originally posted at www.xanga.com/ludahai
[i]However, there is little doubt that baseball in Taiwan has remained where it was or even slipped back while the same sport has progressed in our Asian neighbors.
And that is due mainly to the attitude and mentality of government officials who are responsible for sports development.[/i]
First of all, Taiwan BEAT South Korea three years ago to qualify for the 2004 Olympics. Taiwan has NEVER been a major world power in baseball, and it is only recently that Taiwanese have played in the major leagues for the first time. How does this indicate Taiwan’s ability in baseball “slipping back?” Unfortunately, while Korea’s Big Leaguers were playing in the tournament, Taiwan’s best, including Wang Chienming, stayed behind. Wang was pressured by the Yankees not to participate. Also, Taiwan lost 2-0 in the very first game of the tournament. Looking back, that doesn’t seem that bad. It was a closely fought game, and now South Korea is the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament with a 5-0 record and can clich a semi-final berth if Mexico defeats Japan tomorrow morning.
Is the pan-Blue rag SO DESPARATE to pin this on the government? Apparently so!
Why is it the government’s responsibility to develop sports? That is the type of thing Communist countries do. Twenty years ago, the United States was a nonentity in the world of international soccer. Now, the US is ranked sixth in the world (with a realistic shot at being ranked number four when the new rankings are released in about 30 hours.) The U.S. just missed out on being one of the eight seeded teams in the upcoming World Cup and defeating European and South American teams is no longer the shock it once was. What did the U.S. government have to do with this? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It has begun with a humble victory in 1989 over Trinidad and Tabago that allowed the US to qualify for its first World Cup in forty years. Then reaching the second round four years later helped to fuel the sport among the youth and “soccer moms.”
Let’s look at Taiwan. There are major constraints to the development of baseball. One is the love of basketball. Kids like to play basketball. It is all you see most of them play. While people like to WATCH baseball, few people actually play it. Another factor is the lack of free time for young people. They spend too much time in school, with little time to develop other interests. Sure, Taiwan was once dominant in Little League, but that was back in the days when Taiwan was cheating. Another constraint is space. There are few places where people can play. In the U.S., kids pick up plastic bats and balls and play wiffle ball in their years. Taiwan’s accomplishments in baseball despite these considerable constrants is laudable and for this pan-Blue rag to blame the GOVERNMENT for losing to South Korea is simply a sad effort to continue their relentless attack on the government of Chen Shuibien.