I wonder how people Tsao returning to American professional baseball. Tsao Chin-hui who was signed by the Rockies with 2.2 million back in 1999 used to command a high 90s fastball, and a decent slider. After receiving a Tommy John surgery in 2001, Tsao made the majors in 2003. Arm and shoulder injuries plagued his career. In 2005 he suffered a torn labrum and was out of the season. After a non-tender from the Rockies, Tsao signed with the Dodgers, and had several brief appearances in the majors. In 2007 Tsao signed with the Royals and didn’t make the majors that entire year.
Tsao pitching for the Dodgers in 2007
Tsao returned to Taiwan late 2008 and became the first round pick of the then Brother Elephants in the CPBL. Tsao was disappointed by his salary and the signing bonus, but he agreed to play anyway. Tsao’s mid 90s fastball and colorful character brought an upsurge of Taiwanese baseball fans back into the stadium. The Brother Elephants made it into the Taiwan Series and lost in the 7th game to the Lions 5 to 2. Tsao pitched that 7th game and went 6 innings, gave up 5 hits and 3 runs.
Right after the 2009 Taiwan series ended, the scandal, now nicked named “the Black Elephants,” broke out. Several players were interrogated by the investigators. Some, including the Elephant’s manager Nakagomi Shin, were found guilty. The DA didn’t press charges against Tsao because although he promised to game fixing, the games were either rained out or he found some excuse not to play that day. However, Tsao did promise to fix games and accepted sexual favors paid for by the gang. Side note, the gang was led by the speaker of then Tainan County Council, KMT councillor Wu Jian-bao, who technically controlled the Tainan county police budget.
CPBL suspended Tsao for the fact that he did promise to fix games, despite the fact that the DA didn’t press charges and Tsao was in fact not guilty in a legal sense. It’s now 5 years later and Tsao attempted to reboot his baseball career by playing for the Australian league. That was aborted after CPBL lodged a formal protest to the Australian league.
Tsao then went directly to the source and rejoined the Dodgers’ 3A team. The Dodgers and MLB ignored CPBL’s protest and said they are on top on the situation and didn’t find any violations made by Tsao. Tsao participated in a spring training game a few days ago, went for 2.2 innings and fanned 3.
I’m wondering how people feel about his return. If we are using blacksox standards, would judge/commissioner Landis have suspended Tsao permanently? What about Pete Rose standards?