Saturday, December 16, 2006

Loose Ends....

Kuo and Wang

With just about all of the overseas players back home in Taiwan, it's time for some R & R for these guys before gearing up for the upcoming 2007 season. In the pic above, it's good to see Kuo and Wang reunited - too bad Tsao couldn't be there. As noted by a few of you, Tsao is currently a free agent after being non-tendered by the Rockies.

In other small news, it's good to know that the Boston Red Sox continue to work hard at scouting Taiwan's amateur scene. The Red Sox have definitely shown their commitment to scouting and signing some of the best players from the Pacific Rim - especially these past 2 years.

After a weak 2007 CPBL draft and in an effort to hold onto top domestic amateur talent, the CPBL has decided to include high school players in the draft next year.

Interesting note on foreign players being recognized as international athletes. In essence, there won't be any more incidences where players have problems returning (i.e. Chin-Feng Chen with the Dodgers - while trying to win a roster spot in ST) to the US because of a shortage of player visas.

There were a couple of noteworthy MLB acquisitions that could effect the PT of a few Taiwanese prospects/players:
1)The Mariners acquired 2B/DH Jose Vidro from the Nationals. So in addition to Jose Lopez, Yung-Chi Chen moves further down on the organizational 2B depth chart. However, his offensive skills and defensive versatility - 2B/3B work in his favor.
2)With the signing of Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf by the Dodgers over the past month, Kuo's status as a 5th starter is up in the air. He could return back to the bullpen and/or make sporadic starts.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

2006 Recapped

Wow, it's been quite a year for Taiwan baseball. 2006 has given us lots of good memories (and some bad) and for that reason will probably be remembered by baseball fans for quite some time.

Here are some of the highlights of 2006 (in no particular order):
1)Chien-Ming Wang's 19 Major League wins/his 2nd place finish in the AL Cy Young Race/becoming the first Taiwanese pitcher to win a postseason game
2)The country's first gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games
3)Kuo's rise/fall/rise again and return to his status as a starter in the Major Leagues/making an appearance in the postseason as a starter
4)The emergence of Yung-Chi Chen - Mariners farmhand who had a phenomenal year: All-Star in the Cal League - promoted to AA/named to the Futures All Star Game/Intercontinental Cup All-Star/Arguably the MVP of the Taiwanese NT during the Asian Games
5)Winning a bronze at the Intercontinental Cup - beating Japan, South Korea, and Cuba during the tourney
6)Winning a silver medal at the World University Baseball Championships - beating Cuba in the process (one of 4 times this year!!!!)
7)Winning the Pony League Palomino Championships (17-18 year olds)
8)Winning the Asian Youth Championships
9)Despite finishing 5th at the World Junior Baseball Championships - beating both the US and Cuba in the same tourney
10)The LA New Bears defeating the KBO champs and barely losing twice (by 1 run) to the NPB champs in this year's Konami Cup
11)The emergence of Chien-Ming Chiang in the NPB - offsetting the disappointing setbacks to Wei-Yin Chen and Ying-Chieh Lin, the release of Chih-Chia Chang, and the horrible season by Ming-Chieh Hsu
12)The signing of 5 kids by Major League teams: 1)P Sung-Wei Tseng - Indians 2)P Chen-En Hong - Braves 3)OF Wang-Wei Lin - Twins 4)P Po-Yu Lin - White Sox 5)IF Chih-Hsiang Huang - Red Sox
& 4 kids by NPB teams: 1)P Yi-Hao Lin - Giants 2)IF Ping-Yen Lee - Hawks 3)P En-Yu Lin - Eagles 4)P Si-Yo Wu - Marines

3 to Watch out for in 2007:
1)Chih-Hsien Chiang - Red Sox
2)Chung-Shou Yang - Fighers
3)Yi-Hao Lin - Giants

I can't wait to see what's in store for 2007! Happy Holidays!

Yung-Chi Chen....

Baseball America recently released it's 2007 top 10 prospects for the Mariners. Chen was named the # 9 prospect in the system - and tools-wise was selected as the guy with the potential to best hit for average.
After a solid year in the minors, Chen didn't get much time to rest as he joined the NT and participated in the Intercontinental Cup and the Asian Games. On a roster-full of CPBL stars and young prospects at the I-Cup, Chen led the team in BA (.472) and RBI's (9). He also hit a key grand slam against South Korea that began a surprising power-surge that continued through the Asian Games. Chen was the only selected All-Star representative from Taiwan at the I-Cup. At the Asian Games, Chen's hot hitting continued as he was second on the team (# 7 overall) in BA - .450, #2 overall in slugging - 1.050, tops overall in HR's - 3, # 5 overall in RBI's - 7. Here are vids of Chen's 3 HR's at the Asian Games: 1)vs. South Korea 2)vs. South Korea 3) vs. the Philippines
One thing Chen has improved upon throughout this year is his ability to produce runs and hit for power. This was evident as he hit 3rd in the lineup for parts of the last month in AA ball and at the I-Cup and Asian Games. This marked a stark contrast from the WBC where Chen was utilized as a leadoff hitter or during the early part of the minor league season (in A-ball/AA) where he was the #2 hitter in the lineup.
The 23 year old will be one to watch out for next year as he will probably be the next Taiwanese Major Leaguer. Although most project him as a utility IF at the ML's, that is a pretty good return on a guy who signed for only $210,000.

-Bo Sox farm hand Chih-Hsiang Huang bounced back from a rough first season in the US with a nice showing the Fall Instructional League. Huang hit .370, flashing some of that raw potential that the Red Sox were enamored with when they signed him.

-For their gold medal efforts in Doha, each member of the 2006 NT received $92,800 for their winning efforts. Sweetness!

Friday, December 08, 2006

2006 Asian Games: Taiwan V.S. Japan

Video of Lin's game winning hit and the ensuing celebration against Japan!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Come-From-Behind Win!

Mr. Clutch - Lin Driving in the GWRBI

The Best Fans in the World!

Gold Around Their Necks!

As Tsong mentioned in the comments section, the Taiwanese NT had their hands full with the Japanese NT. It took a 2 run rally in the bottom of the 9th inning to eek out a 8-7 win. Hong-Chih Kuo did not pitch for Taiwan. Starting in place of Kuo was Yomiuri Giants rookie Chien-Ming Chiang. Chiang was erratic in his 1.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits. He also had 3 costly walks to go along with 1 WP and 2 K's.
So down 3-0 after 2 innings, Taiwan would score 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning: after C.H. Hsieh doubled, C.L. Hu would drive him in with a single. Hu would advance on an error and score the final run of the inning on a single by Yung-Chi Chen. Japan would tack on 2 more runs in the top of the 6th and 7th innings off of relievers Po-Hsuan Keng and Wei-Lun Pan to make the score 5-2. That set up the big inning in the bottom of the 7th for Taiwan. 3 consecutive singles loaded the bases for Chien-Ming Chang. A WP would allow the lead runner to score and the 2 other base runners to advance 90 feet. C.M. Chang would then drive in both base runners with a single to tie up the game at 5 all. After Yung-Chi Chen singled to advance Chang to 3rd base, C.F. Chen would hit a sac-fly to score Taiwan's 4th run of the inning to put Taiwan up 6-5.
In the top of the 8th, Sung-Wei Tseng came in to relieve Wei-Lun Pan. After inheriting a runner on base, Tseng would then later allow a HR to plate both runners and put Japan up 7-6. Taiwan would fail to score in the bottom of the 8th.
In the top of the 9th, Japan would threaten to score again off Tseng. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, Yung-Chi Chen would throw out a runner at the plate for a fielder's choice getting the 2nd out of the inning. Tseng would then allow his 2nd walk of the inning to load the bases before getting the final out of the inning on a lineout.
The bottom of the 9th would set up Chih-Sheng Lin's game-winning heroics. After C.M. Chang walked, Chin-Feng Chen finally got his first hit of the game as he doubled, advancing Chang to 3rd base. Next up, Lin would single driving in both Chang and Chen, giving Taiwan it's 3rd gold medal of the Asian Games!
Again, although it wasn't pretty, Taiwan's offense was clutch when it mattered. The pitching performance was disappointing, but I take my hat off to the Japanese team for a great showing and performance.

