The Wei Chuan Dragons became the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s (CPBL) fifth team following a unanimous vote by the league’s executive council at a meeting yesterday afternoon.
The Dragons have selected Hsinchu, Kaohsiung, Chiayi County and Pingtung County as possible home bases, league commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) said, adding that the club must meet with officials in each locality and make a final decision as soon as possible.
The league’s teams agreed to change the rules for drafting players given the addition of another team, Wu said, adding that under the new rules, a team can draft one or two players from each team in the league, but cannot recruit players on teams’ 30-man roster or rookies drafted this year and next year.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
The league has only had four baseball teams since 2008, when the Chinatrust Whales and dmedia T-Rex disbanded.
The Dragons, started in 1989, were one of the four founding teams in the league before they disbanded in 1999. To regain their league membership, the team must comply with new league rules that require a five-year royalty of NT$360 million (US$11.58 million), a NT$120 million franchise fee and a NT$100 million contribution to a baseball development fund.
The Dragons are to play in the minor league for one year before competing in the major league.
The league also convened a meeting to select a national team manager for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 tournament, which has games in Taichung and Taoyuan in November.
Winning the tournament would qualify the nation to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
Lamigo Monkeys manager Hung Yi-chung (洪一中) turned down an invitation to lead the national team, despite being recommended by three other league managers, Wu said.
Hung might have rejected the offer because he already served as the national team manager and wished to leave the opportunity open for other talented people, he added.
“Hung is still our top pick, but we will consult other qualified individuals, including current and former professional baseball team managers,” he said.
The Sports Administration’s regulations stipulate that the national team manager for a Premier 12 tournament must undergo a national selection process conducted by a selection and training committee, Wu said.
Yesterday’s meeting decided that the selection and training committee would consist of the four CPBL team managers, one CPBL representative and three representatives from the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association, he said.
The committee would start work as soon as possible, Wu added.
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