首頁 »
April 7, 2016

已賺夠多的錢, 還要跟年輕人坐巴士在小聯盟球場奔波

他在國民隊的最後幾個星期,每次中繼上場,都是被全場觀眾噓下去的。
對於曾經在聯盟數一數二的投手來說,那是多大的羞辱?

不懂為什麼這樣還能夠不放棄,

不懂為什麼賺夠多的錢還要跟年輕人坐巴士在小聯盟球場奔波。

 
王建民記者會感性答問: 堅持夢想 做自己!
旅美職棒投手王建民,4月3日在堪薩斯市皇家隊球場出席記者會時表示,
「做 自己!照自己的想法,完成自己的夢想,不要因為別人說了什麼就放棄,
要堅持下去。」。(中央社20160404)

 

 

 
說真的,我一點也不懂王建民。

這 不只是隨便說說,二○○五年,這位來自台灣的年輕投手在AAA沒有待太久,幾乎是跳級登上大聯盟,那時候也算年輕的我,以為自己什麼事情都是專家,看他前 一年在AA層級超過四的防禦率,第一場大聯盟先發連一個三振也沒有,「這個等級的投手,能夠在大聯盟贏五場球,就已經很不錯了。」我自以為是寫下這段話。

結果他第一年就拿下八勝。

還是硬著頭皮解釋王建民在新人年就能拿到八勝的原因,他的投手運氣指數BABIP,也就是被打擊出去的球形成安打的機率,比聯盟平均值低了很多。「換句話說,就是運氣很好。」我心裡想著。

結果他第二年拿下十九勝,第三年也是。在差點拿到最佳投手塞揚獎的這兩年,他的運氣指數,跟聯盟平均值幾乎一模一樣。

我 不懂什麼是快速下沉的伸卡球,王建民在前三年球季,用一千一百三十五個滾地球出局數,慢慢讓我學會;我不認識用來評估選手的指標WHIP與WAR,王建民 用聯盟裡前段班的數字,做了完美的詮釋;我不知道大聯盟新人合約的薪資規定是怎麼一回事,王建民用成績跟洋基隊談出四百萬美金的身價,替我上了一課。

這 些年來,跟所有球迷一樣,我的心裡有個重要的位置,留給我們大聯盟的初戀王建民。我在球場上親眼看著他受傷、在小聯盟復健賽替他加油、帶國旗見證他的第一 支安打、甚至連去年春訓,也特別到勇士隊球場默默看他投牛棚。可是,或許是因為年紀漸長的緣故,我不得不承認,我可能一點也不懂王建民。

球 速跟年紀成反比,一年一年往下掉,防禦率卻越來越高,離大聯盟也越來越遠,沒有多少人在這樣的情況下還不放棄。你知道嗎,不只沒有球隊青睞是難熬的事情, 他在國民隊的最後幾個星期,每次中繼上場,都是被全場觀眾噓下去的。對於曾經在聯盟數一數二的投手來說,那是多大的羞辱?那種難堪,我或許知道一些,因為 我們全家都在那裡,身上穿著他的四十號球衣,偶爾還會被其他球迷嘲笑。

我 不懂為什麼這樣還能夠不放棄,不懂為什麼賺夠多的錢還要跟年輕人坐巴士在小聯盟球場奔波。或許我可以跟別人一樣,分析他沉球的轉速,假裝搞通念書時候怎樣 都學不好的物理;我還可以找出沒有人計算的數據,像是自從二○○八年五月換黨執政以後,防禦率從三.七一暴升到六.四二。可是,沒有什麼事情能夠幫助我了 解一位三十六歲的老投手,為什麼還在小聯盟撐著。如果去年有人問我看不看好他東山再起,我想答案跟洪一中總教練會是一樣的,我甚至不知道他回到亞洲還有沒 有機會。

可是看著皇家隊公布的廿五人名單,我才想通,原來,王建民根本不需要被任何人搞懂。就像一切的開端,那個帶著大家心情上山下海,讓叢林猛獸一個一個滾地出局的年輕投手,不斷顛覆所有人的推測,反正就是一球一球丟下去,有時候,堅持就會有結果,誰管別人懂不懂。(作者為運動文學作家)

