The Lamigo Monkeys’ star player Chen Chin-feng yesterday said that he has accepted an invitation to be one of the coaches for the national team for next year’s World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Chen, also known as the “Big Cannon,” last month announced his retirement from the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).
In addition to a decade-long CPBL career, Chen played for the Los Angeles Dodgers between 2002 and 2005, becoming the first Taiwan-born player to play in the MLB.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
He also played for the Taiwanese national team, including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha where Taiwan won the gold medal.
“I am truly grateful for national team coach Kuo Tai-yuan’s faith and trust in me, and I am also thankful for the Lamigo Monkeys’ management for respecting my decision while I was considering accepting this position,” he said.
Chen said that it is an honor and responsibility to be a coach, adding that he hopes to still contribute to baseball in Taiwan after his retirement from the CPBL.
Based on a meeting between Chen and the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association on Oct. 3, Chen is to serve as a hitting coach and a base coach.
In response to Chen’s decision, Lamigo Monkeys general manager Justin Liu said that the club has not finalized its contract with Chen for next year, but they respect Chen’s decision.
The CPBL earlier this month said that it would not offer any support to the national team when they compete in the WBC next year.
It said that the league would let each Taiwanese team decide if they would allow their coaches and players to participate in the tournament.
The announcement came after the CPBL voiced its disapproval of the Sports Administration’s decision to appoint Kuo, the Uni-President Lions coach, as the head coach of the national team.
The Uni-President Lions, Brothers Baseball Club and EDA Rhinos said they supported the administration’s decision and would release their players and coaches to play for the national team, but the Lamingo Monkeys sided with the CPBL and said their coaches and players would not be able to participate in the competition.
The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association is in charge of choosing and training players, as well as managing the team during competitions.
The association has reached an agreement with the Taiwan Professional Baseball Players Association that the insured amount and prize money that each player is to receive for competing in the WBC would exceed those granted to players of last year’s Premier 12 World Championship.
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