Buck Showalter, manager of the Baltimore Orioles, has slammed the use of “Chinese Taipei” as a name for the Taiwanese national baseball team and has given his support to the use of “Taiwan” at international tournaments.
Watching the World Baseball Classic (WBC) games, Showalter told Taiwanese media to call the team “Taiwan.”
“Don’t use ‘Chinese Taipei’ anymore,” he said.
Showalter has a strong connection with Taiwan after guiding Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷) to a winning 12-11 record in Chen’s rookie season in Major League Baseball last year.
Given his outstanding performance as a regular starting pitcher for the Orioles last year, the lefty pitcher has replaced Wang Chien-ming (王建民) as the nation’s biggest star in the US major leagues, and has become a focus of local fans’ adulation.
Many Taiwanese sports journalists and TV networks went to Baltimore last year to cover Chen and have become familiar with Showalter.
While watching the WBC games, Showalter was impressed by the Taiwanese squad, as well as other national teams.
In a team practice session at the Orioles’ spring training ballpark in Sarasota, Florida, on Monday, Showalter met with Tim Lin (林為鼎), an interpreter for Chen Wei-yin, and asked: “Are you ‘Taiwanese’ or are you ‘Chinese Taipeinese?’”
“Of course, I’m Taiwanese,” Lin replied without hesitation.
“Very good, that’s what I thought. Taiwanese are Taiwanese. From now on, your baseball team jersey should show the word ‘Taiwan.’ Don’t use ‘Chinese Taipei’ anymore. Your guys did well in the WBC, and advanced into the second round,” he said.
A former manager for the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers, Showalter does not like confusion on nationality issues.
Last season, several journalists mistook Chen Wei-yin to be a Chinese national. Showalter was quick to rectify that.
“I know this very clearly. China is China and Taiwan is Taiwan. They are different countries,” he said.