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September 25, 2017

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Sinon Bulls sale could mean new start for Taiwan baseball

It is not always easy to be a professional baseball fan in Taiwan.

To start with, fans here do not have the leisure to enjoy the game at indoor stadiums. No such facilities exist in the country.

But that does not stop baseball-lovers from buying tickets for a sport many Taiwanese consider a national pastime.

Hard-core fans support the local Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) because they love to see hometown baseball players in action.

However, every once in a while, fans are left heartbroken following yet another incident of game-throwing. A realization leading them to believe that they are not watching a baseball game but a play — those on field being more entitled to a Golden Globe than Golden Glove.

Yet despite all the scandals, fans remain passionate in their love for the sport. They keep their fingers crossed, praying such painful moments won't repeat themselves

But every now and then, another type of catastrophe emerges. Say for instance, the disbandment of a beloved team.

Such is the case with the recent announcement by Sinon Corporation that one of the four teams in the CPBL, the Sinon Bulls (興農牛), is on sale after running at a loss of nearly NT$90 million on the club's operations this year alone.

Though Sinon Corp. has promised to continue operating the club until a new owner is found, the decision deals a major blow to CPBL.

After all, if the Bulls are out of the picture, it will be very difficult for the other three CPBL clubs to continue operating, as they have all been losing money in recent years.

The sad story of the Sinon Bulls is just another example of how difficult it is to be a Taiwanese baseball fan.

It is equally difficult for a pro baseball player in Taiwan. A team shutting down means they may also be out of a job.

It is not easy for club owners either. After all, how can they convince their shareholders to continue to run a baseball team when it has constantly been running at a loss?

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