So, game 4 was over awhile ago, and unlike the blow out in game 3, the Brothers were able to hold the Monkeys back to just 4 points. However, their own offence stopped at Zheng Chih-hao’s two solo home runs. Lamigo takes the Taiwan Series 4 to 1.
This would also be the Brothers’ 4th straight Taiwan Series defeat in consecutive seasons. For the past 4 years the Brothers have always managed to enter TS, but was unable to clinch the title.
The trouble didn’t stop there for the Brothers, as the situation of benching their highest paid players plays itself out after the Taiwan Series. The owner and GM of the team kept making mystic statements regarding the benched players, such as “Have you heard of players drinking and playing ball in Japan or the MLB?” or “You will see if any of the other teams would want to hire these players.”
Multiple media pundits began making wild and unsupported speculations about what each of the players did to piss off management. Including goes as far as to insinuate some of the players are fixing games. The club also failed to deny these speculations immediately.
The Brothers announced that they will not resign 7 players one day before the awards ceremony. The players include closer Chen Hung-wen, pitcher Lin Ko-Chien, Lin Yu-Ching, Lo Kuo-hua, catcher Cheng Da-Hung, fielder Chiang Chih-hsien, and Chang Cheng-wei.
During the 2017 award ceremony, several of the benched and fired players pleaded for their innocence in a teary display. Then several of the players held hearings with the support of the players’ union and their agents to dispel the rumors. Chiang Chih-hsien didn’t hold a hearing, but went straight to court to sue the news outlet that claimed that some players fixed games.
The Brothers’ management has since made statements saying the team didn’t make any game fixing allegations. They also retracted on the drinking during the game statement, saying they meant drinking during the season, not during the game.
The Brothers’ horrendous PR is pretty much inexcusable. The owner, China Trust Bank, is one of the largest corporations in Taiwan. All they needed to do is spell out which player was let go for what reason, and they could have avoided all this PR nightmare. Instead the management lumped all the players together, and made mystic allegations about the group of players as a whole, then failed to curb media speculations for a couple of weeks.
On a lighter note, the Asia Professional Baseball Championship will take place next week in Tokyo. Not to be confused with the Asia Series in the past, this time each league will put together a team of players under the age of 24, with less than 3 years of pro-ball experience.
There are 3 exhibition games between team Taiwan and Japan’s Lotte Marines in Taoyuan starting today.