As some of you know, three of us on the beat last season (myself, Sam Borden and Mark Feinsand) wrote a book about Chien-Ming Wang that is being released in Taiwan and Hong Kong on Monday
We wrote the book in English and it was translated into Chinese. We’re still hoping to get it published in the United States later this year.
After all the research and interviews we did, I thought we understood how popular Wang was in Taiwan. Turns out we had no idea.
An e-mail from our publisher a few days ago said Wang’s injury was “a national tragedy” and yesterday I had a television reporter from Taiwan ask me whether I thought Wang had the character to overcome such an injury.
I’ve been getting a steady stream of e-mails from Taiwan asking how Wang is and one person pointed me to a web site where literally thousands of people have posted messages of support to Wang.
Wang popped his hamstring and will miss a few starts. He’s going to be fine. But to his fans, this is an emergency.
It reminded me that sportswriters and fans in the United States really have no idea how big players like Wang, Hideki Matsui, Mariano Rivera, Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano are back in their native countries. Not only are they playing in the big leagues, they’re playing for the Yankees.
We’re all sitting around here debating who the backup catcher will be. In Taiwan, they’re hoping their national hero will be OK.