Remember the victories, but also the heartbreaking losses
The China Post news staffJust as heartbroken Taiwanese baseball fans were looking for ways to vent their disappointment after the national team crashed out of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament on Saturday in a 14-0 loss to Cuba, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) inadvertently stepped up to the plate to do its countrymen a service.
March 12, 2013, 12:19 am TWN
The public has apparently been outraged that Chinese Taipei team members did not return to Taiwan together — instead coming back on 13 separate flights over two days. “The players had already given so much for the country, why can't they come back with dignity?” one Facebook user asked.
According to the CTBA, the flights were organized to accommodate the needs of Taiwanese players. The CTBA also noted that player transportation is arranged by Major League Baseball (MLB), creator of the WBC. Players came back separately in part because some of them decided to swap their single business ticket for two economy tickets to save money for family members. Some players who serve in foreign professional teams also decided to report to their teams directly and so not return to Taiwan, the CTBA said. There are also reports that Chien-Ming Wang, the Taiwanese team's starter, who will be the last to return to Taiwan, might have decided to stay longer to discuss possible deals with Japanese professional teams.
Local media, however, would not have that. They faulted the CTBA for not keeping baseball fans' feelings in consideration and failing to arrange for the team to return together so fans could cheer them at the airport. Despite its apparent lack of logic (fans seek to show support by demanding players change plans and arrive together to hear the adulation of the supporters?) such criticism snowballed to such a degree that even President Ma Ying-jeou, whose Facebook page was bombarded by angry comments, weighed in yesterday.
While the CTBA's WBC arrangements are not without flaws — there were reports of equipment being left behind, almost-missed breakfasts for players and a failure to apply for WBC-related national bonuses for Taiwan's players — the public outrage against it went further than called for.