“Phew, reporter, we’re on our way to Taipei.”
The weather in Taichung City, Taiwan, had been bad since morning. Indirectly affected by the typhoon, the inclement weather had the Group A nations nervous as they had to somehow get through the rest of their opening round games. Fortunately, 메이저놀이터 things seemed to be going smoothly as the game between Taiwan and Puerto Rico ended with a 16-2, five-inning cold game win for Taiwan. The problem came next. Puerto Rico had to play South Korea right away in a double-header, followed by the Czech Republic and Mexico in the remaining games of the opening round to determine Group A placement.
It was at this point that the forces of nature unfortunately took their toll on the four nations.
In the top of the third inning, with South Korea leading 5-1, another bad weather delay forced the team to wait it out, but after three or four hours, the field conditions didn’t improve. As the team waited in anticipation for the conditions to improve, head coach Lee Young-bok delivered the somewhat surprising news that the team was traveling to Taipei. The news came with the announcement that the remaining matches of the opening round and the Super Round would be played simultaneously due to bad weather.
A repeat of last year’s U-23 tournament with poor organizational management.
KBSA is better organized!
The news was devastating. It’s not just that the tournament was organized without foreseeing that bad weather would make it difficult to play, it’s also that the organizers failed to arrange an alternative location/alternate venue in a place that is relatively free from bad weather like Taipei. Furthermore, Taichung and Taipei are 170 kilometers apart, which is equivalent to the distance between Seoul and Daejeon in Korea. The team was not prepared for an international tournament of this magnitude in a country with a professional team.
The later Group A ranking match between the Czech Republic and Mexico was not even scheduled. The team literally left themselves in a “no-man’s land” by waiting until after the final ranking game in Taichung.
What’s more, Chinese Taipei found themselves in the exact same situation during last year’s U-23 tournament. At that time, the games were postponed due to bad weather in Taipei, while conditions in Taichung were better and the tournament went ahead as normal. In just one year, the situation in both cities has reversed.
It’s even more impressive that the Taiwanese national team has been able to compete in the worst possible conditions. Photo: WBSC
In the midst of all this, the WBSC, the world governing body, made a rather bizarre decision. Instead of adding a reserve day, they decided to play Puerto Rico, which had already experienced two rainouts, in a double header on the reserve day. Of course, each country’s situation will have its own timetable for returning home, but this was a situation that could have been resolved with the support of the organizers and sponsors. If that wasn’t possible, the WBSC shouldn’t exist.
In the name of protecting the pitchers’ shoulders, the WBSC enforces strict pitch count limits, but doesn’t seem to care that the players are suffering because of the schedule. It is literally a reversal of fortune, and the only ones who suffer are the American players and the players from other countries.
If this is a result of poor preparation on the part of the Taiwanese side, then the Taiwan Baseball and Softball Association should also be held accountable. They should never think of hosting an international tournament like the World/Asian Games again. Furthermore, they have a precedent of making terrible errors in the 2017 U-18 Asian Championships, which resulted in a “forced runner-up” finish in favor of the host team, Taiwan. And you shouldn’t go around saying “my country’s flag is yellow”.