play in the WBC, but RHP En-Yu Lin reportedly has a rotator cuff tear.

LA Workout......

*There will be 5 players total coming to LA for a workout in front of ML teams. The workout will now take place in early December.

Four have already been mentioned before (1 2 3). The players are:
1)OF Ming-Shie Chen
2)C Kun-Sheng Lin
3)P Chia-Rui Mai
4)OF Chih-Yao Chan

The fifth player coming to the US is RHP Wan-Lin Tsai.

Representing the players is Ray Poitevint (formely of the White Sox) of Seven Figures Management (the company which helped propel the two kids from India to get signed with the Pirates), who has also received assistance from his contact in Taiwan - Samuel Fu. Those two helped sign RHP Po-Yu Lin for $300 K a few years back (Ray worked for the White Sox at the time and Samuel was Lin's agent then - also Poitevint used to be the head of IBB, and both Adam Chang & Samuel Fu worked under him in IBB). Lin has since been released from the organization.

*Current Fubon Bulls RHP Hsin-Hong Tsai is still experiencing elbow pain and will likely have elbow surgery soon in Kaohsiung.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

News and Updates - UPDATED***

*After a break-out year in the NPB, Chunichi Dragons LHP Wei-Yin Chen is receiving a huge increase (nearly 6X) in his salary. He made 6 million yen last year and will now receive 35 million yen (~ $366 K USD) in 2009.

*Reviving a rivalry from nearly a decade ago, the Taiwan-South Korea University Baseball Invitational kicked off. The Taiwan Sports University (also known as NCPES/NTUPES) sent two teams representing its Taichung and Taoyuan campuses. Former Blue Jay farmhand, Chi-Hung Cheng pitched for the TSU-Taichung team and threw 5 innings, allowing only 3 hits, K'ing 4, and gave up 1 run. He topped out at 86 mph. After he left the game, the South Korean school would rally for 4 runs to end the game in a 4-4 tie. Also playing in the game for TSU were C Chun-Hsiu Chen (Indians) - he had 2 hits and 2 RBI, OF Chao-Ting Tang (Tigers) - he had a hit, and RHP Hsin-Hong Tsai (almost a Cubbie) - allowed a hit.

TSU-Taoyuan won its game 13-3 in 7 innings.*Updated

*Ming-Chie Lin, a top 10 HS class of '09 player, continues to attract a lot of attention . UDN has reported that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Twins have been scouting Lin.

*MC Lin's teammate, P Yu-Te He has also attracted the attention of ML scouts (news reports cite the presence of the Twins scout at the game). He threw 8 innings against Ku-Pao on the 23rd. In that game, Ku-Pao's Wei-Chen Wang continued his hot hitting streak - he had 3 more hits, including 2 triples as Ku-Pao won 7-3.

*Former T-Rex/Cobras slugger Chia-Hsien Hsieh has volunteered on his own to participate in the WBC training session taking place 12/1 to 12/7. Also contrary to what was reported earlier, Red Sox farmhands Che-Hsuan Lin, Chih-Hsien Chiang, and Wang-Yi Lin will not be participating in the training session. Taking their places are Chia-Chu Chen (Red Sox), Chia-Jen Lo (Astros), and 22 year old (DOB: 3/19/86) C Cheng-Da Wu, who played HS and collegiate baseball (Suzuka International Unversity) in Japan. Next year, he will be playing for the Kishu Rangers of the Kansai Independent League - the same league that made news when it selected a 16 year old girl.


*Per their agent, former Blue Jays farmhands CH Cheng and PH Keng want to play overseas and are unlikely to consider playing in the CPBL next year.

*Gui-Shan elementary school won the little league division of the aboriginal tourney.

*Ku-Pao HS defeated Chung-Dao HS in the championship game of the senior level of the aboriginal tourney behind C Kuan-Ru Chen's 2 hits and home run and LHP Kuan-Yu Chen's 11 K's in 7 innings of work.

