CPBL To Lead Future National Teams

The fans were not too thrilled with the performance of Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). They did not win a game in their pool and must again qualify for the next WBC in 2021. The China Professional Baseball League (CPBL), who runs the professional league and the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) who oversee baseball outside the professional league feuded over the organization and selection of the national team. The CPBL got so frustrated with the CTBA and their lack of respect they showed the CPBL that they dropped out of the formation of the WBC team, leaving it up to the owners of the four professional baseball teams in the CPBL whether they would allow their players to participate.

Three of the four teams allowed their players to participate. The LaMigo Monkeys, who were the top team in the CPBL with some of the better players did not allow their players to participate. This left a couple key players off the team, including outfielder Po-Jung Wang, a young talent who hit .414 and broke the CPBL record for extra base hits in his rookie season and catcher Hung-Yu Lin. Seven players on the Premier 12 national team in 2015 played for the Lamigo Monkeys.

Taiwan also could not use two professional pitchers, which decimated a young pitching staff. Wei-Yen Chen of the Marlins and Chien-Ming Wang ex of the Yankees/Royals and now a free agent also decided not to participate, eliminating two experienced arms that could have headed the rotation for the team.

Sports Administration Director General Te-Fu Lin transferred the power of organizing the senior national team to the CPBL, including the 2019 Premier 12, the Olympics in Tokyo and the 2021 WBC teams. Also, to expand the talent level of baseball in Taiwan there was discussion of expanding the CPBL from four teams to six teams.

The poor performance of the Taiwan national team in the WBC was the final blow in transferring power from the CTBA to the CPBL. Now the pressure is on the CPBL to improve the performance of the national team in these important baseball tournaments. At least they will not do any worse than 0-3.

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