Box Score

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Comparing the Power of CS Yang and CF Chen

Watching vid highlights of CS Yang at the plate has me reminiscing to the earlier days of Chin-Feng Chen. The power generated by both guys at the plate is impressive when you look at their vids. Check out this video of CFC in 1997 when he was 20 years old, cracking a HR against China (I do believe he used an aluminum bat during that game/tourney). The following year, CFC had a breakout year on the international stage when he crushed 5 HR's (to lead the entire tourney) at the Baseball World Cup (click on 1998 link) - that led to him being scouted and signed by the LA Dodgers in 1999.

The impressive thing about CS Yang is that despite being only 19 years old, he is already flashing good power using a wood bat in this year's international tourneys. After only one year in the minors, Yang's power has translated well to the pro game (after having prolific power numbers in HS using an aluminum bat). Being selected to the NT in 2006 for the WBC, the I-Cup, and the Asian Games is a testament to the talent and potential of Yang. In fact, a friend informed me that MLB scouts at the Intercontinental Cup (scouting the Cubans) were extremely impressed by Yang - stating that he could have been a first round pick in the MLB draft (if only he was American).

See Yang's HR vs Japan 11/19/06 in the Intercontinental Cup and HR vs. the Netherlands 11/13/06 also in the Intercontinental Cup.
For more vids please check out this sweet site: Although it is a Chinese language site, it is easily navigatable (use the mouse over technique) and has many highlights of Taiwanese star ballplayers.

Making It Official....

The Rakuten Eagles officially announced the signing of En-Yu Lin today. The Daily Yomiuri reports that Lin received a 2 year deal with a 50 million yen (~$435,000) sign on bonus. That amount is much lower than what was anticipated earlier in the year.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Slim Pickings - 2007 CPBL Draft....

The CPBL draft took place today and a total of 11 amateur players were drafted by the teams involved. In comparison to last year's draft (with CFC and TJ Yeh), the 2007 draft lacked the big names. Oddly enough, the Macoto Cobras and President Lions did not participate in the draft.

Chen (R) - #1 Pick

#1 pick in action - playing the hot corner

With the first pick in the draft, the Brother Elephants selected 24 year old IF Chiang-Ho Chen - a former NT member that participated in the 2005 Baseball World Cup.
Pitcher Chien-Hung Kuo (known for his 88 mph fastball) was picked #2 by the C.T. Whales. The Sinon Bulls took pitcher Yan-Ming Chen with the #3 pick. Pitcher Che-Hsiung Lin rounded out the first round as the #4 pick by the LA New Bears.

Other picks:
2nd Round:
C Chia-Wei Lin - Elephants
C Jen-Chieh Wu - Whales
Chia-Yu Lin - Bulls
P Yu-Liang Cheng - Bears

3rd Round:
Chun-Lin Yeh - Bears

4th Round:
P Chia-Hua Liu - Bears

5th Round:
OF Jen-Chieh Hsu - Whales

A Closer Look at Team Japan....

The Japanese NT has been impressive in the Asian Games considering the amateur status of their players. The 2 big guns for Japan on offense are Hisayoshi Chono and Yasuyuki Saigo who lead the team in RBI's. Chono and Saigo were also on the Japanese NT that played recently in the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan. In the 2 games against Taiwan, Chono did not make much of an impression as he DNP in the preliminary matchup and was 0- 2 in the bronze medal game. Saigo on the other hand cracked a HR off of En-Yu Lin in the preliminary game going 2-4 while he was 1-4 in the 3rd place game. As good as these 2 guys have been for Japan, Yung-Chi Chen and Chin-Feng Chen have been even more impressive. Advantage: Taiwan

As for the pitching staff, the 2 biggest names are Satoshi Komatsu and Kentaro Takasaki, both of whom were the prepicks (top picks) of NPB teams (for Orix and Yokohama respectively) in the recent college/industrial league draft. Komatsu and Takasaki both pitched against South Korea on December 2nd and will probably be used against Taiwan. However when you match up these 2 against Hong-Chih Kuo and Chien-Ming Chiang, the pitching advantage has to go to Taiwan.

While star power has a lot to do with who wins the game, it's the little things (fielding, baserunning, etc.) that also help to determine the final outcome. Based on all of these factors, I think Taiwan's chances of winning a gold medal are very good.

15-0 Win vs. RP

As expected, the Taiwanese NT easily defeated the RP NT in a mercy-shortened 5 inning affair. The Taiwanese offense got untracked, cranking out 15 runs on 17 hits. Yung-Chi Chen slugged his tourney-leading 3rd HR of the Games while Chih-Sheng Lin added a roundtripper as well. Essentially all of the big guns for Taiwan had multiple hits as Hu, YC Chen, CF Chen, CS Lin, and WC Lin combined to go 11-18 with 9 RBI's driven in. Taiwan started amateur Ko-Chien Lin, who earned the win by throwing 4 shutout innings.
Box Score
In the other game of the day, Japan defeated Thailand 6-0 to set up the showdown on Thursday with Taiwan. On paper, Taiwan holds the advantage over Japan in several statistical categories as it leads the tourney in team slugging, batting, pitching, and fielding. Hopefully, the NT will be able to live up to it's advanced billing and win a rare gold medal for Taiwan.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Narrow Win Versus Cross-Straits Rival....

Tseng - Winning Pitcher

Taiwan pulled out a tight 4-2 win over China on Monday. China, who was crushed a day earlier by Japan 16-0, managed to keep things fairly even with the Taiwanese team. Taiwan would score first in the 2nd inning on a solo HR by Tai-Shan Chang. China would strike back and tie things up on a sac-fly in the top of the 3rd. Taiwan would then retake the lead in the bottom of the inning by adding 2 more runs thanks to a Yung-Chi Chen triple and a WP/error committed by the Chinese squad. Sung-Wei Tseng, who pitched a great game - throwing 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits to go along with 8 K's and 2 walks, gave up a solo HR in the 7th inning to make things interesting. Leading by only one, C.F. Chen would blast a clutch leadoff solo blast in the 8th inning to give us a lil more breathing room and give us our final score 4-2.

The 2-run win continues a disturbing recent trend where the Chinese NT continues to give the Taiwanese NT a much closer game than anticipated. I will assume that we shake off this game and handily beat the RP NT tomorrow. That sets up the showdown with Japan for the gold medal on Thursday. The Japanese team, despite their amateur/industrial league status, is talented as evidenced by several members of the team being selected fairly high in the recent NPB draft. Matchup wise, if Kuo is available to pitch on Thursday, then the game should be a low scoring affair for the most part. The wild card will be the Japanese pitching staff - if they can hold down our hitters, then the winner of this game is anyone's guess.

Box Score

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tsao Sighting....

Despite speculation and rumors that the Rockies would drop Tsao from the 40 man roster, as of today, Tsao is still a member of the 40 man list. Activated off of the DL on November 1st, Tsao is currently home in Taiwan. Obviously from the pic above, Tsao has been cleared to throw again. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for a full recovery.

Two Down...Three to Go....