*Hsin-Shen junior HS won the youth division of the aboriginal tourney behind RHP Chia-Wei Yang, a kid with some upside (6'0" tall).*Updated

*Regarding the WBC and the NPB, the Hanshin Tigers are willing to allow OF Wei-Chu Lin to participate in the WBC. The Rakuten Eagles will also allow RHP En-Yu Lin to play in March.

*Some potential good news for the CPBL - the Taichung city government is considering getting its own pro baseball team.

*Two KBO and two CPBL teams will be training in Taiwan in February of next year.

*Much like Tiger Woods and GM, E Sun Bank is unlikely to continue its sponsorship/ad deal with Chien-Ming Wang because of the sad state of the economy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ricky Stone Auction Underway....

From Erin Pote, regarding the Stone Family Auction:

"Hi everyone!

We are so happy to finally let you know that the Rally for Recovery auction benefiting Ricky Stone and his family is set to begin! We have partnered with eBay Giving Works and Mission Fish as the format to run the auction. Winning bidders will receive a tax deductible receipt. Please pass on this information to anyone and everyone!

Items go up for auction between 6 p.m and 8 p.m. PST on Sunday, November 23 and will run until Sunday, November 30. Here is the link to the eBay store:

***Items will not appear in the store until the listings are active Sunday night.

Also, we are receiving press about the auction! Here are two links to click on to check it out:

Thank you to everyone who has so generously helped us in our efforts to raise money for the Stone's! We hope the auction is a huge success!


Erin Pote"

I've included a link in the right hand column.


*Some updates on the Aboriginal Tourney:

1)The government has reduced funding support for this tourney, which is a damned shame considering the fact that the grass roots beginning of the nation's fascination & success with the sport began with the legendary Hong-Yeh LL team.
2)Ku-Pao HS won 3-2 thanks to heralded IF Wei-Chen Wang's 2 hit night.
3)Yilan's Chung-Dao HS RHP Ming-Chie Lin topped out at 90 mph & sat at 89 mph in Friday's game. He has improved his velocity from 84 mph three months ago.

*There's been some discussions about reestablishing the national training/military team instead of the minor league system in the CPBL.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Taiwan Coop Bank Wins Tourney Championship.....

*At the Hsieh-Hui Cup, Taiwan Coop Bank defeated Taiwan Beer 3-1 in the championship game. In the third place game, the Fubon Bulls defeated Taiwan Power 4-0.

Earning tourney MVP honors was Taiwan Coop Bank P Chia-Ming Cheng, who picked up the save in the championship game (see pic above with NT head coach Yeh).

Other tourney honorees:
Highest BA: Hsuan-Ren Hsieh .555 BA
Top RBI Producer: Chung-Han Yu 10 RBI
Top Pitcher: Hung-Cheng Lai 3 Wins
Most HR's: Yu-Kai Huang 2 HR's

Friday, November 21, 2008

11/21 News...

*The finals for the Hsieh-Hui Cup are set. Taiwan Coop Bank defeated Taiwan Power 4-1 in one semifinal, while the Fubon Bulls lost to Taiwan Beer 5-1.
Rong-Hao Hsieh started for the Fubon Bulls but was touched up for 3 runs in the 4th inning, thus leading to an early exit from the game. He earned the loss.

*The Shikoku-Kyushu Island League, an independent league in Japan, is coming to Taiwan December 19th to hold tryouts. Players in the league make on average ~$1,000 to $4,000/month.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Revolving Door.....

The Red Sox have released IF Chih-Hsiang Huang. Huang is the third Taiwanese player to have been let go by the Sox (Kevin Huang, TJ Yeh, and now CH Huang) - leaving the organization with 4 remaining native sons. He played three seasons in the GCL (Rookie ball).

Thursday News....

*Nippon Ham Fighter IF Chung-Shou Yang had his salary reduced by 500,000 yen and will make 12 million yen ($127,375 USD) next year. Despite hitting .342 with the nigun team, Yang struggled with the parent club, hitting only .144 with 2 HR's and 4 RBI.

