Star baseballer Wang Po-jung is taking his game to Japan next year after signing with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in a massive NT$124 million (US$4.02 million) three-year deal announced yesterday.
The Lamigo Monkeys outfielder became the first player signed under a posting system worked out between baseball authorities in Taiwan and Japan.
A posting system allows teams to submit bids in an attempt to win exclusive rights to negotiate with a player.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
Wang’s deal could be worth up to NT$180 million when performance bonuses are considered and it has an option for a one-year extension, according to information provided by his agent, PCG Bros Sports Management.
A posting fee of NT$55.42 million is to be paid by the Sapporo-based Fighters to the Monkeys, the information showed.
Wang has earned a reputation as a slugger over the past three seasons, posting impressive numbers.
In 2016 he hit 29 homers, 40 doubles and 105 RBIs with a 0.414 average. He followed that with 31 homers, 33 doubles and 101 RBIs, with a 0.407 average last year.
Nicknamed “Big King,” Wang won the league MVP awards in both years, while the Monkeys captured back-to-back CPBL titles last year and this year.
The Lamigo Monkeys on Dec. 19 are to hold a news conference in Taipei to present details of the deal, and his new club are to unveil him to the Japanese media and fans at the Sapporo Dome on Dec. 21.
“I want to thank the Nippon-Ham Fighters for having confidence in me and to provide a stage to showcase my skills,” Wang said in a statement.
“It is a great honor, but also burdens me with pressure as I become the first player for sign to play pro ball in Japan under the new posting system,” Wang said. “I will continue to strive to give my best effort in the coming years.”
Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama told the Central News Agency (CNA) that Wang’s performance in the CPBL stood out, as was clear to everybody, and he expected the 25-year-old to boost the Hokkaido club’s outfield.
Fighters general manager Hiroshi Yoshimura called Wang the best player in the history of the CPBL, CNA reported.
The outfielder’s talents would be fully unleashed by playing in Japan, Yoshimura said.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes