The change in management at the New York Yankees does not seem to have had any effect on Wang Chien-ming (王建民), as the Taiwanese starter said in a press conference yesterday that he hoped to stay with the Yankees for a very long time.
"[The Yankees] are the best baseball team in the US," he said. "I hope I can stay there forever."
The press conference was held five hours after Wang arrived in Taipei at 5:15am yesterday.
Wang did not show any weariness after his long flight and seemed glad to take questions from the press.
Asked to comment on former Yankees manager Joe Torre and his resignation, Wang said that he was disappointed, because Torre had managed the team very well.
He said he wanted to thank Torre for having had so much faith in him and having made him the starting pitcher in so many games.
Wang said he had written a letter of appreciation to Torre and wished him great success with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Regarding new Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Wang said it always took some time to adjust to the style of a new coach, and that he would get to know more about Girardi during spring training next year.
Wang admitted he had problems controlling the ball in the past season.
Commentators have observed that besides sinkers, Wang has tried sliders and change-ups this year. However, they said that his sinkers were not very effective.
Wang said one game that stood out in his memory was the Yankees' clash with the Toronto Blue Jays in August. As the starting pitcher of the game, Wang only pitched two-and-a-half innings before being replaced after giving up eight runs.
"I will work on my slider and change-ups for the next season," he said.
Wang said his agent would be in charge of negotiating a new contract with the Yankees, but added that the salary should match someone with a similar performance record.
Wang was unable to represent Taiwan in either this year's baseball World Cup and Asian Championship, but said he would try to attend games whenever he could.
"I hope I can still wear the uniform of Taiwan's baseball team and join future games overseas," he said.