Tuesday, 21st March 2023

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When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them

After receiving military exemption and rejecting the national team… Taiwan’s big leaguer participates in WBC under heavy criticism

Infielder Jang You-cheng (28), who had refused to be selected for the Taiwanese baseball team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), changed his mind due to strong public opposition. 

Taiwan’s ‘Taiwan News’ reported on the 4th (Korean time) that Zhang Yucheng joined the Taiwan national team. On the 3rd, in Taichung, Taiwan, he met with CPBL (Taiwan Professional Baseball) Commissioner Chai Chi-chang and decided to participate in the national team after discussion. Lin Yueping, head coach of the Chinese Taipei national team, said, “This is good news. Zhang Youcheng’s addition will definitely be a big plus for the team. I hope it will help us achieve good results at the WBC.” 

Initially, Zhang Yucheng told coach Lin Yueping at the end of last year that he had refused to be selected for the WBC national team. Zhang Youcheng, who was released as a non-tender from the Boston Red Sox after the season last year and became a free agent, has yet to find a new team. 

It is known that three teams have recently shown interest in Zhang Yucheng, but a minor league contract is likely. The clubs wanted Jang Yu-cheng to participate in spring training, and because of overlapping schedules with the WBC, it was difficult to respond to the selection for the national team. 

Jang Yu-cheng, whose position in the major leagues has not been solidified, wanted to focus on preparing for the new season rather than the 메이저사이트 WBC. It’s not that I don’t understand, but public opinion was not good at him. He was exempted from military service and refused to be selected for the national team, so it went against public sentiment.

In Taiwan, which is a conscription country like Korea, all men are obliged to serve in the military. In December 2018, the one-year conscription system was abolished and reorganized into a 4-month military training system, which was in effect converted into a volunteer service system, but from January 1, 2024, the service period was extended to a one-year conscription system again to strengthen national defense.

Zhang Yucheng qualified for a sports-related supplementary role while representing Taiwan at the 2019 Asian Baseball Championship. At that time, Taiwan won the championship, and Zhang Yucheng was effectively exempted from military service by serving 12 days. However, according to the regulations, even after serving 12 days, he is transferred to supplementary service for 5 years. Because it is a supplementary period until 2025, public opinion about the rejection of the WBC team has worsened. 

Commissioner Chai Chichang said, “There was pressure from local fans to choose Zhang Yucheng. I am glad that Zhang Youcheng decided to participate. The player himself showed a strong will to do his best for Taiwan.” Taiwan, which is placed in Group A along with the Netherlands, Cuba, Italy and Panama, will play the first round group stage in Taichung from March 8 to 13. 

Meanwhile, right-handed utility infielder Zhang Youcheng joined the Cleveland Indians in 2013 for $500,000 on an international amateur contract. After debuting in the big leagues in 2019, he recorded a batting average of 201 3, 104 hits, 14 homers, 61 RBIs, and an OPS of .639 in 196 games in 4 seasons. Last year, he went to and from four teams: Cleveland, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays and Boston. After three nominations (DFA) in one season, he was sluggish with a batting average of 2.08, 35 hits, 4 home runs, and 15 RBIs in 69 games, with an OPS of .605.