Tarzan 4-4


Taiwan beat an outclassed Thai NT 16-0 on Saturday. In a 5 inning mercy-shortened game, the Taiwanese NT cranked out 21 hits while it's pitching staff combined on a no-hitter. Y.P. Lin earned the win while Chin-Feng Chen, F.M. Chen, and C.M. Chang all cranked out HR's. Leading the way for Taiwan's offense was CPBL veteran slugger Tai-Shan Chang, who was 4-4 with 3 RBI's.
Box Score
Taiwan's next game is versus China on Monday. The biggest news of the day was South Korea's 10-7 loss to the Japanese NT. If the favorites continue to win, then the battle for gold will take place on December 7th between Taiwan and Japan.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Joining the Marines...

The Lotte Marines officially announced the signing of LA New Bears Pitcher Si-Yo Wu to a 2 year deal on Friday. Wu received a reported 40 million yen (~$344,000 US) sign on bonus. With the migration of top NPB players to the US, the NPB will be forced to look elsewhere to sign "cheap" foreign talent. Expect the raid on top Taiwanese players in the CPBL to continue in the future.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

On the Road to Gold? (Pics from Yesterday's SK Game)

Well, as most of you know by now, Taiwan defeated South Korea 4-2 (see last post for scoring recap) yesterday to help position itself towards the top seed in the preliminary phase. The biggest contributors to the NT were it's overseas stars: Kuo, Chen, and to a lesser extent Chiang.

Star of the Game - Y.C. Chen with 2 HR's

Winning Pitcher - Kuo

Reliever - Chiang

Circling the Bases after a HR - Hsieh

CF Chen Being Congratulated by Teammates after Scoring Run
Game Recap
Box Score

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NT vs SK Update....

I gotta hit the sack, but follow the rest of the game here. Jiayo!!

*Top of the 8th: Yung-Chi Chen cracks his 2nd HR of the game to put Taiwan up 4-2!!!!!!!!

*C.M. Chiang replaces Kuo in the bottom of the 6th. Solid job by Kuo - 5 innings - 1 run allowed on 6 hits to go along with 6 K's and 1 walk. Chiang allows a double and a single to plate another run for SK.
After 6 innings: Taiwan 3 - SK 2.

*Taiwan adds another run in the top of the 5th with a leadoff solo HR by Chia-Hsien Hsieh, knocking SK starter Son out of the game.
Heading into the bottom of the 5th: Taiwan 3 - SK 1.

*SK gets a run back in the bottom of the 4th after Kuo gives up a leadoff triple to the cleanup hitter. The next batter drives in the baserunner to make the score 2-1. Kuo gets out of the inning with a DP and a K.
Taiwan 2 - SK 1 heading into the top of the 5th.

*Taiwan's hitters have finally figured out SK starter M.H. Son in the top of the 4th inning. After 1 out, Yung-Chi Chen cracks a solo HR to put Taiwan up 1-0. Chin-Feng Chen follows that up with a double and a SB. Chih-Sheng Lin avenges an earlier K and drives in Chen with a RBI single. After getting out of a little jam in the 2nd inning, Kuo has 3 K's and 0 walks through 3 innings.
Taiwan 2 - SK 0 going into the bottom of the 4th.

Possible Starting Lineup for Tomorrow....

Taiwan's starting lineup for tomorrow might look something like this per reports out of Taiwan:

1)Ching-Lung Hu - SS
2)Chien-Ming Chang - RF
3)Yung-Chi Chen - 2B
4)Chin-Feng Chen - DH
5)Chih-Sheng Lin - 1B
6)Wei-Chu Lin - LF
7)Feng-Min Chen - C
8)Chia-Hsien Hsieh - CF
9)Chih-Wei Shih - 3B - with Tai-Shan Chang coming off the bench

The expected starting pitcher for Taiwan will be Hong-Chih Kuo, with Chien-Ming Chiang and Sung-Wei Tseng available as relievers.

The Korea Times is reporting that South Korea will be using a similar philosophy with it's pitchers - utilizing it's top pitchers in the KBO against the Taiwanese lineup. I got 2 problems with the story written by the K-Times: 1)Rin In-Che or Ying-Chieh Lin as we know him is NOT on the NT 2)The writer, who stated that Kuo was not impressive this past year, probably based his assumption on stats only and must not have watched Kuo's gems against the NY Mets and Arizona DiamondBacks in September.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

T-Minus 2 Days and Counting!

Although the Asian Games Baseball Championships actually kicks off tomorrow, Taiwan's first game versus rival South Korea will take place on Thursday the 30th of November. Taiwan will then face:
2)Thailand on 12/2
3)China on 12/4
4)the Philippines on 12/5
5)Japan on 12/7
before completing the preliminary round robin phase.
-For a complete schedule click here.
-Taiwan's complete roster with pics can be found here.
-Rosters for opposing teams can be found here.
-Interesting take on Taiwan's team from a Korean perspective - although I would disagree with the claim that Taiwan is bringing it's best roster possible - Missing: C.M. Peng, C.M. Wang, E.Y. Lin, and S.Y. Wu. Taiwan's offensive lineup is almost as good as it gets minus C.M. Peng, but the starters could have used a lil' more depth with Lin and Wu.
-More on team Japan here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

White Sox Sign Lin....

*pic added 12/2

With the success of Chien-Ming Wang, it seems as if more MLB teams are interested in getting a foothold in the Taiwanese market. The White Sox signed 20 year old pitching prospect Po-Yu Lin with a sign-on bonus of ~ $300,000. The righty stands 6 feet tall and weighs 216 pounds. Lin was a member of the 2004 junior NT that included fellow minor leaguers Chih-Hsien Chiang and Wang-Wei Lin. At the time, Lin was considered the ace of the staff. Lin's stats for the 2004 Junior World Championships can be found here. Lin gained additional exposure when he played this past summer for the Anchorage Bucs in the ABL. Lin appeared in 6 games for the Bucs and had a 3.03 ERA. Lin played alongside fellow Taiwanese prospect and current NT member - Cheng-Lung Lo.
In high school, Lin was clocked around 90 mph. See video footage here of Lin.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Preparing for the Asian Games....

Lin - #3 or #5 in the Lineup?

Mr. Cleanup - CFC

After some confusion, it appears that Chin-Feng Chen will participate in the Asian Games. The team representing Taiwan will be much stronger (at least on paper it looks that way) than the team that just competed in the Intercontinental Cup. C.F. Chen will be surrounded by US minor leaguers Y.C. Chen who tore the cover off the ball during the I-Cup and C.L. Hu. Throw in NPB pinch hitter extaordinaire W.C. Lin and you have a better hitting lineup than the team that represented Taiwan during the WBC. With Si-Yo Wu pulling out of the Asian Games due to injury, amateur pitcher Chen-Chang Lee will take his roster spot.

As for Taiwan's opponents, South Korea will pose the biggest threat as it will send some of it's top KBO players to Qatar. Japan is expected to field an amateur team at the Asian Games - but will be dangerous nonetheless.
With that said, Taiwan will look to either H.C. Kuo or C.M. Chiang to pitch against South Korea in the opening game for Taiwan.

#2 Starter - Chiang

Ace - Kuo
Other News

Ching-Lung Lo won his 4th game yesterday in the HWB. Lo pitched 6 innings, giving up 1 run (via a solo HR) on 4 hits. Although he K'd 6 hitters, he also put 4 men on base via the freepass. Box Score

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Finally! A Win Versus Japan....

