Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Orioles star Chen plugs book, happy to play for Taiwan

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese baseball star Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷) has revealed that he is busy finishing an autobiography that will hit the bookshelves next month. Chen, currently a starting pitcher for MLB team the Baltimore Orioles, also said that he would be amenable to a call-up to the Taiwan national team for a major international competition.

The title of the upcoming book, Will Win Chen, is a play on words on his name, pronounced by US sports broadcasters and baseball fans as “Wei-yin Chen.”

“It is about my determination to overcome the challenges and setbacks that I have had to face, working to improve my pitching and my strong will to win more games in the coming years,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

“I’ve played in both the Japanese and American professional leagues, experiencing the different lifestyles and ways of thinking in these two countries,” Chen said. “Baseball in Japan and the US have their own cultures, and different ways of training and managing teams and players.”

“I have had to face injuries and other setbacks, and fought my way back into the starting lineup, so my book can be helpful to Taiwan’s young players. They can learn from my experiences in Japan and US, and take lessons for their future progress in baseball,” he said.

The Kaohsiung-native is the only Taiwanese baseballer to pitch on first-team rotation in both Japan and the US. He was a starter for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan, making a total of 127 appearances with a 36-30 win-loss record, 520 strikeouts, and an excellent ERA of 2.59 through five seasons.

Signed by the Orioles last year, Chen has made 55 starts, posting a 19-18 record, 258 strikeouts and a 4.04 ERA over the past two seasons in the US.

He returned to Taiwan on crutches this week, as he recovers from surgery to remove bone spurs from his right knee.

“Wearing the national team jersey was my childhood dream. I want to pitch for my country in the future,” Chen said. “It would be a great honor to get the call-up and pitch for my country in the future.”

Chen’s willingness to pitch for the national squad is sure to be hailed by fans and coaches who were disappointed after he was placed on the Team Taiwan roster for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, but declined to take part. This led some to question his patriotism and commitment to the national team, and led to accusations of selfishness.

Chen sought to explain his absence from the tournament on Monday.

“I had a nagging foot injury from the 2012 season, so it was best for me to take time to rest,” he said.

“If I had pitched in the WBC games I might have aggravated the injury. It was unfortunate that I had to decline the call-up, and I want fans to understand my situation at that time,” Chen said.

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