Washington Nationals' pitchers Collin Balester and Ross Detwiler surprised Chien-Ming Wang during a press conference this afternoon in Kaohsiung, Taiwan where the Taiwan All-Star Series is being played. (Photo courtesy @NationalsPR on Twitter.)
The team of MLB players touring Taiwan played the fourth game of their five-game exhibition series with the Chinese Taipei national team this afternoon in Cheng Ching Lake Stadium in the port city of Kaohsiung. The 2.9 million people living in Kaohsiung make it the second-largest city in Taiwan. It was the host city today for the Taiwan All-Star Series, and for what the manager of the MLB team, the Giants' Bruce Bochy, described as the, "... the best game so far in the series," in an article by MLB.com's Doug Miller. Don't click that link if you want to avoid knowing how it ended, because you can watch the game at 5:00 pm EDT on the MLB Network and MLB.tv and then keep watching for more baseball when Nats' prospects Bryce Harper and Derek Norris participate in the AFL Rising Stars game at 8:00 pm EDT.
D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told the nation's capital's baseball writers yesterday that the negotiations which led to Chien-Ming Wang returning to Washington on a one-year deal were, "Amicable, professional and respectful." "[Wang] stated that he wanted to be with the club and felt an obligation to sign with us," Rizzo explained, so all there was to do was agree on a fair deal. In a press conference this afternoon in Kaohsiung, the 31-year-old Wang talked about returning for a third year with the Nationals...
"'I feel very happy and very grateful that the Nats helped me with rehab for two years,'" Wang's quoted stating in a China Times' article entitled, "Wang turns down option in new deal." Wang's teammates with the Nats, reliever Collin Balester and starter Ross Detwiler, both of whom are in Taiwan as part of the MLB team, joined Wang onstage during today's press conference as the YES Network's Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) noted on the Twitter, "As Wang did presser in Kaohsiung, Detwiler and Balester, Nats teammates, sneaked in room 2 surprise him. Savvy pr move by John Blundell."
Both Balester and Detwiler are quoted in the China Times' article, with Detwiler telling reporters, "'He's gonna be one of the best pitchers year in year out. It's just an honor to be working with him and to learn from him.'" The Nats' '07 1st Round pick told MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling that he'd actually learned a lot from watching Chien-Ming Wang on the mound in a late-August article entitled, "Four years after Nationals drafted him, Ross Detwiler is growing up." D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told reporters Friday that it was part of the reason Washington was so eager to see Wang re-sign.
"He's the ultimate, consumate professional and really is a good mentor and a good role model for our young pitchers," the Nats' general manager said. "You see this is a big league pitcher and this is how big league guys, look, act and prepare and I think that's an important factor in our decision to bring him back." Chien-Ming Wang will pitch for the Chinese Taipei national team Sunday night (11/6 at 9:00 pm EDT). Tonight it's Michael Morse and the MLB squad in game four. What will Michael Morse do next?