2016-04-07 02:26 聯合報 方祖涵(運動文學作家)
http://udn.com/news/story/7340/1612834
---

MLB》楊照:別把王建民看成一般的勵志故事
2016/04/05 11:58

〔體育中心/綜合報導〕旅美投手王建民大復活,引起台灣人熱議。作家楊照表示,台灣人喜歡叫他「台灣之光」,但他在建仔身上看到的,卻是很不台灣,「我多麼希望這一次,別再把王建民看成、講成一般、俗濫的勵志故事。」

楊照認為,王建民曾在洋基隊時經歷了最高等級的棒球體驗,他無法忘懷這個至高的標準,所以他無論如何不願settle for less(退而求其次),而激勵他的正是這個心中的「至高標準」,和這個相比,其他的包括掌聲與薪水,都沒那麼重要了。

「這正就是最不台灣的部分。」楊照表示,台灣的教育、主流社會價值,從來不培養孩子在任何領域中去追求、去體會「至高標準」,都是「外在標準」,別人如何評價你,給你幾分,給你什麼工作或怎樣的薪水,要他們養成習慣,依照這些「外在標準」調整自己的行為,那才叫「聰明」,那才叫「有前途」。

楊照表示,他多麼希望許多台灣的孩子,能夠從王建民身上看到這份不一樣的堅持,好奇追索為什麼他如此看待棒球、看待大聯盟,如此選擇自己曲折跌宕的人生道路,因而有機會碰觸到這種在台灣稀有的生命態度──尊重自己內在「最高標準」傳來的渴望。
http://sports.ltn.com.tw/news/breakingnews/1654641
--
熱血一下!看訓練員如何動容描繪建仔浴火重生
許銘洲/編譯 2016-04-04 00:06
熱血一下!看訓練員如何動容描繪建仔浴火重生
歷經十六年的美國夢,屢仆屢起,堅持不認輸,王建民的故事,讓這代台灣人講一輩子也不會厭倦。(取材自網路)
目前加入美國堪薩斯市皇家隊,簽下小聯盟合約的王建民,經過12週的密集春訓,其平均球速達到近150公里/小時的職棒生涯高峰,辛苦有成,終於在開季就進入25人名單,預計將以中繼投手的身分重返大聯盟。美國媒體甚至評論指出,王建民的棒球生涯,正從灰燼中重新發出生命亮光。
負責培訓建仔的佛羅里達棒球學校執行長(或名為分校校長)蘇利文(Randy Sullivan),3月29日發表一篇專文指出,當王建民向美國媒體,表示自己找回球速,完全歸功於該學校有效的季後訓練。隨後,該學校的網站遭出現爆增的流量;後來為了因應強大流量,該網站增加1倍頻寬,結果,同樣被熱血網路鄉民沖爆。蘇利文指出,素有「台灣之光」名號的建仔,其成功復出,對台灣民眾而言,有著非凡的意義。
渥佛斯佛羅里達州棒球分校的校長蘇利文,還進一步指出,王建民職棒生涯的東山再起,主要歸功於,他全力配合教練團隊對他的指導,以及他個人每日例行性的勤練、苦學,跟內心強大成就動機的持續推進。他還說,建仔是職棒大聯盟裡面,最為謙遜、苦學的球員之人,也是人們於樂於跟他合作的對象。
以下是渥佛斯(Wolforth)佛州棒球學校分校蘇利文(Randy Sullivan),3月29日發表的一篇,名為「王建民是如何找回昔日身手」(How Chien-Ming Wang Got His Groove Back),本文針對王建民在該的春訓內容,進行的摘要敘述:
最近大聯盟裡面的球隊仙人掌聯盟(Cactus League),傳出一項驚人消息。聽說有隻不死鳥,正在浴火中冉冉重生,這則故事,的確讓許多人在亞利桑那州的民眾大感疑惑。
這則消息的主角,就是來自台灣的建仔。整個大聯盟也都想不透,為什麼王建民這個35歲,受傷2次,去年在3A球速都在86-88英哩/小時,即138-141公里徘徊的平平投手,最近怎麼有辦法,投出96英里(154公里)的球速,嶄露出其職棒生涯以來的最佳表現狀態。
多數的專家都會告訴你,這種年紀想要有如此進步,根本不可能。於是一些網路鄉民專家,爭先恐後想要解讀,這則背後故事,究竟是怎麼發生的。人們想要找出王建民身手,出現「神奇子彈般」(magic bullet)大幅改善的根本原因。
有一位了不起的鄉民專家,找出王建民過去表現下滑的原因是「平臂綜合癥」(flat arm syndrome),即投手投球時,一開始手臂使力方式,與地面幾乎平行。這類投球手臂角度錯誤,常常造成投手的運動傷害,也是投手們的通病。Flat Arm Syndrome的意思,也可說是上臂在前腳踏地,或肩膀開始轉動的時機,與地面呈現平行狀態。
