WBSC Premier 12, and the embarrassment that is the Taiwanese managerial staff

Some people say baseball is boring and slow and that it’s just a game played one frame at a time between two people, the opposing pitcher and a batter. Well, they got the part about a two man show correct. It’s at least a 4 player game, because those old dudes sitting in the dugout? Well those managers play a pretty big role in the outcome, so I have seen in the Premier 12 tournament being held in Taiwan right now.

I stopped my Legacy of the Void binge to watch my favorite underdogs, Chinese Taipei, show the world once again what it means to shoot yourself in the foot, on purpose. Because this is the Taiwanese way.

Lovers of Taiwanese baseball, such as myself, are all too accustomed to watching heartbreak after heartbreak as our team self destructs because, why the hell not?

Jokes aside, in recent years the domestic talent has gotten quite good. In recent years, we’ve seen a massive surge in batting prowess develop within the CPBL, which is demonstrated by pitchers unable to hold ERAs lower than 4 and numerous players carrying ridiculous mid-300 batting averages for the duration of the season. Homeruns are up, too. But who knows? The CPBL might be using tennis balls like the South Koreans used last season.

Pitching quality has been very mixed. This generation has failed to yield anyone worth writing home about. Everyone is hits the mid/low 90s now but that’s sort of useless considering it’s all waist-high, down the center, and ready to be destroyed. Okay I’m exaggerating but really, most of the new blood is mediocre, and so many of the Major/Minor League washups have returned worse than they’ve ever been.

But baseball isn’t as simple as the players on the field. What I’m trying to say is that this iteration of the Taiwanese National Team has never been better offensively, which should make up for its mediocre pitching… unless the incompetent managerial staff decides to use their brains and ruin this delicate balance.

Last night I witnessed Taiwan fall to the Canadians due to Coach Kuo Tai-yuan’s master strategy of using only LHP against the predominately left-batting Canadian team. I mean this is a perfectly viable strategy, but this isn’t Starcraft, where you can use one strategy to make it up Gold League. His thought process must’ve been as follows:

  • I see my starting LHP getting rocked by the lefty hitters…
  • Let’s send another LHP onto the mound… he’s not doing so well either
  • Got anymore lefties? Use him! Clearly we’re having so much success with this… he’s faltering…
  • ONE MORE LEFTY! Because Chen Kuan-yu, the starter that got demolished in the opening game of the tournament, is a better option than any of the PROVEN right handed relievers. Yes! Because lefty against lefty has been working out so well today.

Taiwan lost 9-8 last night. 6 ER for the 4 left-handed pitchers vs the 2 ER for the 4 following RHPs. Because fuck winning right?

Baseball’s not that simple but the choices that were made last night were just infuriating.

To be honest I’m also pretty ticked off at Chiang Chih-hsien. That lazy washup has no business in the infield when he can’t turn two on routine plays.

Honestly, to start winning games, Kuo Tai-yuan really needs to be banned from any managerial spots in the future. His player selections revolve around recruiting players who have overseas experience, completely disregarding whatever abysmal numbers they’ve put up over the years. He’s also shown his masterful grasp of baseball tactics. I feel like I need to back up my opinions with evidence. I will deliver! And I will show that Mr. Kuo specializes in driving the┬áteams he manages into the dirt.

For the record, I still maintain that our discount Ace, Kuo Chun-lin should’ve started against Canada. He’s touted as some fancy pants up and coming talent… I don’t buy it, but he’s competent. The truth is that because nobody wants to admit that he sucks and the Seibu Lions wasted a ton of money and a Foreign Player spot on this kid. Oh, and did I mention that Kuo Tai-yuan helped get facilitate this too?


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