Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Brothers Baseball Club axe seven players

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

CPBL commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) yesterday made a public statement to clear the air after Brothers Baseball Club executives axed seven players for “disciplinary problems” and other issues, amid growing speculation about another game-fixing scandal.

Wu, also a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator, was attending the annual CPBL awards event last night when he was asked by reporters about the rumors that Brothers Baseball Club were to kick out the players due to a game-fixing scandal.

“League officials have direct links with local law enforcement agencies to receive case reports on this and the measures also serve to protect the players. So far we have not received new information on this matter,” Wu said. “We are in close contact with Brothers Baseball Club and the release of players is mainly due to disciplinary problems, along with players no longer suited to the team’s needs. Each club has their own internal regulations on player conduct, including drinking alcohol, breaking curfews and other matters.”

In the aftermath of allegations that players were involved in extramarital affairs, late-night drinking with hostesses and insubordination against American manager Cory Snyder, Brothers Baseball Club announced on Monday that they were releasing seven players — power hitter Chiang Chih-hsien, star outfielder Chang Cheng-wei, former Sinon Bulls catcher Cheng Ta-hung and four pitchers: Chen Hung-wen, Lin Ke-chien, Lin Yu-ching and Lo Kuo-hua.

As the other three clubs do not want to sign the “problematic players,” Chiang announced he would play in Australia with the Sydney Blue Sox, which the team confirmed in a statement yesterday.

It was believed the Brothers also wanted to axe another two players — slugger Lin Chih-sheng and infielder Wang Sheng-wei — but they both had one year remaining on their contracts.

Lin Chih-sheng was among the five players benched by the club prior to the CPBL playoffs when the allegations were revealed in the media. He has also decided to play in Australia, with the Brisbane Bandits.

Most fans seem to support the club’s decision, after it cited disciplinary problems, drinking and sexual impropriety as leading to the players having contacts with gangsters, which have previously resulted in game-fixing scandals, which nearly led to the CPBL’s demise.

At the season-ending awards yesterday, Lamigo Monkeys star Wang Po-jung amassed seven awards, including the Most Valuable Player honor, which he won for the second consecutive season.

Wang topped every major offensive category this season, including most homers at 31, most RBIs at 101, most hits at 178, highest batting average at 0.407 and total bases claimed at 306.

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