除了「平臂綜合癥」的投球方式與傷害,必須得到治療改善之外;專文也指出,建仔的球速上升,是他成功的關鍵。如今他透過這次春訓,毫不懈怠苦練,找出正確,讓身體平衡的投球姿勢,是他這次有機會東山再起的秘密武器,而且這一切都是憑靠個人努力得來,絕非研運氣。
(這種手臂沒有抬高投球姿勢,也是過去建仔犯下的毛病,容易導致運動傷害。網路圖片)
找出球速不穩定根源
渥佛斯棒球學校佛州分校負責人蘇利文(Randy Sullivan),2015年11月間,得知王建民將前來,接受為期12週的春訓計畫。隨即蘇利文就在網路上認真搜索相關資料,預習建仔的生涯,包括傷病史、大聯盟之路,以及其它認為有用的資訊。他的經紀人張嘉元(Alan Chang)來電,並且轉交建仔的表現紀錄,還有一些上季球賽的高速影片。
經紀人Alan的說法指出,建仔在上1季偶有佳作,卻處於「掙扎維持」狀態。有2次出賽期間,他面臨失去球速,並且投不出著名的「伸卡球」(famous sinker,或稱之為沈球)。他也曾出現1場球很棒的投球,然後接下來的四、五場,卻找不回自己的球技。專文作者指出,每次當我聽到投手無法維持穩定度,我都會往「受傷康復」層面,尋找答案。失去球質與速度,很有可能就是投手在出賽期間,沒有獲得完全康復。
簡報過程,蘇利文直接告訴建仔說:如果想在未來「大有作為」,必須找回自己的穩定性。穩定性有賴良好的1.)「賽後恢復」,以及2.)「大膽」的訓練計畫。蘇利文並點出一些其它導致康復不良,可能的生理機制壓力(biomechanical stressors)變數,必須儘量排除,這類生理壓力來源包括有:
1. 擺臂時前臂飛掉(forearm flyout):肱二頭肌(Biceps,即連接肩胛骨和前臂橈骨部位的肌肉),為了加速抵抗離心力,在投球時過度用力。
2. 投球結束動作,須線性減速(linear deceleration):當投球抵抗長軸的偏離與手肘的伸展時,肱二頭肌過度動作。
3. 未妥善運用下半身,下半身無效率(ineffecient lower half):臀大肌無法分擔手臂的壓力。
脫胎換骨更上層樓
「高球速」以及「伸卡球」是王建民的2大致命法寶。而且這2項本領的巧妙結合,讓建仔的職棒生涯,頻頻綻放異彩。蘇利文解釋道,球速與伸卡球(沈球)的高低,這2者呈現反比關係;換言之,高速球往往伴隨著較低沈球,反之亦然。然而,建仔的球路,其特別處在於,他能在高球速水準的情況下,投出「慢轉速沉球」(即高沈球)。
蘇利文繼續解釋道,平均大聯盟投手的「伸卡球」球速是91.7哩,而平均每分鐘轉速是2096RPM。轉速越慢,伸卡球的下沉幅度就會越大。經過測試之後,王建民伸卡球的轉速達到每分鐘僅1400-1450RPM,是這所棒球學校有史以來,測過伸卡球轉速最低的選手。蘇利文認為這就是王建民伸卡球「殺傷力」的秘密:「在保持高球速的情況下,仍然能投出超低轉速的伸卡球。」
蘇利文,以及學校創辦人兼教練渥佛斯(Ron Wolforth)強調:建仔球技的推昇重點,必須遵循指導準則操練,同時又要透過「潛意識默想」來自我改造(習慣性動作缺失),如此才能不影響,建仔2種球技「兼備一身」的個人天賦。
最高水準的運動員,對於任何訓練形式的改變,都可能嚴重影響1位運動員的身手。不過,這種打亂身體記憶(即習慣動作)的訓練,對建仔而言,卻是必要的。
這次春訓總策畫師蘇利文(Randy Sullivan),早在向建仔提出訓練計劃簡報時,就清楚他的心思,他也瞭解王建民是用「伸卡球」秘密武器,來打遍天下。因此他特別製作一分簡報,提出「我會失去我的伸卡球嗎?」這類疑題,並告訴建仔說:「經過訓練,伸卡球甚至會更好而且更慢下沉」。長達12週的訓練成果顯示,王建民的球速從原本剛進來第1球的84哩/小時,提昇至96.7哩(即155.69公里)。他的伸卡球威力,如今也更慢更沉。
從一開始,透過找出王建民投球動作缺失分析,以及為期12週的總體訓練計畫,渥佛斯(Wolforth)棒球學校佛州分校,提供建仔下面幾點幫助:1.)清除所有身體限制;2.)增進擺臂,以及減少投球與臀部動作;3.)完全消除手臂疼痛問題;4.)加強身體復原速度;5.)找回穩定球速;6.)維持或增進「個人天賦(stuff)」。另一方面,春訓期間,王建民還接受多樣化的訓練課程,包括移動速度訓練,重力、肌力訓練,以及Scaptivation瑜珈的身體潛能開發課程。
http://www.peoplenews.tw/news/15bfa06f-917c-43e1-ae55-b2bdf0ef43ae
--
2
外媒:願景總留給像王建民這類有夢的人