*In today's collegiate tourney action, the Taiwan Power Co. won 6-5 while the Taiwan Coop Bank won 5-1. Both teams advanced to the semifinals that will take place tomorrow. Taiwan Beer (#1 in group N) will face the Fubon Bulls (#2 in group M) in one semifinal. Taiwan Power (#1 in group M) will face Taiwan Coop Bank (#2 in group N) in the other semifinal.

*Several former T-Rex players and coaches went to the CPBL's adminstrative office for assistance in getting paid. They have not received their wages since the end of August (from September till present day).

*There's a familiar name in the SF Giants/Cheng-Min Peng rumors. John Cox, the Giants Pac-Rim scout, is familiar with the scene in Taiwan and is the same man who was credited with signing Chien-Ming Wang for the Yankees. Chia Chia is getting married soon and turned down former KDN rep Kenny Lin. The CPBL has also contacted the SF Giants regarding their interest in Peng.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More News Briefs (Continued)....

*As reported by the Liberty Times, OF Min-Tzu Chen is still scheduled to come to LA in late November. He will also be joined by fellow IBB client C Kun-Sheng Lin. RHP Ying-Shan Wang is now scheduled to come to the US in January of next year.

*In an effort to change IF Yi-Chuan Lin's mind, the Sinon Bulls are preparing to offer him a 4 to 4.5 million NT signing bonus ($120 K - $135 K USD). The Bulls failed to sign their other top pick from last year, OF Ying-Chieh Liao (the team's #2 pick behind YC Lin) despite offering him 2.5 million NT (Liao was seeking 5 million NT). Liao will return to playing amateur ball. The highest signing bonus given by the Bulls to a player was to P Chung-Nan Tsai (6 million NT), the 2002 CPBL ROY.

*With the worst overall record in the CPBL this past season, the Sinon Bulls are expecting to get the top pick in the "special" draft. The Bulls choices for their top pick? OF/1B Chia-Hsien Hsieh and LHP Fu-Te Ni

*Some big Taiwanese corporations (including the Chinatrust Commercial Bank) are considering investing in a professional baseball league in China. The league would include some Taiwanese players in the mix as well.

*Chih-Yuan Chen of the Elephants is going to undergo right elbow surgery to remove some loose bone chips.

*The Kuan-Huai Cup is about to get underway. The tourney involves players/teams of aboriginal descent and will be played at elementary, JR HS, and HS age-levels.

*21 overseas/former overseas players are scheduled to participate in a one week training session for the WBC which will take place 12/1st - 7th. Expected to participate are: Yung-Chi Chen, Kuo-Hui Lo, Che-Hsuan Lin, Chen-Chang Lee, Chien-Ming Chiang, Po-Hsuan Keng, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Yen-Wen Kuo, Sung-Wei Tseng, Chi-Hung Cheng, Hong-Wen Chen, Sheng-An Kuo, Yen-Feng Lin, Po-Yu Lin, Wang-Wei Lin, Chih-Hsiang Huang, Wang-Yi Lin, Chen-En Hong, Tzu-Kai Chiu, Chun-Hsiu Chen, & Chao-Ting Tang.
Players NOT expected be there include most of the big names: CMW, HC Kuo, CH Tsao, CL Hu, SY Wu, EY Lin, YJ Hsiao, CS Yang, WC Lin.
A 45-man preliminary NT roster is expected to be announced on December 22nd, while the final 28 man roster will be chosen in early January.

*In the Hsieh-Hui Cup, Taiwan Beer won 3-1 today and with the win, has sewn up the top spot in their group. The team is guaranteed a spot in the semifinals that begin on Friday (11/21). In the day's other game, the Fubon Bulls beat Chiayi University 6-5 to keep their hopes alive for a place in the semifinals. Hsin-Hong Tsai and Ying-Shan Wang both pitched for the Bulls in the 9th inning.

*More news from the Taipei Times (1 2)

More News Briefs....

*Despite the competitive nature of the games, the future of the Asia Series is up in the air. Poor attendance compounded with no sponsorship (Konami pulled out this year) and television put the entire financial burden on the NPB. Read more here.

*Yu-Chieh Shen's bid to play in Japan might be over. He's received no interest from NPB teams after his recent workout.

*Another former CT Whale, Fu-Te Ni appears to be a hot commodity these days. The lefty has been contacted by multiple teams. Word is that on top of the Mariners' offer, the Cubs, Twins, Braves, Tigers, and Yokohama Baystars all have some level of interest in Ni. MLB sent a letter to the CPBL's international office asking for Ni's clearance status.

*CPBL not an option? Well that's the current mindset of some amateur players in Taiwan (including 2007 top pick Yi-Chuan Lin). With the state of the league in shambles because of the gambling scandal, more players are opting to join amateur teams (Taiwan Coop Bank as well as the Taiwan Power club). Why? Well, the two key words are job security. The starting salary with the Taiwan Coop Bank is 55,000 NT a month (~$1,650 USD). Also, players after retiring can transition into an office position with the company and earn a retirement pension.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lee-Wei Chiang Update....

LW Chiang, the younger brother of Yomiuri Giants prospect Yu-Hung Lee and a well-regarded prospect himself, was able to check out the President Lions victory over the SK Wyverns in Japan.
Chiang was in Japan playing for his Shi-Yuan junior HS squad (the same squad that participated this past summer in the Pony World Series) in an invitational tourney (Taiwan vs. Japan) hosted by the Yomiuri Giants. The 6'1", 14 year old (7/10/94) righty reportedly hit ~85 mph in a recent outing.
Chiang hopes to play in the US and idolizes Chien-Ming Wang and the Yankees.
Pics of Chiang in Japan

News Briefs....


Chia Chia

CFC got his shot at playing in the US. The CPBL's other top domestic hitter, Elephants IF-OF Cheng-Min Peng (Chia Chia) might get his shot overseas. Peng's agent has contacted the Elephants about getting Peng a tryout with the San Francisco Giants. Peng's .391 BA this season was the highest in league history.

*Plans for having an Asian Winter Baseball League (with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China) have been put on hold for this year - despite the setback, it's at least a step in the right direction towards an All-Asia baseball league.

*The four remaining teams in the CPBL will have a large talent pool (all T-Rex and Whales players not implicated in the gambling scandal) to choose from in the upcoming draft. One interesting tidbit about the draft is the fact that En-Yu Lin (Rakuten Eagles) and Ming-Chieh Hsu (Seibu Lions) will be included in the draft, even though they are still currently active with their respective NPB clubs.

*As a token of his appreciation for their fine efforts this year (and also raking in some serious $$$ from the Taiwan and Asia Series), the owner of the President Lions is treating the team to a vacation in Thailand in December.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Three Amigos......

KW Cheng

The 2008 Olympic National Team had three amateur players on the squad: Chia-Jen Lo, Chen-Chang Lee, and Kai-Wen Cheng. Two of the three pitchers are now signed with MLB teams. The remaining unsigned player is Kai-Wen Cheng. The 20 year old has had a storied past representing his country on multiple age-leveled national teams.

Cheng, who has received interest from some ML teams, will most likely now have a showcase in Japan as he auditions for NPB teams. His high signing bonus demand ($300 K) is the only thing inhibiting him from playing in the US.

Pics from his sports agency

Sometimes the Calls Don't Go Your Way......

A look at the controversial check-swing in the 9th inning of the championship game- in slow-mo, one can see that the batter was unable to check his swing - the non-call was a difference maker in the game as the game would have gone into extra innings:

Lions Fall to Seibu 1-0....

Asia Series:
The NPB continued its mastery of the Asia Series as the Seibu Lions defeated the President Lions in yet another close ball game. BC has a recap of the GW run that was scored in the bottom of the 9th inning off of Wei-Lun Pan. Seibu ace Hideaki Wakui was as advertised, K'ing 10 P. Lions in 6.2 IP (4 H, 3 BB's). P. Lions starter Giancarlo Alvarado was outstanding as well, throwing 6 shutout innings and giving up only 4 hits (1 K, 0 BB's).
Props to the P. Lions for an outstanding year and congrats to the Seibu Lions on the championship (minus a few key players, I might add).
Box (in Japanese)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lions Move on to the Championship Game!

