Thursday, April 16, 2009

More problems in Taiwan

As stated a few times, baseball in Taiwan is having some major problems. Gambling and game-fixing is rampant, and the government is looking to crack down on it. It might not be 'The Untouchables', but I think I would take it seriously. From The China Post:

Prosecutors from the southern city of Tainan will begin to monitor professional baseball games from Friday in a bid to prevent a reoccurrence of game rigging.

Starting Friday, a group of 17 prosecutors from the Tainan District Prosecutors Office, who are also lovers of the baseball game, will take turns to lead local police to monitor the games and collect evidence if they think there are signs of rigging, said Lin Chih-feng, a chief prosecutor.
Its not a complete fix, however:

However, only games at the baseball stadiums in Tainan will be monitored, Lin said.
So it's not happening at the 3 other parks where the Chinese Professional Baseball League plays. This is a serious and on-going problem in Taiwan:

Professional baseball game rigging and related underground gambling have been rampant over the past two decades since Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) was launched in 1990.

Over the years, some coaches and players have been detained and indicted for game rigging. In some cases, the coach instructed the pitcher and the other players on the team how to play in order to produce game results in line with the team owner's plan. This allowed underground gambling rings to net huge winnings from their bets.
It seems like some people in the government are starting to take it seriously, but if you only crack down on 25% of the problem, that still leaves a 75% margin of error.

An interesting fact that I didn't know. You learn something new everyday:

Taiwan was the sixth nation in the world to establish a professional baseball league, following the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Mexico, in that order.
I guess the Caribbean and South American leagues aren't considered professional baseball, and the Mexican League didn't count before 1990. But hey, who am I to quibble.

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