Eleven games into the season, the Uni-President Lions have clearly established themselves as the team to beat with a league-best 8-3 record (through Wednesday) thanks to the red-hot hitting trio of Chang “OEO” Tai-shan, Mike Cervenak and Chen Yung-chi.
The big three bashing brothers for the Cats may not have the batting averages to place them among the top five in the league, but when it comes to total run production they are among the top five, with a combined RBI total of 31, giving the top-ranked Lions nearly three runs per contest.
“With that kind of run support, it’s pretty hard to lose,” baseball commentator Chung Chung-tsai said last week.
The Lions not only have the best team batting average in the league at .327, but also the highest runs scored per game at 6.18, more than a run per game higher than the Lamigo Monkeys’ 5.00 runs per game for second-best.
With Chang having chosen to close out his career in a Lions uniform at the start of the 2011 season, rather than accepting an offer from his former club (formerly known as the Sinon Bulls and now the EDA Rhinos) as their fulltime hitting coach, the veteran longball threat has rediscovered his hitting groove in a new role as the Lions’ designated hitter by belting a home run, two doubles and a rare triple so far to drive in a league-best 13 runs.
With Chang providing plenty of protection from his cleanup spot, newly acquired Mike Cervenak of the US has flourished at the plate for the Cats with a .310 batting average, two homers and nine RBIs in 11 games.
Rounding out the bashing trio for the Lions is Chen, who is also finding success in his new role as the leadoff man after spending the past two seasons further down the batting order. The former minor leaguer with the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics is tied with two other players for No. 3 in the league in total RBIs at nine to go along with his .364 average and 24 total bases.
The Lions also have the league’s top hitter, Kao Chih-kang, with a formidable .417 average, not to mention the expected return of two-time batting champ Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung, who is out with an injury and whose return will only make the Lions even tougher to face.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has welcomed Ferrari’s U-turn to support a Formula One engine freeze from 2022. The move gives Red Bull a chance to continue using Honda power after the Japanese supplier exits next year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s final practice for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner said that Ferrari’s decision was encouraging for F1 and everyone involved in the business end of the sport. “It’s positive news,” he said. “I think all the manufacturers, all the CEOs of the automotive industry, they all recognize the investment and cost of these engines, particularly with the new technology coming for 2026,
An influx of soccer players to India from Australia has highlighted changing fortunes as the Indian Super League (ISL) flourishes and the A-League hits lean times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just two Australians played in the Indian Super League last year, but 10 were among the 11 teams when the competition got under way in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa last week. Non-Australian A-League players have also made the move, including English striker Adam Le Fondre — last season’s second-highest goal-scorer with Sydney FC — along with German defender Matti Steinman and Aaron Holloway of Wales. Much of the change is down to
‘ONE LAST APPLAUSE’: An homage of cheers resounded through Buenos Aires on Wednesday night, while earlier a contingent met at the Obelisk to remember their hero Stunned Argentines were on Wednesday plunged into grief by the death of the country’s favorite son Diego Maradona, a sublimely gifted sporting hero they saw as “the most human of gods.” The news fell like a hammer blow to a nation beaten down by months of economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, but one where soccer is seen as a panacea for all ills. At 10pm, Buenos Aires exploded in cheers, horns, sirens and lights for the man who famously wore the No. 10, after a viral social media message called for “one last applause.” The homage resounded throughout the night in all
Argentine prosecutors on Friday were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Diego Maradona and whether it could have involved medical negligence, judicial sources said. “There are already irregularities,” a close family member told reporters. Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla, had earlier called for an investigation into claims that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the soccer star’s house in response to an emergency call on the day of his death. A preliminary autopsy report established that Maradona died in his sleep at noon on Wednesday of “acute lung edema and chronic heart failure.” The prosecutors’ office in Buenos Aires has opened