Date of this Version
October 15, 2008 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
The Taiwan baseball world has been rocked by yet another game-fixing scandal, this time involving the dmedia T-Rex team. A total of three players (including a former MLB pitcher) are out on bail, while some bookies, gangsters, and team officials (including coaches, the assistant manager, and the team spokesman) have been detained. The guilt of those involved has yet to be proven, but there have certainly been some suspicious incidents. During one game on July 11, the dmedia’s normally accurate U.S. hurler lasted only three innings, managing just 32 strikes out of 84 pitches (an almost unheard of ball-strike ratio), walking 7 batters, hitting an 8th, giving up a home run, and surrendering a total of 6 earned runs. Five days later, the T-Rex blew a lead by committing 5 errors, including 2 by the pitching staff (for a list of other “tricks” used to throw games, please click here).
While Taiwan’s major leagues (currently referred to as the “Chinese Professional Baseball League” or CPBL) have long been plagued by gambling woes (10 scandals in the last 11 years), the current crisis has reached new lows, with the T-Rex’s owner being either persuaded, tricked, or blackmailed into surrendering control of the team to members of the Heavenly Way Alliance (天道盟) and Four Seas Gang (四海幫). Gang leaders doled out player salaries, while other “brethren” actually lived in the players’ dorm, doling out wine, women, and song to those who cooperated, and harassing or beating up those who refused. According to the team owner, when he alluded to this problem on his blog, he was also subjected to a thrashing (prosecutors have cast doubt on some of his stories, however).