Fri, Nov 09, 2001 - Page 16 News List

Three Aussie players find themselves back on Taiwanese fields

By Jeffrey Wilson  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Panama and the Dominican Republic aren't the only teams who have players that formerly played on professional teams in Taiwan.

Australia has a trio of players who have played in the Taiwan Major League -- utility fielder Paul Gonzalez (Chiayi Luka), pitcher Shane Tonkin (Taipei Gida) and infielder Gavin Fingleson (Chiayi Luka).

Fingleson played for the Luka this year, hitting .369-1-15 in 103 at-bats. After the Luka released him and fellow Aussie Matt Buckley to make room for import pitchers, Chiayi went in a free fall, winning one of their final 26 games to finish the season 13-47 -- the worst record ever for a Taiwan pro-baseball team.

Language Exchange

No need to go to school today.

There are plenty of free language lessons at the World Cup.

A total of 323 persons, mostly college students, volunteered to be interpreters to assist the foreign 15 teams during the tournament.

Another 273 volunteers are helping in other positions, such as grounds crew. And yet another couple of hundred students from the neighboring Lanyu Middle School went to the Canada-Australia game for a field trip.

Their numbers boosted the attendance significantly, but expat Canadians were only partly successful in teaching cheers to the the kids to urge on the Canadian team.

Blacked Out

In a country where just about every television set is wired for cable, just about everyone in Taiwan can watch the World Cup games -- except the teams. According to the team from the Netherlands, the Grand Hotel, where many of the teams are staying, does not provide access to the local cable channels showing the games.

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