許銘洲/編譯 2016-04-05 00:43
外媒:願景總留給像王建民這類有夢的人
台灣投手王建民,確定登上皇家隊大聯盟名單(資料圖片:堪薩斯市皇家隊)
剛在3月31日渡過36歲生日的王建民,近日傳出喜訊,名列堪薩斯市皇家隊(Kansas City Royals),美國職棒大聯盟的參賽投手,這對於數度跌落生涯黑暗谷底的建仔而言,有著湔雪前恥的重大意義。更何況,建仔曾經歷腿部及手腕等2度重大運動傷害,右肩關節甚至還手術過;這一回他能重返大聯盟,所憑藉的就是那一分決心:「我還不願放棄!」
王建民最近在大聯盟開戰前夕的熱身賽,表現驚艷,防禦率僅2.40(2-3算是很優秀投手),球速普遍維持在90-93英哩(即145-150公里/小時),此度建仔的實力回春,連不少老外也嘖嘖稱奇。
美國運動媒體《堪薩斯運動名星》(kansas city.com)3月18日發表一篇「以負寫正」筆法的分析,名為「王建民是皇家隊下一個資源回收的對象」(Chien-Ming Wang could be Royals' next reclamation project),這篇標題看起來像是對當事人有貶抑之意,其實是客觀描述出,老外如何重新看待王建民,這位昔日紐約洋基隊的王牌球星。
專文指出,約10年前,紐約洋基隊球星王建民,曾創下連續19季的勝利佳績,當時他以時速超過89英哩的「伸卡球」,享譽美國職棒大聯盟。然而2008年之後,腿部受傷,接踵而來的右肩關節囊手術,讓建仔職棒生涯,一直表現平平。而且2013年離開美國多倫多藍鳥隊(Toronto Blue Jays),之後,建仔就告別大聯盟。這位昔日的職棒紅星,一直到去年夏天,都還陷入職棒生涯的黑暗歲月當中;一度甚至有人認為,拉他進入球隊,是有損於職棒團體名聲。
王建民是皇家隊尋找的「樂透彩券」
為了找機會,讓建仔從谷底翻揚,2015年11月間,王建民的經紀人張嘉元(Alan Chang),找上渥爾斯 (Wolforth)德州棒球學校佛羅里達分校,希望透過訓練計畫,讓建仔重獲新生。透過12週的季後集訓,建仔果然找回昔日身手。根據棒球學校的觀測人員用雷達槍的測試數據顯示,建仔的伸卡球時速,一般均維持在90-93英哩,最佳的一次球速甚至達到96英哩(154公里/小時);這對棒球界人士而言,是個不可思議的「超齡表現」。就在2016年1月初棒球學校的季後訓練期間,王建民獲得堪薩斯市皇家隊的青睞,簽訂小聯盟合約(即AAA),頓時之間,建仔這位棒球老兵,成了皇家隊手中的一張「樂透彩券」。
專文指出,王建民曾是紐約洋基隊的愛將,當年這位美國職棒新手,加入之後,隨即嶄露不凡身手,2005-2008年夏季為止,他的成績是54比20勝,防禦率(ERA)3.79,是個相當稱職的投手,這時的建仔只有28歲。
2010年建仔重回大聯盟,然而,昔日的絕佳身手不復得見。他的球技,因之前的2次運動傷害而重挫,先是2008年6月間,建仔因跑壘不慎,導致右腳的蹠跗關節韌帶(Lisfranc ligament)受傷,以及腓骨長肌的肌腱撕裂傷,需要固定傷口休養六周,才能進一步復健;然而,復健期間療育狀況,並不理想。2009年7月,他又因為右手臂問題,接受名醫安德魯斯,診治右肩關節囊(capsule)損傷的開刀手術。
專文引述渥爾斯德州棒球學校創辦人渥爾斯(Wolforth)的看法表示,王建民身高195公分,體重225磅(即102公斤),擁有威力投手的好身材,僅管經歷運動傷害,他仍然可以透過腳力的些微支撐,繼續投出93英哩(150公里/小時)的球速;當然,有需要的話,建仔可以多用一點腳力支撐,來輔助自己右肩的受傷缺陷。渥爾斯對王建民整體觀感,認為他是個優異學生,而且也是他所教過最好的學生之一。
為什麼皇家隊會對王建民這位球員感到興趣,該球隊助理總經理勒內·弗朗西斯科(Rene Francisco)表示,以建仔過了35歲年齡,其實他並不需要,繼續待在美國球隊;如果他回到台灣,會是個炙手可熱明星,然而,他仍願意留在美國打球,弗朗西斯科強調:「建仔要的不是錢」,這就是皇家隊對建仔感興趣,也是該球隊願意讓他重返大聯盟的主因之一。
建仔也曾對美國媒體公開表示:「我曾在美國大聯盟有所成績;現在還不到放棄階段,我仍然試圖重返大聯盟打球。」也許就是因為這份執著熱血,讓建仔重返大聯盟的願景之門,得以打開,美夢成真。
http://www.peoplenews.tw/news/17ec2c3c-a741-44f8-b15e-5431db5fef02
--

