Many people in the United States when they think of scooters, think about driving one in Key West or Hawaii along the beach and park and drink alcoholic beverages with umbrellas in them. That is the complete opposite thought of scooters over here in Taiwan. Scooters in Taiwan are a way of life. They provide transportation for individuals, families, and supplies. Just when I think I have seen it all over here something new pops up. I have seen 3 people on a 1 and 2 person scooter. I have seen infants as passengers, many elderly drivers, and workers transporting large gas canisters on the back of them. The other day when I thought there was a wreck in the middle of the street, it wasn’t, it was a scooter who had too many cardboard boxes that fell off and made a mess in the intersection.
Scooters seem to always have the right of way when it comes to the road laws. There usually is a designated lane on the right of the road for scooters, but many of them weave in and out of traffic. From speaking with local players, they tell me that cars must give the right of way to all scooters and are liable for any accidents. Driving on these roads with the amount of scooters and cars can be pretty scary. Drivers will just pull out of side streets without looking and expect cars to stop or move out of the way. Scooters will drive on the other side of the road against on coming traffic to get to the traffic light quicker. The hardest part of owning a scooter is trying to find parking for it. There are designated spots for scooters, but with the amount of them here it becomes very tough to park “legally”. If you make your “own” spot, you can be towed and they will mark on the street with chalk where your scooter was towed. Hopefully it doesn’t rain and wash away the chalk or you will never find your scooter.
Luckily with all of the traffic and aggressive driving scooter drivers must wear helmets.
Big congratulations to Yo-Yo from the Lamigo Monkeys for winning the Homerun Derby during the All-Star game.
Our manager gave us Friday and Saturday off for the All Star break. Just got home from our Sunday workout with the minor league team. Day off tomorrow then practice Tuesday and games Thursday through Sunday. Come check us out. We will be in Taichung for most of the week.
Probably headed back into Taipei tomorrow. Yesterday I checked out the night market in Shilin off the MRT red line. The food there looked delicious and smelled amazing. The fruits were so colorful and fresh. I just need some help identifying what everything is. Also if you see me or one of the other imports in the streets, come up to us and say hi. We love interacting with local fans and will sign an autograph or take a picture. I noticed some people starring at me the other day on the MRT. I don’t bite, I’m friendly.
Thanks as always for reading and sharing my blog with others. Thanks to my Taiwanese fans for translating my blog and posting it in your forums.
PS – There was a lot of talk about my comments last week about the all-star game voting and I think it got lost in translation. In no way was I disrespecting the player or envious of him. It was only my outlook of how the voting for the all star game worked. I found it interesting that only the fans vote, and not the managers, players, or media.
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For my US fans, here is the link to my statistics. I know it can be tough to find them online or even understand them.
So far 39.1 inns 2.74 ERA 22k’s 9 bb http://www.cpbl.com.tw/personal_Rec/pbat_personal.aspx?Pno=A0B2&Gno=01&Role=2&pbatpage=1
Due to the rain we were forced to practice indoors. Literally indoors taking ground balls on a marble floor and getting treatment on top of our ice cooler.
I love the Panda Jeremy Scott Adidas shoes! I’m jealous Taiwan and Asia gets so many special sneaker releases. If anyone owns a sneaker store or has friends who do, please contact me. I’m a huge sneaker collector and would love to get in contact with more people in Taiwan.
Sorry for the delay in keeping up with my blog. We have had a tedious schedule as we wrap up the season. Finally back in Toledo for a 12 day homestand. We haven’t been playing too well, but hopefully we can finish strong. At this point in the year players are trying get their batting averages up, ERA’s down, and try to show the rovers/scouts they can play somewhere next year. Getting a job in this game is getting very hard, so you must do everything you can to perform your best each time you take the field.
This past week I used the social network site Twitter to ask the fans and followers what topics or questions you would like me to cover in this weeks blog. I received many great questions and hope to cover them all.
I kind of covered the rituals and superstitions earlier this season. Following BP we make our way into the clubhouse. We have a locker room, gym, training room, video room, and tv room. Most guys venture to the tv room where the pre game spread is out along with two 42” lcd televisions side by side. Jay Sborz or Casey Fien usually pick out a movie to watch prior to the game. The other tv will just play loops of sportscenter until it annoys another teammate and someone asks to change it. At that point by having the tv’s right next to each other, the person who swiftly tries to change the channel ends up changing both tv’s and all hell breaks loose. Latins are screaming in spanish, the americans are cursing one another, and our clubhouse manager has to come to our rescue like someone is tapping out of a UFC fight.
From there so players move into the locker room to read or play soft toss with sponge balls. Daniel Schlereth was known for throwing the best soft toss in the clubhouse to Jeff Larish and Brent Dlugach. Those guys had some of their best nights at the plate following that work. You must be heads up though walking in and out of that place. You are very likely to get smoked by one of those balls.
When it comes to pranks and gags, Bull Durham and myself lead the group in that category. Bull will light fireworks in the clubhouse and scare you like no other. His voice carries so much that you can probably hear him outside in the stands prior to a game. I always have some gags ready to go for new guys as they join our team initially. I also always have the shaving cream pies ready for our walk off wins.
Handling your ups and downs during the season can be tough. Some guys deal with it quietly and some are very loud and verbal. The key is to minimize your slump. Work with a coach prior to BP, talk with other players, try something new. Your best coach is yourself. We all have gotten to this level for a reason. Normally when we are failing it is something small and can be fixed or adjusted. We just need to realize it and accept what we are doing wrong. But having the staff and supporting cast of our teammates helps making slumps go away sooner.
I have had my great teammates throughout my career. Luke Hochevar was probably one of the hardest working ones. I remember at UT I forgot my wallet in the clubhouse and went back to the field 2 hours after the game, and Hoch’ was practicing dry mechanics in the mirror by himself. He is where he is at for all his hard work and determination. Kurt Suzuki would always cook for me and Jason Windsor so hes one of my favorites. Dallas Braden was one of the funniest teammates ever. The guy is 150 pounds and has jailhouse tattoos all over his body. He was a tough competitor. Don’t look him into the eyes the day he starts. Casey Fien and I get along pretty well. He’s the typical Cali’ laid back guy and I’m the loud Miami (wade, bosch, Lebron kingdom now) guy. Although I can’t pull off wearing a Justin Beiber shirt to the Indy locker room. Sorry Casey had to throw you under the bus. Josh Rainwater is probably the nicest teammate/person ever. I don’t think that guy can ever get mad at a person. We try to test him every now and then, but he won’t budge. He understands the game very well and takes pride in his job. I can go on and on about teammates. I’ve had so many great ones along the way.
Well I hope I covered everything. I hope to keep the blog rolling through the off season and into winterball. Thanks for the continued support. Also I’m trying to get 1000 followers on twitter. If I do I will be shipping out to some followers a Scot Drucker bobble head doll. Please spread the word. http://www.twitter.com/utbaseball30