Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dodgers' Taiwan Delegation Welcomed By Paparazzi, Karaoke Fans, Bookies, Gangsters

The Dodgers have landed! The Dodgers have landed!

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Camera flashbulbs lit up the concourse as the Dodgers deplaned their EVA 777 charter Thursday.

From the hundreds of autograph seekers that greeted the team at Taloyuan International Airport to the police escort through rush-hour traffic, to the hundreds who lined the sidewalk in front of The Sherwood Taipei Hotel. From the standing-room-only press conference to the rollicking cocktail reception -- where several players were coaxed into sinagalongs with the band -- there's already a heightened excitement before any of the three games have been played against an All-Star team from the Chinese Professional Baseball League. [...]

One of the benefits Taiwan baseball hopes to gain from the series is a jumpstart on the cleansing process after the CPBL's fifth gambling scandal in the past 20 years, which league commissioner Shou-Po Chan alluded to in his remarks.

"Right now, baseball in Taiwan is in a very critical stage," Chan said. "We hope these games will help rekindle our people who love and support and have patience for this sport."

[Dodgers director of international relations Joseph] Reaves said the Dodgers are hopeful as well.

"We are aware of the gambling history, you cannot ignore it and it's terrible," he said. "But Major League Baseball has managed to have a sport with rabid fans and, with rare exception, avoid those scandals. It can be done. We hope to be an example to the CPBL. Crack down, clean the game and everybody wins, instead of a few gangsters."

Three games in three days? Anyone want to place any bets on how this split squad (consisting of Manny Ramirez, James Loney, Jamey Carroll, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ronnie Belliard, Chin-Lung Hu, and Eric Stults, among others) will do?

photo swiped from the blog The Thirsty Pig

3 comments:

Greg said...

Fawk, that's a hot shirt, need to source me some of those.

Josh S. said...

THIS IS MY T(ai)W(a)N.

Steve Sax said...

The Dodgers should totally sell t-shirts in Kaohsiung that say "THIS ISN'T NECESSARILY MY TOWN BUT WE'RE STILL PLAYING A HANDFUL OF SPRING TRAINING GAMES HERE"