With the All-Star game scheduled for Saturday in Taichung, this week's team matchups in the CPBL are slightly different from the norm.
Instead of the 10 games that are usually played each week, two games have been scheduled from Tuesday through Thursday for a total of six contests this week.
This year's mid-summer classic will be the first of its kind since the two leagues merged at the beginning of the season. Fan support for this year's game was overwhelming as the total number of votes received by league officials broke the 660,000 mark -- the highest ever in Taiwan pro baseball history.
Experts attribute the positive results to the initiation of casting fan ballots via mobile phones. Almost 133,500 votes were received from cellphones.
Stars from the six ball clubs are split into two teams this year: Team Red, headed by Elephants manager Lin Yi-tseng (
Leading all players in total votes was Elephants star center fielder Chen Chih-yuan (
Lions speedster Huang Kang-ling (
Starting off on the mound for Team Red will be Bulls second-year pitcher Tsai Chung-nan (
Batting coach Wang Kuang-hui (
Rounding out the starting lineup for Team Red are Elephants' Chen Rei-chang (
Representing the Gida on Team Red are first baseman Hsieh Jia-shien (
Catching for Team White is Tseng Chih-cheng (
The rest of the starting lineup for Team White are Lions' designated hitter Luo Ming-ching (
This year's pre-game festivities include "Fanfest," which begins at 10am, a beer-drinking contest at 1:30pm, an anti-SARS charity auction at 2pm, autograph sessions from 2:30pm to 2:45pm, and the Homerun Derby at 4:25pm.
Taichung City Mayor Hu Chih-chiang (
The Elephants easily handled the Gida on Tuesday in Hsinchu with a 9-1 win. Elephants starter Gomez Martinez of Panama was brilliant in his debut as he held the Gida hitters to no runs on four hits over eight innings of play. Martinez also fanned seven en route to his first victory of the season.