Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Taiwan limps along with fallen baseball hero



People are praying in Taiwan for baseball pitcher Wang Chien-ming.

The guy isn’t dead, despite a few alarmist banner headlines, but over the past month he has pushed Taiwan’s collective sadness to code blue levels.

Wang, a Taiwan-born Major League Baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees, wrecked his first three games of the 2009 season after sitting out most of last year with a foot injury.

On April 18 he led the team to a stunningly lopsided 4-22 demise against the Cleveland Indians, days after a 5-15 debacle against Tampa Bay. Before last year Wang was a league sensation whose sinker balls have earned him a 54-23 career win-loss record and a line-up of product sponsorships in Taiwan. Now he’s suddenly back on the disabled list with an abductor muscle weakness, raising fears that last year’s injury might not have fully healed.

That’s like saying Taiwan itself has lost and gone limp. “To see him do this in the United States puts us in a deep depression,” Taipei fan Eming Chung said.

Yankees’ 2009 hopes could be blowing in the wind


yankees11Hopes were high among the New York Yankees’ fans after an off-season of big spending in the free-agent market, but a new stadium may mean those best-laid plans are gone with the wind.

Media and weather company AccuWeather said the heavy winds and angle of the seating in the new $1.5 billion baseball park that opened this season could be major factors for why Yankee Stadium is being called “Coors East” by one analyst. Coors Field is the home park of the Colorado Rockies, where the high altitude leads to high-scoring games.

from Photographers' Blog:

New home for the Yankees

I came to New York in 1971 to work for the Associated Press and I covered the weekend shift at both Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, where the Mets played. I've spent a good part of my life covering baseball in New York, the last 21 years for Reuters.

The Yankees ballpark had the air of a grand old lady, slightly down on her luck. At first sight it was an impressive structure with the historic field and that magnificent original copper frieze that lined the stadium’s roof above the upper deck. But a close look revealed a stadium deteriorating almost everywhere.

Fans will love new Mets stadium


After visiting the Yankee Stadium earlier in the week, Larry Fine takes a trip to New York’s other newly-built baseball home.

The New York Mets unveiled their new Citi Field home with an exhibition game Friday against the Boston Red Sox. I think fans are going tolove it.

It’s pricey, but Yankee fans feel at home in new stadium


The view from the upper deck as New York Yankees workout in new Yankee Stadium in New York

Larry Fine had a chance to mingle with some Yankees fans on Thursday when they opened the new $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium to season ticket holders and community organizations and drew over 20,000 people.

I didn’t hear too many dissenting views on the new facility, which has the feel of the old ‘House that Ruth Built’ looking down on the field, but adds all the modern stadium amenities with roomier seats, broader concourses, elimination of ‘portal’ entrances, expanded concession choices and a whole tier of luxury boxes.