TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A bench-clearing brawl broke out during a Taiwanese professional baseball game on Sunday (April 19), getting extra attention from the outside world as Taiwan is the only country with active professional sports games during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A melee broke out during a Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) game on Sunday when a pitcher from the Fubon Guardians intentionally struck a batter from the Rakuten Monkeys. The incident drew praise from baseball fans for livening up what has been a boring period, with most of the world's professional leagues sidelined by the coronavirus.
The conflict started when Kuo Yen-wen (郭嚴文) told an umpire that the Guardians were using an illegal bat. Umpires halted play to inspect a bat for having an illegal marking on it.
Officials decided that the image of a human head on a strange animal body was not illegal, and play resumed. Angry at Kuo's accusation, Guardians pitcher Henry Sosa then threw three pitches ever closer to Kuo before finally hitting him on the buttocks with the fourth.
As soon as Sosa's pitch connected, both teams swarmed onto the field and started pushing and shoving each other. After the dust settled, the umpires decided not to eject any players and allowed the game to continue.
In the end, the Monkeys defeated the Guardians with a score of 3 to 1. Bored out of their socks over the past few weeks, several international sportscasters were pleased to see the fracas break out.
ESPN sports commentator Keith Olbermann wrote, "Today, in Taiwan, the CPBL had a beautiful bench clearing brawl." Meanwhile, George Jarjour from Sports ON Tap wrote "The Rakuten Monkeys from Taiwan give us our much needed benches clearing brawl.
The Rakuten Monkeys from Taiwan give us our much needed benches clearing brawl— George Jarjour (@gjarjour) April 19, 2020