What social distancing? Baseball teams brawl in Taiwan | Inquirer Sports

What social distancing? Baseball teams brawl in Taiwan

/ 09:22 PM April 20, 2020

Taiwan baseball

FILE – A general view shows the opening match of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) at the Taichung International Baseball Stadium on April 12, 2020. (Photo by Steven Lee / AFP)

Playing to empty stadiums, Taiwan has managed to keep its baseball league running during the coronavirus pandemic — but social distancing went out of the window on Sunday when a game descended into an on-field brawl.

The island has been held up as a model for how to battle the virus outbreak.


Despite its close proximity and economic links with China, it has just 422 confirmed cases and six deaths.


As a measure of its success, Taiwan has one of the few professional sports leagues in the world still operating, and a new international audience starved of games back home.

But on Sunday night, fans following on TV watched as the Rakuten Monkeys against Fubon Guardians erupted in a bench-clearing brawl.

The melee broke out after Fubon pitcher Henry Sosa hit in-fielder Kuo Yen-wen in the hip with an inside ball, the fourth inside pitch at Kuo.

“There are some tempers exploding out there right now,” an English-speaking commentator said on Eleven Sports Taiwan, which has started broadcasting Rakuten Monkeys home games in English worldwide.

“For our international viewers, you need to understand that this never really happens in the CPBL,” he added, referring to the league’s formal name.

“It’s usually a very conservative league. They don’t even argue balls or strikes or outs very often.”


Taiwan’s new baseball season opened last weekend — although fans are not allowed into the stands in a bid to keep infections down.

Rakuten made headlines after they unveiled a troupe of robots to bang drums and mannequins to stand it for real fans.

Eleven Sports Taiwan said it had close to a million views during two games live-streamed with English commentary last week.

Many other sports leagues have tough decisions to make on whether and when to let new seasons begin during the ongoing pandemic.

Pro baseball leagues in South Korea and Japan are targeting starts in May and June respectively after delays.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

But the US Major League Baseball (MLB) may cancel the 2020 season altogether as America’s coronavirus deaths soar past 40,000.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

TAGS: Baseball, Brawl, coronavirus, Football, Game, pandemic, Soccer, social distancing, Sports, Taiwan

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.