Fri, Apr 10, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Hau introduces baseball team, shrugs off controversy

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, left, and members of Taipei City’s new baseball team dance to celebrate the launch of the team at the Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) introduced members of the city’s new baseball team yesterday, shrugging off questions from reporters on the selection process.

The Taipei City Government formed its own baseball team last week as part of government efforts to revive the sport following the national team’s embarrassing defeat to China at the World Baseball Classic last month.

Hau yesterday presented the baseball team’s flag to head coach Kao Ying-chieh (高英傑), former coach of New York Yankees’ pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民), and joined the 21 players selected for practice at Tianmu Baseball Park.

The city government had planned to select 25 players for the team, but only recruited 21 players — retired professionals, college and high school players.

Former dmedia T-Rex player Hsu Chu-jien (許竹見), who failed to be selected by the committee, challenged the selection process on Monday, claiming Taipei City Government had included him on a “blacklist” based on rumors that he was involved in gambling and match-fixing.

The dmedia T-Rex team was disbanded after chairman Shih Jian-hsin (施建新) and some of the players were alleged to have been involved in gambling and match fixing.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅) also called on the city government to explain its selection process.

Hau yesterday dismissed the allegations about a blacklist and said the government simply required team players to display integrity, in addition to professional skills.

Hau said the city government would arrange for team members to serve as school coaches or contractors at municipal departments, so integrity and good behavior were important elements when selecting players.

The local governments in Taipei County, Taoyuan County and Taichung City have also formed their own municipal baseball teams as part of government efforts to nurture baseball talent.

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