Asia Series:

FH Liu

Well, the President Lions finally got over the hump and managed to defeat the SK Wyverns 10-4 behind 4 home runs (2 3-run shots from FH Liu, 1 each from Chih-Kang Kao & Lien-Hung Chen), Fu-Hao Liu's 6 RBI, and Yueh-Ping Lin's strong start. Lin allowed 3 runs on 6 hits over 7 IP (6 K's, 1 BB) to pick up the W. He topped out at 92 mph today.*Updated
Box (in Japanese)

The President Lions will get their rematch with the Seibu Lions tomorrow in the championship game. Jiayo!

Speaking of the Seibu squad, they beat the Tianjin Lions 16-2 in a 7 inning game on Saturday. MC Hsu started and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in 2.1 IP (4 K's, 0 BB's).

4th Inning Scoring Highlights (Lions Scored 5 on Sen Yang's game-tying RBI, followed by Fu-Hao Liu's 3-run blast, then Chih-Kang Kao's solo back-to-back shot):

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lions Fall to Seibu 2-1....

Asia Series:
The President Lions lost a close battle dominated by outstanding pitching from both sides. Seibu starter Takayuki Kishi (the 2008 Japan Series MVP) was the better man as he held the CPBL champs to 1 run on 2 hits over 8 innings (10 K's, 2 BB's). Taking the loss for the P. Lions was starter Wei-Lun Pan (6 innings, 2 runs, 5 H, 4 K's, 2 BB's). Game Recap/Box (in Japanese)
Pan has a history of performing reasonably well against the NPB champs (see last year).

The final round-robin game is set against the undefeated KBO champs (blasted the CBA champs 15-0 in the day's other game) tomorrow. Because of shoulder pain, Luther Hackman (this year's Taiwan Series MVP) will not start. Yueh-Ping Lin is expected to take the mound as the team's starter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CL Huang Update....

Jerry Sung has been shopping around RHP Chih-Lung Huang. Huang had turned down an offer of ~ $125K from the Rangers (also had an offer for $150K) last year. His velocity was around 86-90 mph in the recent college tournament in Taiwan (similar to his workout in LA earlier this year). In order for Huang to reclaim his status as a top prospect, he needs to regain his velocity, which had touched 94 about 1 1/2 years ago, especially since his height is only 5'9''.

In other collegiate action, Ying-Shan Wang helped lead his team (Fubon Bulls) to a 10-0 win on Thursday. Wang threw 8 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits and K'ing 5.*Updated

Asia Series:
The Wyverns gained the upper hand on the Seibu Lions with a 4-3 win in their opening game. Read more here.

Wu-Hsiung Pan's game-winning 3-run shot:

Chun-Yu Kuo's game-tying single in the 9th:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lions Need Late Rally to Top the Tianjin Lions...

Asia Series:
After finding themselves down 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings and 4-3 after 8 1/2 innings, the President Lions needed 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat the CBA champs 7-4. Keyed by OF Wu-Hsiung Pan's walk-off 3-run HR in the bottom of the 9th, the Lions saved themselves from a potentially embarrassing upset. Yi-Cheng Tseng picked up the victory for the Lions while OF Fu-Hao Liu smacked a leadoff HR in the 5th to key a 3-run inning.
Linescore/Box Score (In Japanese)

* What did Ni turn down? Well, the Seattle Mariners were rumored to have offered lefty Fu-Te Ni a $150K signing bonus and the guarantee that he would start the season with their AA affiliate and receive a $50K salary for the whole season. The Chicago Cubs were also rumored to have been interested in Ni.

*The T-Rex's top pick in 2007, OF Chih-Yao Chan will also be going to the showcase in Los Angeles alongside Wang, Chen, and Mai.

