Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Nationals support Wang Chien-ming and family: Rizza

Staff writer, with CNA, Washington

A senior executive in the Washington Nationals organization expressed his support on Tuesday for Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming over his decision to publicly admit to having had an extramarital affair.

“Chien-Ming Wang [sic] has my full support, and the support of the Washington Nationals organization, as he and his family deal with a difficult personal situation,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in an e-mailed statement.

“I appreciated Chien-Ming’s honesty in relaying the facts to me directly and I am satisfied that he has accepted responsibility for his actions. I hope the time will not be distant when his family can put this ordeal behind them and a healthy Chien-Ming can focus on returning to the mound and to his team,” Rizzo said.

He added that the team would not comment further on the issue.

Wang, one of Taiwan’s most popular athletes, held a press conference in Viera, Florida, on Monday in which he admitted to an eight-month affair in 2009 and publicly apologized to his family and fans over the “big mistake.”

Wang took action after a source tipped off a Taiwanese tabloid to the story and provided incriminating photographs.

The pitcher did not discuss the issue again when he showed up at the Space Coast Stadium in Viera on Tuesday morning for a workout, saying instead that he would take it easy as he prepares to return to the mound following his latest injury.

“My focus now is doing well at my job and getting myself ready to get back to the major leagues,” Wang said.

Wang strained his hamstring fielding a slow roller during a spring training game against the New York Yankees on March 15 and has since been rehabilitating.

The Nationals have yet to decide whether to insert him into the starting rotation or keep him in the bullpen and bring him along slowly when he returns to the major league club.

While the extramarital affair is not expected to affect his baseball career, the incident nevertheless has surprised many of his fans because it belied his image as a family man.

According to the owner of a Taiwanese-style snack shop in Rockville, Maryland, Wang often visits the shop with his wife and son and has shown great consideration for them.

The owner recalled one time when the couple’s child was asleep in the family’s car and Wang decided to keep him company while his wife came in to eat. Wang only took his son out of the car after he woke up.

“I’ve never seen another man who is as considerate to his wife and child as Wang,” the shop owner said.

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