Fri, Aug 22, 2003 - Page 24 News List

The squeaky clean Elephants step in a big pile of doo-doo

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Just when things couldn't be any rosier on the baseball diamond for the Brother Elephants, the current leaders in league standings, trouble hit them off the field on Monday as the team bus got into a racing contest on National Highway One that ended with a truck driver being hospitalized.

Chen Pang-teh (陳邦德) of Wu Soong Transportation Co (五崧捷運), suffered from a broken leg and injuries to his face following a brawl with the team members.

Known for its tough operating style where curfews are strictly enforced and players are forbidden from even chewing betel nuts, the image-conscious Elephants organization immediately sent senior officials Huang Ying-po (黃瑛坡) and Cheng Nai-jee (鄭乃基) to God's Heart Hospital (華濟醫院) in Chiayi on Tuesday to express its regrets and apologies.

The Elephants also took immediate disciplinary measures the day after the incident, suspending reserve players Cheng Han-li (鄭漢禮) and Chu Hung-sheng (朱鴻森) for one month without pay and fining training assistant Wu Sheng-wu (吳聲武) and practice-squad member Peng Cheng-hsin (彭政欣) one month's salary for reportedly beating the truck driver with baseball bats after a fight broke out.

Team officials have not determined the severity of the disciplinary action that will be imposed on team bus driver Chen Kuo-wang (陳國旺) and team management representative, Lai Yong-hui (賴永輝).

While a formal report by the local police department remains unavailable, because of discrepancies between both parties' description of events leading up to and including the incident, the Elephants organization has already shown a willingness to settle the matter out of court.

Chen Pang-the declined the friendly gesture on behalf of the Elephants and has requested that his company, take legal action against the Brother Elephants organization.

Elephants President Hung Rei-ho (洪瑞河) held a press conference that was attended by the entire baseball team in Kaohsiung on Tuesday to express the team's regrets for the incident.

"Regardless of who is at fault, physical retaliation will not be tolerated by this team under any circumstances," Hung said, later bowing and apologizing for the team's poor judgment and bad behavior.

Round Up

Game 1 in a series between the Elephants and the First Securities Agan was reschedule for 2pm tomorrow because of rain.

Game 2 on Wednesday in Kaohsiung began with the Elephants grabbing a one-run lead in the first inning on a walk and two wild pitches by Agan starter Claudio Galva.

That would be the only run that the left-hander from the Dominican Republic would allow, because he quickly settled in and pitched five nearly flawless innings.

The game ended in 3-3 tie, setting a new record for winless streak between any two teams in the league at 16.

Upcoming Games

The Sinon Bulls host the President Lions in Taichung for two games which began yesterday and continue tomorrow, before the series finale in Hsinchu on Sunday.

The three-game series between the Chinatrust Whales and the Makoto Gida will take place in northern Taiwan, with Games 1 and 2 in Hsinchuang yesterday and today, respectively, and Game 3 in Tienmu on Sunday.

The Elephants face the Agan in a rare game in Pingtung today before Saturday's day/night doubleheader in Kaohsiung.

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