*The Oakland A's have claimed IF Yung-Chi Chen off waivers.

*Highlights from today's collegiate tourney action (Hsieh-Hui Cup): Taiwan Coop Bank P Cheng-Lung Lo (former Anchorage Buc in '06) picked up the W as his team won 6-0. Lo K'd 8 and allowed only 1 hit over 5 shutout innings.
'05-'06 junior NT member Hung-Cheng Lai picked up the W after leading his Taiwan Beer team to a 1-0 shutout win over Chiayi University.

*Former Yomiuri Giant Chien-Ming Chiang participated in a NPB tryout on Nov. 11th in Yokosuka for all released NPB players. Should he fail to impress this time around, he plans to attend another tryout on Nov. 26th in Hiroshima.

Misc. Notes....

MT Chen
*Samuel Fu (IBB) is a busy man these days. One of his clients, Taiwan PE college (Fubon Bulls) OF Min-Tzu Chen is coming to Los Angeles for a showcase next week. Check out Chen's blog here/album. Chen (#25) was on the collegiate NT roster this past year that participated in Haarlem (hit .318) and in Czechoslovakia (hit .226). The 18 year old (12-6-89) has good size - 6'2"/198 pounds (B: R/T: R) and is an alumni of Taitung PE HS (Chia-An Huang's alma mater). He has a decent bat with power potential - speed is his best tool *Updated

Another one of his clients, RHP Chia-Rui Mai - Brother Elephants rookie and the club's top pick in the 2007 draft, is going to try out with MLB teams next week.

Joining Mai and Chen in LA will be P Ying-Shan Wang. The 6'1" - 6'2" righty tops out at 91 mph and sits at 86-89 mph.*Updated

*The top overall pick from the 2007 draft, 3B Yi-Chuan Lin has reiterated on his blog that he will not be joining the CPBL.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whales No More...

*The Chinatrust Whales have officially folded, leaving the league with only 4 teams. All players have been unconditionally released from the organization. Read more here and here.*Updated

Another say sad day for CPBL fans.

*The Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions open the Asia Series on Thursday against the CBA champions - the Tianjin Lions (no All-Star team this year). Expected to start the game for the Lions is Cheng-Feng Lin.
On Friday, the Lions will face the NPB champs - the Seibu Lions.
Saturday's game will match the Lions against the KBO champs - the SK Wyverns.
The Lions will look to improve on last year's 1-2 showing (9-5 win against the China Stars, 4-2 loss to the Chunichi Dragons, 13-1 loss to the SK Wyverns).
The SK Wyverns and Seibu Lions are the heavy favorites to play in the championship game on Sunday 11/16. Expect Wei-Lun Pan and Luther Hackman to start against the KBO and NPB champs.

CMW is home and he says that he will not be available for the WBC in '09.

And Then There Were Four???

The CPBL in all likelihood will lose another team. The Chinatrust Whales are expected to be the second casualty in less than a month (after the T-Rex team was expelled last month). Several Whales players were involved in a gambling scandal last year, that resulted in the expulsion of several star players. There are also suspicions that some Whales players were involved in this year's match-fixing scandal. It's no wonder that multiple top players from the Whales have been linked recently to overseas teams.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Blood for the Bulls....

SC Yang

HH Tsai

RH Hsieh

The Fubon Bulls (NTCPE) are competing in the current collegiate tourney. The Bulls have added a few big names to their roster, including recent HS grads: RHP Rong-Hao Hsieh, P-IF Sheng-Chih Yang, and RHP - Hsin-Hong Tsai (who was almost a Cubbie). The trio helped the Bulls to a 13-0 win, giving the club its second win of the tourney. Hsieh started and picked up the win (5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 4 K's). Yang, the one-time MVP of the Asian Youth Championships, was 4-5 with 3 RBI. Tsai relieved Hsieh later in the game.
Some recent notable Bulls alumni include Sung-Wei Tseng (Indians), Chih-Yao Chan & Sheng-Wei Wang (CPBL), and Po-Hsuan Keng & Chi-Hung Cheng (Ex-Blue Jays).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Giants Take Game 4...