Taiwan won the bronze after it extracted a small measure of revenge against the Japanese NT by beating them the second time around in the I-Cup. Taiwan blanked Japan 4-0 on a dominant performance by Chien-Fu Yang and Sung-Wei Tseng. The 2 combined to K 10 hitters and allowed only 4 hits throughout the game. Taiwan's offense managed 10 hits and 2 HR's against their opponent. After a double by Chien-Ming Chang in the opening frame, Yung-Chi Chen would drive in the game's first run by singling Chang home. Chen was 3-3 with a RBI. Taiwan would add 2 more runs in the 3rd inning on Tai-Shan Chang's 2-run HR. Chung-Shou Yang would complete the scoring by cranking a solo HR in the 8th inning.
Box Score
The 3rd place showing was Taiwan's best effort since 1983 when it also won 3rd at the Intercontinental Cup. As for the tourney all-star team, only Yung-Chi Chen made the roster at 2B.


Overall the team tied Australia for most HR's hit by a team with 10. Chung-Shou Yang led the tourney in runs scored while also tying for second overall in SB's and HR's hit. See more individual leaders here. The team's cumulative stats can be found here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Close Loss to Cuba....

Taiwan lost a heartbreaking 1 run game to Cuba in the semifinals of the Intercontinental Cup 5-4. After falling behind 5-1, Taiwan would rally to score 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning. As for Taiwan's offense: Chung-Shou Yang (1-4) would drive in Taiwan's first run with a RBI-double in the 5th inning. In the 8th inning, Taiwan would mount it's rally with RBI's coming from the heart of it's order - Tai-Shan Chang, Yi-Chuan Lin, and Chia-Hsien Hsieh would all drive in runs. However pinch hitter Guan-Ren Chen would strike out to end the threat in the 8th inning. Taiwan's starter Wei-Lun Pan was unable to hold down the explosive Cuban offense as he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 3.1 innings. Sung-Wei Tseng continued to impress as he held the Cubans scoreless over the last 3 innings, giving up 3 hits to go along with 3 K's.
Box Score
Despite the loss, Taiwan will get another shot at beating Japan on Sunday in the bronze medal game. The Netherlands defeated Japan on Saturday, putting them in the finals against Cuba. On the brighter side of things, this is the first time that we've defeated the Cuban NT in 3 different age groups in the same year. Earlier in the year, our junior NT & collegiate NT defeated their Cuban counterparts. The significance of the victories? Not only can we compete with the world's best amateurs, but the overall quality of baseball in Taiwan has improved significantly over the past few years.

Other News:
Cor has kindly uploaded a short video clip of Taiwan's victory (2nd and 3rd innings) over Cuba in the I-Cup over at Check it out!

Lo lost his 3rd game of the season in the HWB on Wednesday night. Lo pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Lo had a 10 inning scoreless streak broken up after he allowed a run in the first inning.
Box Score

Thursday, November 16, 2006


GW Clutch HR!

Facing elimination from the Intercontinental Cup, the Taiwanese NT dug deep and managed to defeat the Cuban NT 4-3 despite being outhit 10-4. With Cuba up 2-o in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Taiwan would go on to score 4 times in the 3rd inning. Taiwan would score after Chung-Shou Yang and Chien-Ming Chang reached base to start the inning. Chih-Yao Chan drove in Taiwan's first run with a single. A balk by the Cuban pitcher would score Taiwan's second run. Finally, with Chan on base, Tai-Shan Chang came through with a huge hit - a 2-run bomb that would put Taiwan up 4-2. Cuba would score another run in the 6th, but the relief work of Sung-Wei Tseng and Po-Hsuan Keng was phenomenal as they limited the Cubans to 1 run on 4 hits over the last 6.1 innings. Starter Cheng-Lung Lo pitched 2.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits.
With the victory - combined with Australia's loss, Taiwan advances to the semifinals as the #4 seed. Taiwan will face Cuba again in the second semifinal on Saturday. The other 2 top seeds are #2 Japan and #3 the Netherlands. So far, it's been a great run for the NT - beating the Cuban NT is no small feat. This same Cuban team lost to Japan in the WBC finals and is loaded with star talent - including stud Yulieski Gourriel.

Other News:
Chien-Ming Wang threw out the first pitch today prior to Taiwan's match versus Cuba. Wang was also the runner-up to Johan Santana in the AL Cy Young race. Despite a fabulous second season by Wang, Johan Santana deservedly won his second Cy Young award. Santana led the AL in almost all vital pitching categories. Congrats to Santana and Wang on tremendous seasons!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

14-0 Win for NT

Taiwan won big against the Philippines in a run mercy-shortened 6 inning game. Just about everyone in the lineup got in on the hit parade. Led by Yung-Chi Chen, Tai-Shan Chang, and Chih-Yao Chan - all of who had 3 hits and multiple RBI's, the Taiwanese NT scored 14 runs on 18 hits including 2 HR's - one each by Tai-Shan Chang and Chien-Ming Chang. Starter Ko-Chien Lin pitched a complete game shutout in which he K'd 4 and allowed only 3 hits.
Box Score
With the win, Taiwan is now firmly entrenched in the #5 spot behind Australia (combined with the fact that Australia lost today, while the Netherlands won). So essentially, Taiwan's hopes of advancing tomorrow depends on one of two things happening:1)beating Cuba tomorrow or 2)Australia losing to the Netherlands tomorrow. If scenario #2 should occur, Taiwan would also need Italy to lose to South Korea, in the event that Taiwan loses to Cuba. I think scenario #2 is more likely, but we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NT Loses 4-2 to the Netherlands....

Facing the most important game to date in the I-Cup, the NT lost in extra innings 4-2 to the Dutch NT. Wasting a great performance by starting pitcher Chien-Fu Yang, who pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits to go along with 5 K's and 3 walks and reliever Yueh-Ping Lin (2.1 scoreless innings - 4 K's), the Taiwanese NT now finds itself in a deep hole. After the Dutch team had taken an early 1-0 lead, youngster Chung-Shou Yang finally got untracked as he cranked a solo HR in the 3rd inning to tie things up - he would finish with a 2-4 night. Yang, who had hit well in the exhibition matches prior to the I-Cup, was hitting only .077 (1-13) prior to tonight's game.
Yang(R) after the HR

Yung-Chi Chen also continued his hot hitting streak by going 3-5 with a double. The game would remain scoreless until the 10th inning when NT reliever Po-Hsuan Keng would allow a couple of walks/hits/sac-fly that would produce 3 runs for the Dutch team. Taiwan would score a run in the bottom of the 10th, but that was it.
Box Score

With the loss, Taiwan now finds itself in 6th place (2-3) with 2 games remaining (Taiwan loses the tiebreaker to Italy). Taiwan will amost certainly have to win both games or have Lady Luck on their side in order to have a shot at making it to the semis. While a win over the RP is almost a guarantee, beating Cuba - the only undefeated team in the tourney will be a very difficult task. Aside from Cuba and Japan, who are virtually guaranteed the top 2 spots, the other 3 teams ahead of Taiwan have the following games remaining:
1)Australia 3-2: Cuba, the Netherlands
2)Netherlands 3-2: Korea, Australia
3)Italy 2-3: Japan, Korea
Based on the above matchups, it is highly likely that Taiwan will leapfrog Italy should Italy lose to both Asian teams. Therefore, Taiwan would need one of a few things to happen in order to advance to the semis:
1)Both Australia and the Netherlands would need to lose tomorrow and then Australia would need to defeat the Netherlands on Thursday. Taiwan would have to take care of business and beat Cuba. With that scenario, Taiwan would advance as the #3 seed.
2)Or if Australia and the Netherlands both lose tomorrow, Taiwan could still advance as the #4 seed if they lose to Cuba and the Netherlands beat Australia on Thursday.
3)Australia loses both games - we win one game, regardless of how the Dutch team does, we win the tie-breaker vs. Australia and advance as a probable 4 seed.

