CPBL brawl
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Video: Benches clear in CPBL game


So much for social distancing.

The Rakuten Monkeys and Fubon Guardians went nose-to-nose on Sunday after Guardians pitcher Henry Sosa repeatedly threw far inside to the Monkeys’ Yen-Wen Kuo. The fourth fastball hit Kuo in the wallet, and the Monkeys took exception. Here’s the video:

First and foremost, the commentators on the Eleven Sports broadcast are tremendous. As they explained, this sort of thing is rare for the CPBL. “Are we allowed to say it’s exciting?” Wonderful stuff.

Sosa started ten games for the Astros in 2011 and walked 23 men in 53.1 innings, so it’s safe to say that his control has never exactly been his strong suit. But the commentators are right in that the fourth pitch seemed to be born of frustration that the Monkeys were complaining about the inside fastballs. That’s a no-no, and it’s pretty surprising that he didn’t get ejected from the game. He would’ve been getting an early shower if this happened in MLB.

Kuo, by the way, is one heckuva hitter. Look at these numbers. No wonder that the Rakuten squad was ticked off about this guy getting thrown at.

As entertaining as this was, hopefully teams around the world will keep the shoving matches to a minimum this year. There’s a bit of a pandemic on.

UPDATE [3:04 PM ET]: Gene Wang, a photographer who works CBPL games, reached out with an update from the Guardians’ manager. Apparently Sosa was not trying to hit Kuo. Thank you Gene!

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Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.


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