Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chien-Ming Wang 王建民

Most people have forgotten the name. But he's the reason I started to watch baseball. Ever since the Nats announced that he would start, I've had him in my fantasy team.

But today, July 30th, former New York Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang returned to the mound in the Majors for the first time in two years. He gave up a total of six runs to the Mets, four earned and 8 singles. The plus points were his velocities were there.

The statistics aside, the more significant portion of the news is that he's finally back. No one likes to see an injury like that to anybody. Personally, I support the DH rule. A few months back Leeds centreback Paddy Kisnorbo appeared for a few minutes in the last game of the season against QPR, after a horrible injury sidelined him for more than a year, and QPR manager Neil Warnock shook his hands before he came on.

Chien-Ming Wang is the latest real life example of how technological advance in medical has revived the careers of countless professional athletes. Earlier this month, Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka decided to take the surgery despite being close in the last year of his contract. I think the fact that Saints QB Drew Brees took the same surgery and won the Superbowl does encourage players to bet on the success of the surgery itself.  

Whatever it is, Chien-Ming Wang is more than just a faltered star pitcher. He's a superstar back in Taiwan and the first real Taiwanese player to taste success among baseball's best. A documentary earlier this year recorded that Chien-Ming Wang actually had a few teams to choose from when he decided to come to America, including the Seattle Mariners. But it was more of a political decision for him to come to the Yankees because, well, they're the Yankees, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, etc.

I visited Taiwan at the height of his powers. He revived baseball in Taiwan. People from all walks of life tuned into every Yankees game, especially on days when he starts, 來看一個來自臺灣的囝仔,如何在世界最頂級的棒球比賽,讓強打們一次又一次看著他的伸卡球最後時刻往下掉揮棒落空,又或者是打出滾地球。


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