We'll have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best in the next couple of days.

Other News:
Ching-Lung Hu was removed from Mesa's roster on 11/13. I'm assuming it's because he's on his way home to prepare for the upcoming Asian Games. Hu had a rough time in the AFL as he couldn't get his bat going.

Monday, November 13, 2006

News Updates....

Several injuries to report:

1)AppleDaily reports that Chunichi Dragons pitcher Wei-Yin Chen underwent surgery on Monday in Japan for his throwing elbow. Chen saw only limited action this year with the Dragons nigun team before getting shut down- appearing in 9 games - with 34.1 IP, 1 Win, 3 Losses, and a 4.98 ERA. What can I say - another Taiwanese casualty in the NPB - Grrr!
Hopefully the 21 year old will be able to bounce back quickly after his surgery.

2)En-Yu Lin, who struggled against South Korea on Sunday, has been experiencing discomfort in his throwing elbow and is seeking medical attention. Lin, one of the aces of the NT staff when healthy, stated that there is a high probability that he will not participate in the Asian Games in December.

3)Si-Yo Wu, who was scouted heavily by NPB scouts - particularly the Chiba Lotte Marines during the Konami Cup, injured his neck while pitching against the Samsung Lions. Wu is also reported to be a big ?-mark for the Asian Games roster at this point. The other 2 Taiwanese players who received considerable attention from NPB scouts during the Konami Cup were sluggers Chin-Feng Chen and Chih-Sheng Lin. The LA New Bears office is refuting the rumor that pitcher Yu-Wei Hsu is being considered by the NPB - citing it as just hearsay only.

With the injuries to Wu and Lin, the NT pitching depth for the Asian Game is looking awful thin. With Kuo and Chiang as the aces of the staff, the team will need good performances from S.W. Tseng, W.L. Pan, and C.F. Yang. Also Chin-Feng Chen is reporting that he does not want to participate in the Asian Games secondary to being overly fatigued and wanting to give the younger guys a shot on the international stage.

Other News:

Chien-Fu Yang who was outstanding in his ND versus Japan, will get the start tomorrow versus the Netherlands in the I-Cup. A win is crucial as it would give Taiwan a little more breathing room in placing in the top 4.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Agony of Defeat & The Joy of Victory...

In Japan, the LA New Bears lost to the Fighters 1-0 in the championship game of the 2nd annual Konami Cup. Facing off against young phenom Yu Darvish, the Bears had no answers for the ace of the Fighter's pitching staff. Yu combined with 2 relievers to 2-hit the Bears offense. Chen and Lin were 0-6 with 4 K's between the 2 of them. Wen-Hsiung Hsu, typically a reliever for the Bears got the start and was very impressive in his starting role. Hsu, a WBC NT member, threw 6 scoreless innings, giving up only 3 hits. Although Bears reliever Anthony Fiore was tagged with the loss, the run he gave up in the 7th inning was unearned. Box Score
Despite the loss, the Bears showed that they are one of the elite professional teams in Asia. I'm sure that several members of the Bears team received positive scouting exposure during this tourney. Combined with the fact that the CPBL is having financial woes, I wouldn't be surprised if and when a few NPB teams come knocking on the doors of the Bear's front office/ management. In fact, reports that LA New Bears pitcher Yu-Wei Hsu, who did not make an appearance in the Konami Cup, has drawn interest from the Hanshin Tigers and Yakult Swallows.


HR # 1

HR # 2

Mr. Grand Salami!


Ok, now for some good news. The Taiwanese NT defeated the South Korean representatives 9-7 in a 12 inning marathon at the Intercontinental Cup. With the victory Taiwan moves into a tie for 3rd place with the Netherlands at 2-2. Despite facing a young Korean team, it took 4 HR's and an impressive performance by reliever Wei-Lun Pan to pull out the victory. Ace En-Yu Lin started the game for Taiwan, pitching 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. Lin uncharacteristically walked 4 batters while K'ing only 1. He left the game in a 2 all deadlock - thanks to a first inning 2-run HR by Chia-Hsien Hsieh. Relievers C.L. Lo and C.C. Lee would then struggle and give up 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning alone, to put Taiwan in a hole at 6-2. Taiwan would then rally to take the lead by putting up 5 runs in the top of the 7th inning on the strength of 2 HR's - one by Chuang-Chin Wang and the second - a biggie - a grand slam by Yung-Chi Chen. Wei-Lun Pan pitched 7.1 innings of relief and despite giving up the tying run in the bottom of the 9th, earned the victory when Chien-Ming Chang cracked a 2-run HR in the top of the 12th for the difference in the ball game. Pan gave up only 3 hits to go along with 6 K's and 3 walks. Box Score
Taiwan gets the day off on Monday before resuming play on Tuesday against the Netherlands, Wed. against the Philippines, and Thursday against currently undefeated Cuba. Only the top 4 finishers will compete in the semifinals.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Reversal of Fortune!

A day after getting our hearts broken by the Japanese representatives, the LA New Bears and the NT both picked up victories today against very good opponents.

The Bears defeated the KBO champs - the Samsung Lions 3-2. Si-Yo Wu pitched well enough to keep things close. Wu pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 runs - via a 2 run shot in the 4th, to go along with 4 K's and 3 walks. Offensively, the big guns came through for the CPBL champs. Chin-Feng Chen was instrumental in the win as he had a huge 2 run single in the bottom of the 4th to tie things up. Chen was 2-3 on the day. Fellow NT member - Chih-Sheng Lin would then hit the game winning HR in the bottom of the 6th to complete the scoring. Lin was also 2-3. The Korean pitching staff only allowed 5 hits the entire game, so to say that Chen and Lin were clutch would be an understatement. Box Score
The Bears will now get their rematch against the NPB champs tomorrow. Who the Bears have left to start against the Fighters is anyone's guess - since the Bears top 2 starters Rayborn and Wu have both started recently. Hopefully, Chen and Lin can continue their slugging ways and make things interesting.

In Intercontinental Cup action, the Taiwanese NT defeated a young but talented Australian squad 4-2. Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the 8th, Yung-Chi Chen and Yi-Chuan Lin came up with clutch hits in the 8th to drive in 4 runs between the two of them. The Australian squad would tack on another run in the 9th, but it was too little too late. Starting pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng threw a gutsy game, allowing 1 run on 4 hits through 7 innings - good enough to keep things close for the 8th inning rally. Box Score
Traditional rival South Korea will face off against our boys tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Japan 2 - Taiwan 0

The Bears and the NT both lost tightly contested matches respectively to the Fighters and the Japanese NT today.

The LA New Bears demonstrated that they can compete with the NPB's best - despite losing 2-1. The Bears were actually winning the ball game 1-o through the 7th inning thanks to a HR by LF Hao-Ju Zeng. However, the starting pitcher for the Bears - Kenny Rayborn who threw a tremendous game (lasting 7.1 IP, giving up 4 hits, allowing 1 run to go along with 6 K's), tired in the 8th when he allowed the tying run. Reliever Ramon Morel would relieve Kenny in the 8th and allow the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run in the same inning. In a classic pitcher's duel, the 2 teams totaled 9 hits between them. Bears slugger Chin-Feng Chen struggled as he was 0-4 with 2 K's. Box
The Bears can claim a rematch against the Fighters if they beat the Samsung Lions tomorrow. The Lions defeated China 12-1 today. We can probably expect to see Si-Yo Wu and Ying-Feng Tsai pitch against the Korean champs.

