Tough Competition in World Cup Games
With a few games under our belt, things are starting to settle down with the fields and facilities, but not without some serous TLC of the fields! Due to poor drainage behind the plate area in Teinmu, we had to remove the turf and install walkways. Not a big fan of walkways but since we do not have thick cut sod locally and the turf was continuing to deteriorate from traffic… the walkways were a quick and achievable solution. We actually removed the turf and installed the walkways only a few hours before our noon game between Korea and Thailand. Again, it couldn’t have happened without a great team effort from our groundscrew. The rain is finally subsiding from the Typhoon so that should make things a bit easier on the ground crews. We have yet to allow teams to take BP on the championship field in Teinmu due to the new turf. We will probably start allowing them to take infield tomorrow. With 25+ games and workouts we needed to reduce usage to ensure the field remains safe until the end of the tournament…everyone agrees. Tienmu has great batting tunnels and bullpens under the stadium so the teams really do not have a problem with it.
USA had a tough loss against Italy but bounced back with a nice win against Japan. I had talked with Bill Holcomb the pitching coach for Team Italy just the day before. Italy is bouncing back from a poor performance in the Olympic Qualifier where they didn’t even place to move into the next Olympic tournament. After coming in 5th or 6th in Barcelona, the federation kind of cleaned house and brought in a new coaching staff. Looks like its working for them. You never know what can happen in these internationals tournaments even when teams are heavily favored to win. Above the guys handpaint the foul lines. They normally use chalk as they do not have a sprayer for the lines. We helped them build a template and found some latex based paint. They turned out nice.
We also planted another several hundred pounds of pre-germinated rye seed in Teinmu. This should pop in about 3 or 4 days. Hsingsuan stadium is holding up well. The parks in Taichung are showing some wear but that was expected.
George our faithful and always smiling translator helped us find a radar site so we can monitor the weather more closely via Internet. His assistance along with our other interpreters Paul in Taichung, Joe in Hsingsuan and John in Intercontinental have proved be invaluable to the success of the games. With an off day scheduled on Monday it will be used for improving the fields. In Teinmu we have a makeup game with Taiwan and Italy. Italy is actually going to play a game in Tiuliou Stadium near Taichung Wednesday. They would need to travel from Taipei to Taichung late after the game on Tuesday and they had a noon game against japan the next day. Moving this game makes a lot of sense as now it will be played at 5pm. I mentioned this stadium in an earlier blog as I think its one of the top parks in all of Asia. USA takes on Spain today. Its at 5am east coast time. You can watch the games for free via streaming at the following link .