CPBL - NPB Series:
The Giants nigun team won game 4 of the series 3-0 behind SP Takahiko Nomaguchi's dominating performance (1 hit shutout, 12 K's).

Nomaguchi's only mistake of the night:

CPBL - Other:

PC Chiang

SC Chou

Trying to Get Paid:
Some former T-Rex players (IF Shih-Hao Huang, '08 All-Star MVP OF Ssu-Chi Chou, P Pai-Ching Chiang, Tsung-Hung Chen, OF Chia-Hui Wu, Yu-Hua Lu) are working out for an independent baseball league in Japan.

There's been a Shen-Fu Tsai sighting at the current collegiate tourney (running from the 8th to the 22nd). He launched a HR to help power his team (Taiwan Cooperative Bank) to an 8-0 win yesterday.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Bears Win Game 3 Vs. Giants Nigun Team...

CPBL - NPB Series:
The Bears defeated the Giants minor leaguers 4-3 on Saturday. Carrying the big stick for the Bears was none other than team slugger Chin-Feng Chen, who cracked his first HR of the series and was selected the game MVP.

CFC's Blast:

Friday, November 07, 2008

More Whales in the News...

Chinatrust Whales lefty Yu-Chieh Shen is going to Japan to try out for the Yokohama BayStars this fall, as set up by his Japanese agent.

CPBL - NPB Series:

Lin (L) & Lee (R)

In the second game of the exhibition series, the Bears beat the Giants nigun team 6-3. 17 year old Yi-Hao Lin started and threw 3 innings - he gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and was clocked at 89 mph. 15 year old Yu-Hung Lee relieved Lin in the 4th and gave up 1 run in his inning of work. Lee topped out at 85 mph.

Bears OF Cheng-Yu Chung launched his third HR in two games against 15 year old Lee:

C Feng-Min Chen blasted his second HR in as many nights:

Red Sox farmhand Chih-Hsien Chiang is back home watching big bro Chih-Tsung Chiang play for his team (Bears)

Nice read on Kuo

Making it official - Astros sign Lo
Read more

Ni Not Taking Chances....

Chinatrust Whales ace and NT regular Fu-Te Ni, was extended an invitation by the Seattle Mariners to come to spring training. Ni declined, stating that he wanted a guaranteed major league contract. Ni, widely regarded as perhaps the most talented home-grown lefty in the CPBL (led the league in K's this year) is no spring chicken; he turns 26 later this month.

Fu-Te Ni's site

CPBL-NPB Series:

The La New Bears rallied to beat the Yomiuri Giants nigun team 6-5 on Thursday, thanks to OF Cheng-Yu Chung's 2 HR's in the game.

Cheng-Yu Chung's site

Blast #1:

Blast #2 - the GW:

Bears C Feng-Min Chen also launched a 2-run HR in the game:

Young phenoms Yi-Hao Lin and Yu-Hung Lee are expected to pitch on Friday against the Bears.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

'08 CPBL Awards....

CPBL Award Winners:

MIP/ERA Leader: Yu-Cheng Liao (L)
ROY: Chi-Wei Lin (R)

League MVP: Mike Johnson (Bears)

Most Improved Player: Yu-Cheng Liao (Elephants)

Rookie of the Year: Chi-Wei Lin (Bulls)

Gold Glovers:
P - Kobayashi Ryokan (Elephants)

C - Yi-Feng Kuo (Elephants)

1B - Cheng-Min Peng (Elephants)

2B - Hung-Sen Chu (Elephants)

3B - Chih-Wei Shih (Bears)

SS - Sheng-Wei Wang (Elephants)

OF - Long-Yi Huang (Bears)

OF - Cheng-Wei Huang (Elephants)

OF - Fu-Hao Liu (Lions)

Best at Each Position:
P - Mike Johnson (Bears)

C - Yi-Feng Kuo (Elephants)

1B - Cheng-Min Peng (Elephants)

2B - Sen Yang (Lions)

3B - Tilson Brito (Lions)

SS - Chih-Sheng Lin (Bears)

OF - Wu-Hsiung Pan (Lions)

OF - Long-Yi Huang (Bears)

OF - Ssu-Chi Chou (T-Rex)

DH - Chin-Feng Chen (Bears)

CPBL - Bears vs. Giants:
Yi-Hao Lin & Yu-Hung Lee on far right

The Yomiuri Giants nigun team is in Taiwan. The team will play the Bears starting tomorrow.

