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June 24, 2017

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Baseball scandal shows lack of sportsmanship, respect

Taiwan's professional baseball league ended its regular season Sunday in a controversial fashion that once again put the scandal-plagued competition in hot water. Two teams were caught manipulating games so that their closers could have a shot at an award for leading the league in saves.

In the Chinese Professional Baseball League's (CPBL) last regular-season game, the Brother Elephants squared off against the Uni-President Lions in a New Taipei stadium.

Leading 4-0 with two outs at the top half of the ninth inning, Elephants reliever Yeh Yong-jye (葉詠捷) suddenly began throwing wild pitches, apparently hoping to put two men on base.

This was done to allow his teammate, closer Brad Thomas, to take the mound for the chance of leading the league in total saves.

The Lions batters, however, didn't want to cooperate because they wanted their own teammate, Lin Yue-ping (林岳平), to win the award.

The batters instead swung at pitches wildly outside of strike zone, intentionally avoiding reaching bases.

The Elephants received a warning from the umpire, but Yeh continued to throw balls, issuing another a walk until he was replaced by Thomas.

With the manipulation, the Australian hurler ultimately took his 23rd save of the season to claim the title over Lin.

The two CPBL teams' game-manipulation immediately drew heavy fire from local fans and baseball commentators, who jointly slammed the move as unsportsmanlike and showing a lack of respect for the game.

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