Baseball isn’t pretty in Taiwan either

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There is crime in Venezuela, but there is more overarching corruption in Taiwain. That according to this report in the Taiwan News, following up on the recent visit by the MLB All-Star team:

Since pro-ball began in Taiwan in 1990, there have been five game-fixing scandals, four of them in the last seven years. With each one seemingly more lurid than the last, attendances have plummeted from an average 7,000 fans a game in the late 1990s to a few thousand today. Accounts of the scandals read like the plot of a Hollywood gangster movie. For players who were resistant to being bought off with money, cars, drugs or prostitutes, things got very ugly, very fast.

Experts quoted in the article think that the MLB All-Star tour may have actually been counterproductive inasmuch as is shined a light on just how bad the native product is.  So, well, you’re welcome Taiwan.

(via BTF)

Video: Ian Kinsler homers in WBC final, rounds bases solemnly

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Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.

Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.

Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.