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.
Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is likely to be activated from the 10-day injured list this weekend and will join the bullpen, per Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston.
Eovaldi, 29, had a superb postseason showing with the Red Sox last year, including a six-inning relief appearance in Game 3 of the World Series. That propelled him to ink a four-year, $68 million contract with the Red Sox in December.
Eovaldi underwent athroscopic surgery in April to remove loose bodies in his elbow and has been out ever since. He had allowed 14 earned runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 16 strikeouts in 21 innings prior to going on the IL.
The Red Sox bullpen has been middling at best this season, owning a composite 4.55 ERA. Six different relievers have accrued saves, none more than Ryan Brasier‘s seven and he was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this week. It’s quite possible Eovaldi finds himself closing out games down the stretch.