Taiwan Prepares for Baseball World Cup
Taipei – Taiwan will be hosting the 2007 World Cup, the 2007 Asian Olympic Qualifier and the 2008 Olympic Qualifier for baseball in 5 different cities. The great part is that all of these tournaments take place after the MLB regular season so you will have more baseball to see in November and December! The World Cup teams from the states will be composed of non-40 man roster MLB players so the competition will be very good during the 12 team tournament that takes place November 6-18. They will be playing the World Cup in Taipei, ShenShuan and Taichung cities. Taichung has 2 stadiums in the same city. One called "Taichung stadium" (83 years old) and the other is named "Intercontinental Stadium" which is relatively new. As with most older parks the need to expand in a downtown area are pretty tough. Taichung Stadium needed to build a batting tunnel for the facility and the only place was actually on top of a pond. Quite a unique plan as I can foresee the coaches fishing while the players take swings in the cage.
Shenshuan was used during the 2001 World Cup. Since that tournament they installed a natural turf infield instead of an all clay infield. Its much improved but the need for better maintenance continues to be an issue at this park. The final stadium to review was Taipei and the name of the stadium is Tein Mou. This is where they will be hosting the championships. We got quite a shock when we walked onto the field to see they had stripped the field of all the grass and were undergoing a major field construction only a month before the tournament. The local contractor has proposed Zoysia for the field but this type of turf is really not considered your top choice of a sports grass. We have a way to go here…I am sure everything will work out…it always does and we are going to be helping them to ensure the field is the best it can be. The climate here is tropical there fore its hot and humid…let me clarify, I mean HOT AND HUMID. Not sure what we can do about that but I can assure you, this tournament logistically, will be a tough one. Taking a look at the equipment in Taichung I came across a different brand triplex mower call "TSUCHIYA". We are always talking about the green, red and orange mower competitions. Deere, TORO, JAC …Now we have "teal".
A web site is up for the tournament and you can see the schedule at http://www.baseball.ch/cop/37BWC.pdf