Via Deadspin, here’s a report of WBC espionage from Taiwan:
According to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the South Korean governing body of pro baseball, four Taiwanese advance scouts posed as umpire trainees to gain entrance to a practice game at Dou Liou Stadium between the South Korean national team and a South Korea pro club, the NC Dinos.
They basically just showed up dressed as umpires, got into the park and started timing pitchers and things with the idea of giving Taiwan an edge in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Taiwan apologized and denied any official involvement, leaving their spies out in the cold. No word if the cyanide capsules in the spies molars malfunctioned or if the spies simply lost their nerve.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.