In the Intercontinental Cup, the NT lost 4-3 to a Japanese NT made up of primarily minor leaguers and industrial league players. Taiwan actually managed to even the score at 3 a piece in the top of the 8th inning. However, En-Yu Lin would allow the game-winning run on a solo HR given up to the Japanese clean-up hitter in the bottom of the 8th inning. That was the difference in the ball game. The starting pitcher for Taiwan, Chien-Fu Yang was exceptional, hurling 5 innings, giving up 5 hits - 2 runs, to go along with 7 K's. Reliever Po-Hsuan Keng pitched 2 shutout innings before giving way to ace En-Yu Lin in the 8th inning. IF Yung-Chi Chen continued his hot hitting as he was 2-3 at the plate. Box
Taiwan plays Australia tomorrow.

*Short blurb on C.L. Lo's success as of late.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

You Win Some, You Lose Some....

However, most prognosticators today would probably have predicted victories for both the La New Bears and the Taiwanese NT. But that's why they play the games. Matched up against perceived "weaker" opponents, the Bears held up their end of the bargain by crushing the Chinese NT 12-2, while the Taiwanese NT got demolished by the Italian NT (the same team they beat a few days ago 4-2) 13-3.

In the opening game of the Konami Cup, The LA New Bears were led by Chin-Feng Chen who was the catalyst behind the offensive outburst. Chen was 4-5 with 2 HR's (including a grand slam) and 6 RBI's. Catcher Feng-Min Chen was 2-3 with a HR and 3 runs driven as well. 1B Chih-Sheng Lin was 2-5. All in all, the offense managed to crank out 18 hits against the Chinese team. Box
The Bears will face off against the tourney favorite - the Nippon Ham Fighters of the NPB tomorrow. The Fighters defeated the KBO champs 7-1 today. The final game would pit the Bears against the Samsung Lions on Saturday. If the Bears place in the top 2 teams, they would then play in the championship game on Sunday.
Nice story on Bears hitting coach - Ming-Tsu Lu

As for the Taiwanese NT........ugh! The strength of the team was supposed to be the pitching staff. However today, several pitchers from Taiwan got smacked around. Starting pitcher Wei-Lun Pan lasted only 2.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. His relievers, Ko-Chien Lin - Chen-Chang Lee - Yao-Hsung Yang would give up 13 hits and 10 runs over the next 6+ innings!! The few bright spots for the NT were all on the offensive side of the field as Mariner farmhand Yung-Chi Chen was 2-4 with the team's one of only two extra base hits (a triple), Chien-Ming Chang was 3-5 with a RBI, and CPBL ROY Guan-Ren Chen was 3-4 (had the other extra base hit - a double). Other notables included: cleanup hitter Chia-Hsien Hsieh and slugger Tai-Shan Chang going a combined 0-8 at the plate. 19 year old Chung-Shou Yang was 1-5 with a SB.
Taiwan plays Japan tomorrow followed by Australia and South Korea on Saturday and Sunday. Taiwan could find itself with 4 losses on Monday.

After his last encouraging start, Ching-Lung Lo earned pitcher POW honors in the HWB for the week of 10/31 to 11/5. Lo continued his newfound confidence by throwing a gem of a game yesterday. Lo won his 3rd game of the season for the BeachBoys by throwing a 1 hit, 9 K shutout over 5 innings against North Shore.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Chien-Ming Wang returned home to Taiwan today. He was mobbed by the media and fans upon his arrival in Tainan. Wang is expected to stay in Taiwan for the next 2 months before reporting back to the US in January.

As for news regarding Tsao's recovery, is reporting that Tsao is currently in Taiwan right now, but will be returning to the US Nov. 15th to see how his arm is coming along. The Rockies will probably make their decision after that time period to see if Tsao will still remain on the 40 man roster.

Monday, November 06, 2006

NT WINS 2-1 over Cuba...

Lefty Lo

In it's final tuneup match prior to the I-Cup, Taiwan defeated powerhouse Cuba 2-1. Amazingly, that's 3 times this year a Taiwanese NT has defeated a Cuban NT. Amateur pitcher, Cheng-Lung Lo - another 19 year old, held the Cubans in check over the first 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits. Lo was clocked at 90 mph. Lo's relievers got the job done, blanking the Cubans over the final 4 innings. Chien-Fu Yang earned the win in relief of Lo, while En-Yu Lin also made his first appearance in a relief role. With the win, hopefully the NT has built some momentum and confidence going into the Cup.

Other News
Kuo reporting for his mandatory 12 day military stint

Kuo is back in Taiwan, fulfilling his military obligations and getting ready for the Asian Championships in December.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

NT 6-4 Loss to Australia....

3B Chang (foreground) and IF Yang in action

The NT lost their 3rd warm up game today to the Australian NT. Starting pitcher Chen-Chang Lee, the 19 year old amateur player who beat Cuba earlier this summer, lasted 3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Lee was clocked at 92 mph on his fastball. His replacement, fellow amateur pitcher Ko-Chien Lin came in and pitched 2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits. Relievers Yueh-Ping Lin (clocked at a high of 94 mph) and Po-Hsuan Keng managed to stop the bleeding and blank Australia the rest of the way. As for the NT's offense, it was pretty non-existent except for amateur IF Yi-Chuan Lin's 3 run blast in the 4th inning. Lin would also crack a double in the 7th inning, steal 3rd base and score on catcher Chih-Kang Kao's rbi single. The NT only managed 6 hits for the entire game.
The NT's final warm up match will be tomorrow versus the Cuban NT, who narrowly beat the Italian NT 3-2 today. Amateur Cheng-Lung Lo is scheduled to start tomorrow's match for the NT.
The Intercontinental Cup will then kick off on November 9th, with Taiwan's shedule listed below:
1)11/9 vs Italy
2)11/10 vs Japan
3)11/11 vs Australia
4)11/12 vs Korea
5)11/14 vs the Netherlands
6)11/15 vs Cuba
7)11/16 vs the Philippines
On the 18th, the semifinals will match up the top 4 teams with the championship/consolation game to be played on the 19th of November.

Other News
The New York Daily News writes about Daisuke Matsuzaka, the highly sought after NPB superstar pitcher from Japan. Matsuzaka is an admirer of fellow 26 year old Chien-Ming Wang and wants to be like him. The two could very well be teammates next year as the Yanks figure to be one of the favorites in their pursuit of the NPB's brightest star. *edited*

More on the recent CPBL postseason awards.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

NT 4-2 Win Over Italy....

In the third exhibition match for the NT in preparation for the Intercontinental Cup, the NT managed to defeat the Italian NT 4-2. Starting pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng pitched 5 scoreless innings, K'ing 4. The Italian NT scored both of their runs in the 9th inning off of NT reliever Yueh-Ping Lin. Lin, who was clocked ~ 89 to the low 90's, continues to struggle after failing to shut down the LA New Bears in his closer role during the CPBL Championships. Again, the offensive star for the NT was 19 year old Chung-Shou Yang who collected 2 hits and drove in 2 runs.

En-Yu Lin, the CPBL triple crown winner (Wins/ERA/K's), was voted MVP of the CPBL. Lin, who will continue his career next year in Japan, beat out Chin-Feng Chen (finished 2nd in voting) and Tai-Shan Chang.

Chen - ROY
As expected, the CPBL ROY award went to Guan-Ren Chen of the Brother Elephants.

Hu was 0-3 in tonights 4-2 Mesa loss. Box
Hu's 4th journal entry is now up. Check it out.

Lo earned his second victoy in the HWBL yesterday. Lo easily has his best outing in Hawaii as he pitched 5 scoreless innings, giving up 4 hits to go along with 4 K's and 1 walk. Box

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Kuo a Go for Asian Games....

