It helps, too, that CPBL broadcasts play up the entertainment factor. Cheerleaders do cheeky dance routines. Mascots clown around while wearing face masks. Some of the cardboard cutouts (“humanoid cheering boards,” as one precisely translated tweet called them) are actually really clever. It’s these cultural differences that keep the games from feeling like watered-down versions of American baseball.
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #LinAnKo #林安可 The first Grand Slam of his career!!! Congrats!!!! #UniLions #CPBL https://t.co/KZ2sUrs5L1
Now the downsides: The time difference is inconvenient. Taiwan’s evening games broadcast in the early morning here, which means if you want to catch them live you’ll be watching over breakfast. That’s not nearly as fun as having an afternoon game to listen to while you grill or do yard work.
Also, the CPBL doesn’t offer much in the way of star power. The few ex-MLB players in the league tend to be farm hands or cup-of-coffee guys like former Detroit Tiger Ryan Carpenter or ex-Diamondback Bryan Woodall. The only player the league has with any Brewers ties is Josh Roenicke, who never actually pitched for the Brewers but did have one terrible Triple A year in the Brewers system (he’s also Ron Roenicke’s nephew, which maybe counts for something).