Why it’s hard for me to support Taiwan’s national team

With the 2017 WBC tournament just a weeks away, but it’s hard for me to get excited for the Taiwanese national team due various reasons and here’s the reason why.

Just some background before I start.  In Taiwan baseball scene, there are two major organisations CPBL (Pro) and CTBA (Amateur).

  • CPBL (Taiwan’s professional baseball league)
  • CTBA (A private organisation that handles Taiwanese amateur baseball and also the Taiwanese national team)

CTBA is an organisation filled with former politicians. Their agenda isn’t putting baseball development first, their goal is to secured as much government funding as possible so they can put it back into their pocket.

How do they get the funding?  By playing well in the international tournaments.  In order to achieve that, CTBA will do whatever it takes which including mistreating/ overusing players.

Here’s a few CTBA incidents as example

CTBA over using Cleveland Indians prospect 增菘瑋 (Tseng Sung-Wei) in 2006.  In a 7 games tournament, the young kid threw total of 221 pitches in 5 appearances as both SP and RP within a week.  When being enquired by the Indians organisation about over using their prospect.  Here’s the response from CTBA: “221 pitches is not that much, our goal is to win“. Tseng was never the same after that tournament. (Tseng was an university student back then was able to hit 156kph/ 97mph on the radar)

Just a list of players ruined their professional career after playing for CTBA.
CTBA forcing professional players to play for the national team.  In Taiwan, all males citizens are required to do 4 months ~ 2 years military service.  Therefore CTBA often use the military service as a method to threaten players into playing for the national team.  (Most recent case, 2014 Incheon Asian Game) Where bunch of CPBL players and MiLB players were forced to participate during the regular season.

CTBA cooking their financial book.  It has been reported CTBA 2015 income declaration is about 1 million USD short from the actual figures.  The tickets/ broadcasting rights revenue from the Premier 12 tournament does not add up.  The department of Sports Administration that’s in charge of funding allocation and monitoring the action of CTBA choose to do nothing about it.  Why? If you take a closer look into the member of Sports Administration you’ll find several senior board member of CTBA on the list.

Discrepancies found in CTBA financial statement after the 2013 WBC tournament.

There’s also rumour of CTBA taking government funding that was meant for high school baseball development and use it for personal gain.  As in “donation/ bribe” to maintained the vice president position within the WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation)

And the list goes on and on….

Players are just another tool

CTBA does not care about players nor the development of baseball in Taiwan.  Baseball players to them it is just another tool to further their political/ personal gain.  And this is why the reason I support this boycott movement by Lamigo Monkeys.  Baseball as a sport in Taiwan will not go forward until we have a clean organisation that is willing to be open and transparent with their government funding with the public.


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