Looks like the Dodgers gave the A-Ok for Kuo to pitch in Qatar in December. Read more here.

CPBL News:
CPBL to generate revenue via the sports lottery?

LA New Bears coach kidnapped

Card of the Month - Chin-Feng Chen 2000 Bowman

In honor of Chen's first pro championship and Finals MVP status, here is a copy of Chen's most unique memorabilia card. Even though the Dodgers and MLB have forgotten about Chen for now, he will always remain a national hero in our hearts. Hopefully Chen can continue to terrorize NPB and KBO pitching in the upcoming Konami Cup.

Chiang Faces Off Against MLB All-Stars...

Playing in an exhibition game versus a squad of Major League All-Stars, Chiang and the Yomiuri Giants managed a 7-7 tie in a 9 inning game. Getting the opportunity to face some of the best hitters in the world, Chiang did just fine. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits (2 HR's allowed - both in the 6th inning on back to back HR's to Ryan Howard and Andruw Jones), with 0 K's. The MLB All-Stars will face off against the NPB All-Stars starting tomorrow in a 5 game series.

Hu was a combined 1-8 with 1 run scored these past 2 days. 11/1 Box 11/2 Box

CT NT News
As Maos mentioned earlier, the NT lost to the LA New Bears in an exhibition game on Monday 4-3. The NT also dropped a rain-shortened game 2 to the Bears today 2-1. Despite being on the losing end in both games, one bright spot for the NT has been the performance of phenom Chung-Shou Yang, who cranked out 2 hits in Monday's game and drove in the only run for the NT in game 2. Next up for the NT - the Italian NT on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More on Lin....Hu not good enough??

Taipei Time's announcement of Lin's signing.

Hu DNP today, but Baseball America has a little piece on Hu's struggles in the AFL - not only at the plate but surprisingly in the field as well.

"He tries to do too much," a scout from an NL club said. "He has first-step quickness, he has some explosiveness defensively, but he's not fundamentally sound. He's not the guy you want the ball hit to when it means something. Ivan DeJesus(Dodgers 2005 second-round pick) is such a much better prospect for them at that position."

Wow, those are some harsh words on Hu - something you wouldn't expect given Hu's reputation as a defensive whiz. I question the scout's take when he states that Hu is not fundamentally sound. Fundamentals are the name of the game when it comes to amateur baseball in Taiwan.
"He's not the guy you want the ball hit to when it means something." - Hu committed the fewest errors this past season in all of AA at the SS position (considering only an everyday player who played a full season). In 125 game appearances in the Southern League, he committed only 11 errors. Also, despite hitting only .254 this past year, Hu was recognized as a Southern League All-Star - so obviously his glove got him that recognition.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday News....

***In preparation for the Intercontinental Cup, the NT will play a series of exhibition matches beginning Wednesday, November 1st. The schedule is listed below:
1)11/1 - vs. LA New Bears
2)11/2 - vs. LA New Bears
3)11/4 - vs. Italian NT
4)11/5 - vs. Australian NT
5)11/6 - vs. Cuban NT

***Hu was 1-5 today with 2 runs scored and a SB. Mesa won 14-4 in the AFL. Box

***Well as Maos stated earlier, En-Yu Lin is now the newest member of the Rakuten Eagles. His signing bonus is rumored to be in the ballpark of around $600 K to $750 K. If that amount is correct, then the Eagles obviously feel that E.Y. Lin's upside is greater than that of Y.C. Lin, who got around $400K when he signed with the Eagles last year.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday Roundup....

Eagles set to sign another Lin?

***The Rakuten Eagles of the NPB are very close to sealing the deal with the Cobra's En-Yu Lin. Lin would join former teammate Ying-Chieh Lin on the last place team in the Pacific League.

***In the HWBL, Lo got lit up yesterday as he pitched 3 innings, gave up 5 runs on 4 hits (one of them a 2 run shot), to go along with 3 walks and 3 K's. Despite the shaky outing, Lo earned a ND. Box

***The field is set for the Konami Cup. The LA New Bears will face off against the Nippon Ham Fighters, the Samsung Lions, and the CBA All-Star team.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

News Briefs....

Hu Update:
Catching up on the last couple of days, Hu was 0-4 on 10/26 versus the Javelinas.
On 10/27, Hu participated in the inaugural AFL Rising Stars Game. Playing for the Eastern squad, Hu was 2-4 as his team won 3-1.
Today, Hu was 2-3 with a RBI double and a run scored. Mesa won 5-3.
Hu's latest journal entry is also available at this time.

CPBL News:
Looks like the future of professional baseball in Taiwan is up in the air - it's hard to keep a business afloat when you lose money. Read more here.

Things are becoming a 'lil clearer for the LA New Bears: the Nippon Ham Fighters will represent the NPB in the Konami Cup. The Samsung Lions still lead their KBO opponent 3-1, with rain delaying the series.

Intercontinental Cup Roster Shuffle:
Replacing the 5 LA New Bears: Chin-Feng Chen, Si-Yo Wu, Feng-Min Chen, Chih-Sheng Lin, and Chih-Wei Shih will be:
1)P Cheng-Lung Lo - Amateur
2)C Yi-Wei Lee - Amateur
3)IF Yi-Chuan Lin - Amateur
4)IF Tsung-Nan Lin - CPBL
5)OF Guan-Ren Chen - CPBL

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bears Sweep!

SERIES MVP: Chin-Feng Chen
(.385 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI's, 2 SB's)

As BigD and Maos alluded to earlier, the LA New Bears claimed the CPBL crown by sweeping the President Lions on Wednesday. Although the final score was 7-3, the game was kept close thanks to a solid start from Lions star Wei-Lun Pan. Pan, who pitched into the 6th inning, found himself with a 3-0 lead heading into the 5th inning. The Bears would then start to chip away at the lead by scoring a run in the 5th before Chin-Feng Chen's 2 run bomb in the 6th inning would tie things up and ultimately knock Pan out of the game. The Bears would then go on to wrap up the series by putting up 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning for the final score.
Notable Game Stats:
Wei-Lun Pan 5.2IP 7H/3ER 4K's/1BB
Chin-Feng Chen 1-4 1HR 2RBI's
Chih-Sheng Lin 2-5 1R scored
Next up for the Bears - the Konami Cup - pitting the pro championship teams from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and an all-star team from China against one another. The K-Cup will take place in November, from the 9th to the 12th - coinciding with the Intercontinental Cup which will occur on Nov. 9th thru the 19th. I'm sure some roster adjustments will have to be made for the I-Cup as 5 NT members will be representing the Bears. Even though the NPB and KBO champs will be favored to repeat last year's 1-2 standing, you have to like the Bears chances this year. C.F. Chen is the great equalizer for the Bears - make a mistake and he'll make you pay - he also has a great track record against some of the better professional pitchers in the NPB and KBO.
In previewing possible opponents for the Bears, here's a brief rundown on the possible representatives from the KBO (Samsung up 2-1 in the series) and NPB (Fighters up 3-1 in the series).

Hu was 0-3 as Mesa lost 7-5 today. Box

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

3-0 Bears....

Well, the LA New Bears now have a commanding lead in the championship series with the next 2 games to be played at the Lion's home stadium in Tainan. The Bears won 5-2 behind game MVP - Chih-Sheng Lin's big night. Lin was 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI's. Bears rookie pitcher, Ying-Feng Tsai earned his first postseason win as he went 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits to go along with 0 K's and 1 walk. Chin-Feng Chen was 1-4. The Bears could sweep the series tomorrow night.

