Washington Nationals pitcher and “Pride of Taiwan” Wang Chien-ming (王建民) on Monday night admitted he had a months-long extramarital affair while he was recovering from a shoulder injury in 2009.
“I sincerely apologize to the fans who have been supporting me,” Wang told a press conference in Viera, Florida. “I’m sorry I set a bad example and I let you down.”
Fans were shocked to hear the confession from their baseball hero, a man of few words known for his image as a family man. That positive image has also made him one of the most-wanted spokespersons for local businesses, from a laptop computer manufacturer to a blood bank.
Photo: Lu Chun-wei, Taipei Times
Haltingly reading from a statement, Wang said the relationship started after he completed surgery on his right shoulder three years ago.
“After the operation in 2009, I did not know if my career as a professional baseball player was over,” Wang said. “Because of the long rehabilitation process, I was depressed and felt helpless and hopeless every day. I lost balance between my physical and psychological life. I had an extramarital affair at a low point in my life.”
Wang said the relationship lasted about eight months and that he decided to terminate it because he could no longer live with the “strong sense of guilt.”
Even after he ended the affair, the woman continued to seek every means possible to resume the relationship and even threatened to expose the affair to the media.
“I really do not want to hurt this lady,” Wang said. “But weighing on the situation, the people I should not hurt are my family.”
Wang said he could not describe how sorry he was for the harm he had caused his wife and family as a result of a momentary weakness and that he was willing to pay the price for his action.
He said he felt even more ashamed after his wife and family chose to forgive him.
“I cannot let my family go through the suffering again,” Wang said. “I sincerely ask our friends in the media not to ask them any more questions. They are innocent and have been forced to bear such pressure.”
Asked how Wang’s spouse, Wu Chia-ling (吳嘉姈), reacted when she learned of the affair, Wang’s agent, Alan Chang (張嘉元), said she was devastated at first, but had chosen to forgive her husband to preserve their family, adding that they would work together to maintain the family and move on.
Media have identified the woman with whom Wang had an affair as a Taiwanese American known as “Cyndi.”
In an interview with the Chinese-language Next Magazine, she said she did not know Wang was a Major League Baseball pitcher, nor did she know he was married.
Asked if the Nationals knew about the affair, Wang said the team only asked him to confront the matter honestly and said would not affect his career with the team.
Wang made his major league debut for the New York Yankees in 2005 and went on to win 19 starts in both the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He was at one point the highest-paid Taiwanese player in the major leagues.
He has been with the Washington Nationals organization since 2010, but he did not make his return to the majors until last year.
He is currently on the 15-day disabled list.
Additional reporting by staff writer
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South