Contrary to what was reported earlier, Chih-Hsiang Wen will not attend college in the US. He'll either serve in the military or make himself available for the CPBL draft.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Odds and Ends...

* The NYY will send coaches from their Staten Island minor league team to do a baseball clinic in Taiwan in January of next year. Only the top three 1st & 2nd year high school players from each HS will be invited.

*Kevin Huang (ex-La New Bears reliever and BoSox farmhand) is back in the US. He's hoping to continue his professional baseball career in either the US, Mexico, or Canada.

*Ex-Cubbie farmhand Chih-Hsiang Wen is planning to attend college in the US rather than enter the upcoming CPBL draft

*The Yomiuri Giants (consisting of minor league players) will play 2 exhibition games against the La New Bears in Taiwan beginning on 11/5. Young phenoms RHP Yi-Hao Lin & LHP Yu-Hung Lee are on the team's roster.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Two (Seasons) & Out for Po-Yu Lin....

After two seasons with the White Sox organization, RHP Po-Yu Lin was recently released by the club. Lin rarely cracked 90 mph in his brief stint with the Sox.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Behind Luther Hackman's Dominating Performance, Lions Repeat as CPBL Champs!

Game 7 MVP

CPBL Taiwan Series - Game 7:
Lions 4 - Elephants 0: (attendance: 12,000)

WP - Luther Hackman (9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 K's, 2 BB's) - game MVP - second win of the Series

LP - Chia-Rui Mai (3 IP, 2 unearned R, 5 H, 1 K/BB)

Lions lineup:
CF Wu-Hsiung Pan 1-4
DH Lien-Hung Chen 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
1B KC Kao 1-4
3B Tilson Brito 2-3

Elephants lineup:
LF CYC 1-4
SS Sheng-Wei Wang 0-4
RF Kuan-Jen Chen 0-3
DH Chia Chia 0-4
1B Chin-Yong Wang 2-3

*Despite all of the negative implications from the gambling scandal, the crowd came out in full force for the playoffs. The 2008 Taiwan Series set an all-time record for total attendance (with 96,825) by smashing the previous record of 86,696 set in 2003 between the Bulls and Elephants (a Series won in 6 games).

The Lions will now prepare for the Konami Cup taking place Nov. 13th - 16th.

Game Highlights:


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Elephants Force a Game 7 to Decide Series Winner Tomorrow....

CPBL - Taiwan Series Game 6:

Elephants 5 - Lions 0: (crowd of 12,000)

WP - Matt Perisho (2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 K's, 0 BB's)
SP Kobayshi Ryokan was dominant as well, throwing 6 shutout innings (4 H, 7 K's, 1 BB)

LP - Giancarlo Alvarado (7 IP, 1 R, 7 H, 3 K's, 3 BB's)

Elephants lineup:
LF CYC 2-5
RF Kuan-Jen Chen 0-3
DH Chia Chia 0-3
3B Jui-Chen Chen 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI - game MVP
1B Chin-Yong Wang 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
CF Cheng-Wei Huang 2-4, 2B, RBI

Lions lineup:
LF-CF Wu-Hsiung Pan 0-4
3B Tilson Brito 0-4
1B KC Kao 2-4, 2B
DH Lien-Hung Chen 0-3

Other CPBL - The rabbit hole gets deeper:
There may be more players involved in the T-Rex gambling scandal. Word is that investigators suspect players on the Chinatrust Whales have also been heavily involved in fixing games as well.