How famished are you for live baseball? Do you want a hint of what pro and college sports could look like when the games resume? Are you an early riser?
There’s baseball on TV, and if you answered yes to the questions above, the only remaining question would appear to be whether the daily broadcasts of Taiwan’s four-team Chinese Professional Baseball League are attractive enough to you to search out.
The league started its 120-game regular season on Sunday morning (Minnesota time) with the Uni-Lions defeated the Chinatrust Brothers 4-1 in 11 innings.
This morning, starting at 5:30 in the Twin Cities, the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions (commonly called the Uni-Lions) face the Rakuten Monkeys in the finale of a two-game series.
The Monkeys won the first game 9-8 in 12 innings on a walk-off homer by Yu-Hsien Chu, one of the league’s top sluggers.
Almost all of the games are streamed live on the web, and one service -- Eleven TV Sports -- had an English language feed.
You can watch today’s game by clicking below, or check out the feed later for a replay.
The start of the season was delayed about a month because of the coronavirus pandemic and games are being played in stadiums without fans. Only the players and umpires are on the field, with cheerleaders atop the dugouts. (There were mannequins in the prime seats for Wednesday’s game, as you can see from this video of Chu’s home run.)
The CPBL is considered to be the equivalent of high Class A or Class AA minor-league baseball in the United States. Each team is allowed three foreign players on its roster, and two can be on the field at a time. Most of the foreign players on the season-opening rosters are pitchers from the United States.
The Opening Day pitcher for the Brothers was Ariel Miranda, who had a 13-9 record for Baltimore and Seattle from 2016-18. Ryan Carpenter, who gave up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Twins last June while pitching for Detroit, is on the Rakuten roster.
By now, you’re likely at the point of having some curiosity, shrugging your shoulders or wanting to know more than we can tell you here.
If you’re in the latter group, here’s more about the CPBL, including links to rosters and a guide to how to read the schedule.
Most games start at 6:30 p.m. in Taiwan, which is 5:30 a.m. in Minnesota.
If you just want to watch some baseball, here’s a page with links to the livestreams, including a pay service that will get you the entire season in one place for about $35.