The Brothers Baseball Club lead the CPBL playoff series 2-1 after rallying in the fifth inning yesterday to defeat the Uni-President Lions 4-3 at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium.
The Lions secured three runs in the second, but the home team replied with a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1.
In the fifth inning, Brothers outfielder Chou Ssu-chi pushed one run home with a sacrifice fly, then with one man on, clean-up batter Chan Tzu-hsien blasted a pitch by Yang Chien-fu over the right outfield wall, bringing two runs home.
The three runs earned in that inning edged them up by one, which the Brothers protected to the end.
“I had not been hitting so well up to that point, so I talked to the veteran players on the team who gave me some pointers. I followed their advice for that at-bat, and I laid a good swing on it. It was a great feeling when the ball went over the wall for a home run,” Chan said.
“The players did their job, it was a great team win... I have confidence in the players — they gave an outstanding performance tonight,” Brothers manager Cory Snyder said.
For the next game, Snyder said: “I will tell them to have fun and continue to do what they have been doing, and we can win together.”
Meanwhile, developments regarding benched players continued to overshadow the playoff series, as speculation mounted that club executives are planning to use strong-arm tactics to solve the team’s disciplinary problems.
Five star players have been benched, including slugger Lin Chih-sheng, also known as Ngayaw Ake, and infielder Chiang Chih-hsien, a former Boston Red Sox Double-A prospect.
Lin became the highest-paid player in the CPBL at NT$1.2 million (US$39,681) a month after Brothers owner Jeffrey Koo Jr, wanting a championship title, used the financial clout of his family’s Chinatrust Financial Co to acquire Lin from the Lamigo Monkeys.
In one of the biggest player deals in Taiwanese baseball, Lin in January last year was signed to the Brothers for NT$45 million over three years, NT$36 million of which is salaried with NT$9 million in incentives.
Chiang returned to Taiwan after failing to break into the MLB and in July 2015 signed a three-year, NT$12.42 million with the Brothers.
Lin and Chiang have led the Brothers with their big hitting and are among the league’s top players in numerous offensive categories, but they have disappointed fans and club executives by failing to deliver in post-season play.
Koo and Brothers executives have yet to win a CPBL championship trophy since purchasing the club in late 2013 from the Hung family of Brother Hotel for NT$400 million.
Despite signing star players and offering big contracts, the Brothers have consistently faltered at the last hurdle. They made the Taiwan Series finals for three consecutive years, but lost to the Lamigo Monkeys in 2014 and 2015, and to the EDA Rhinos last year.
Koo, determined to right the ship, reportedly plans to put Lin and Chiang in a farm team next year and release them after that year, as they have allegedly been a disruptive influence and led a player revolt against Snyder’s American style of management.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017