Although Hu DNP tonight for Mesa, he was recently named to the 2006 AFL Rising Stars Eastern Division Team. The game will take place on the 27th of this month.


A team from Taitung won the Hong-Yeh(Maple Leaf) International Invitational Tourney (with some of the top 13 and under talent in Taiwan on display) in Taiwan - beating a team from the US(the Bakersfield Heat). Taitung won 6-0 in the championship game. The tourney's top hitter, Taitung's Hung-Sheng Yang also pulled MVP honors. TOURNEY MVP: Yang

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lo/Hu Updates...

Lo won his first game in the HWBL on Sunday - demonstrating much better command of his pitches. Lo pitched 5 scoreless innings, giving up 4 hits to go along with 1 walk and 3 K's. This was Lo's first quality start in 4 games. Box

In the AFL, Mesa lost 3-2 today. Hu was 1-4 with a SB and a run scored. Box

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bears Up 2-0....

In a tightly contested game 2, the LA New Bears defeated the President Lions today by a score of 6-5. The Bears came from behind, trailing 5-3 in the 8th inning, with some clutch hitting by Chih-Sheng Lin, who was 2-5 with 2 RBI's - and F.M. Chen. After knotting up the score at 5 runs apiece in the 8th, the stage was set for the Bear's Feng-Ming Chen's GWRBI in the bottom of the 9th inning. F.M Chen was the game MVP with a 2-4/2 RBI night. The Lions were very careful with slugger Chin-Feng Chen, as he was 1-2 with 3 walks for the Bears.
The pivotal game 3 will take place Tuesday, as the Bears seek to stake a commanding lead in the series. Rookie Ying-Feng Tsai is expected to start for the Bears on Tuesday.

Other News:
Great news for amateur baseball in Kaohsiung, Taiwan: The city's mayor pledged more money to help fund baseball programs in the area. I guess we can thank Chien-Ming Wang for helping to make this possible!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bears Take Game 1 in Extra Innings....

The LA New Bears won Game One of the Championship Series 4-3 over the President Lions. A clutch hit by Chih-Wei Shih scored Chin-Feng Chen in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Bears the series lead. Chen was 2-3 with 2 walks and 2 SB's. As for the starting pitching, the matchup between Wu and Pan did not live up to the pregame hype. Wu pitched 3 innings for the Bears, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. He had 2 K's and 2 walks allowed. Pan fared better as he threw 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, to go along with 5 K's and 3 walks. Both starters earned a ND.
Game 2 takes place tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2006

CPBL Championships Set to Kickoff....

Tomorrow, the 21st. Two of the best domestic pitchers not named En-Yu Lin will be matched up against one another in the opening game. The Bears will match Si-Yo WuWU

against the Lion's Wei-Lun Pan.PAN

The two pitchers have some history together and were once high school teammates. Read more here.

Hu was 0-4 with a walk and a run scored as Mesa won 6-3. Box

A new entry from Hu's player journal.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

.500 for Hu Tonight..

In the AFL, Hu was 2-4 with a run scored for the Mesa Solar Sox. The Sox beat Scottsdale 9-1. Box

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tsao Update....

Well, according to the latest news out of Colorado, things are not looking good for Tsao. After suffering a setback in his last bullpen session, the Rockies are not expected to include Tsao on it's 40 man roster. The Rockies GM was quoted as saying, "There's now concern if he will even pitch again." Man, things sound pretty bleek - but the only thing we can do is hope and pray for the young man's future.

Yesterday in the HWBL, Lo earned a ND in which he gave up 3 runs on 3 hits in 4 innings. Lo struggled with his command, throwing only 38 strikes out of 69 pitches. Box

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Taiwan Baseball Vid - Past and Present: Part 5

Brief clips on Tsao, Wang, Hu, Chen, Yang
Taiwan Baseball Vid - Past and Present: Part 4

Current Taiwanese ballers in Japan: Wei-Chu Lin, phenom Chung-Shou Yang, bro - Yao-Hsun Yang, Ying-Chieh Lin, Chih-Chia Chang
Taiwan Baseball Vid - Past and Present: Part 3

Transition to the US with emphasis on pioneer Chin-Feng Chen and Ching-Lung Hu. Short clips on Tsao and Y.C. Chen.
Taiwan Baseball Vid - Past and Present: Part 2

Taiwanese Legends in Japan: Tai-Yuan Kuo, Yuan-Chi Kuo, Ming-Tsu Lu, Chih-Chia Chang
Taiwan Baseball Vid - Past and Present: Part 1

Intro on Taiwan baseball - with emphasis on Chien-Ming Wang

Hu's Back....

Well, it looks like the hand injury was nothing serious. Hu was back in action in the AFL yesterday and today. Unfortunately, he couldn't get untracked. He was 0-4 yesterday and 1-5 tonight.

A good friend passed on a series of awesome video footage of past and current Taiwanese baseball stars. The 5 part series can be found on - I'll try to link the videos to the blog - the only thing is that the vids are in Chinese.

Monday, October 16, 2006

News Updates....(Twins Sign Lin)

Ok, lots to report here....Wang-Wei Lin
(pic from Apple Daily News - Taiwan)
*First and foremost, per my buddy and the news out of Taiwan, the Minnesota Twins have entered into the Taiwanese market by signing 18 year old outfielder Wang-Wei Lin. Lin, whose twin brother is none other than Red Sox pitching prospect Wang-Yi Lin, was considered one of the top hitting prospects on the 2006 junior NT that competed recently in Cuba. Lin, who struggled a bit in Cuba, flashed some of his potential by cracking one of only 2 HR's for the Taiwanese team - not bad considering the kids used wooden bats. Lin is rumored to have received a signing bonus in the ballpark of around $90-100K.

Ping-Yen Lee
*Next, the SoftBank Hawks and 18 year old Ping-Yen Lee have come to an agreement (sign-on bonus of around $335,000) and his signing was officially announced today. Lee will join fellow Taiwanese prospect, pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang on the nigun team. Despite standing only 5'9", Lee cranked out 53 HR's and hit above .500 over his 3 year HS career. Lee also has decent speed as he was clocked at 6.3 seconds over 50 meters.

Keng and Chen gearing up for the IC Cup!

*The final 24 man roster for the Intercontinental Cup coming up in November has been released:
1)Chien-Fu Yang - CPBL
2)Wei-Lun Pan - CPBL
3)En-Yu Lin- CPBL
4)Yueh-Ping Lin - CPBL
5)Si-Yo Wu - CPBL
6)Po-Hsuan Keng - Blue Jays
7)Sung-Wei Tseng - Indians
8)Yao-Hsun Yang - Hawks
9)Chen-Chang Lee - Amateur
10)Ko-Chien Lin - Amateur
1)Chun-Chang Yeh - CPBL
2)Chih-Kang Kao - CPBL
3)Feng-Min Chen - CPBL
1)Chuan-Chia Wang - CPBL
2)Tai-Shan Chang - CPBL
3)Chih-Wei Shih - CPBL
4)Chih-Sheng Lin - CPBL
5)Yung-Chi Chen - Mariners
6)Chung-Shou Yang - Fighters
1)Chin-Feng Chen - CPBL
2)Chia-Hsien Hsieh - CPBL
3)Chien-Ming Chang - CPBL
4)Yu-Hsien Ming - CPBL
5)Chih-Yao Chan - Amateur

Big Bro

Lil' Bro

*The finals for the CPBL is set: The LA New Bears will take on the President Lions in a 7 game series beginning October 21st. Should be interesting as some of the top domestic talent will be competing against one another - C.F. Chen, S.Y. Wu, W.L. Pan, and Y.P. Lin. Also the Chen brothers will be fighting for family bragging rights.