王建民記者會感性答問: 堅持夢想 做自己!

 
生活中心/綜合報導 2016-04-04 10:36
 

旅 美職棒投手王建民在小聯盟苦蹲3年之後,終於在今年春訓大復活,進入堪薩斯皇家隊25人的大聯盟名單,充滿奮鬥的啟示意義。昨(3)日王建民首度出席皇家 隊記者會,在25人名單中,隨隊記者對這位打過紐約洋基隊、掉過小聯盟、又重返大聯盟的中繼投手特別感興趣。對這段曲折球史,王建民的回答也很勵志:「做 自己!照自己的想法,完成自己的夢想,不要因為別人說了什麼就放棄,要堅持下去。」

的確,王建民當時離開大聯盟,很多球迷甚至球評都不再看 好他了,認為他只能留在小聯盟待價而沽,甚至遲早要回來台灣打球。如今王建民再度華麗登場,許多人心情恐怕還沒調適過來。這也難怪,因為對於能重返大聯 盟,王建民也說:「其實沒有興奮,應該說有點不真實,不曉得這一天會這麼快,能進到25人名單。」

王建民說,當初低潮時,並沒想到會有這麼一天(重返大聯盟),只是盡自己最大的努力把球投好,「能走到今天,證明之前的努力沒有白費。」他說,最辛苦的地方,就是投球高低起伏很大,沒有一致性。他必須不斷重複練習,確保每次投球的品質及穩定性。

皇家隊總教練約斯特(Ned Yost)在記者會上也對王建民讚譽有加。他說:「王建民是很棒的人,我很喜歡坐下來跟他聊天。他是驚人的競爭者,有他在,皇家的牛棚會更好。」

約斯特說,球團喜歡王建民的表現。他有投到95哩的水準,有極為強力的伸卡球,還會投許多好球和不錯的指叉球。他正是球隊所需,會讓牛棚更好。

皇家隊是上季世界大賽冠軍,隊中強投如林。25人名單中,有12位投手,各擅勝場。這種競爭壓力,對王建民將是另一番挑戰。

 
http://www.peoplenews.tw/news/61f71539-742d-484c-930c-b204fb320134
---
kansascity.com
Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang could be Royals’ next reclamation project
By Rustin Doddrdodd@kcstar.com
Former Yankees ace hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2013
He regained his velocity with the help of an offseason throwing program
He is hitting 95 mph on the radar gun during spring training for the Royals
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang throws in the sixth inning during Monday's spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on March 14, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang throws in the sixth inning during Monday's spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on March 14, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz. John Sleezer jsleezer@kcstar.com
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield fields a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Carlos Rivero in front of pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in the seventh inning during Friday's spring training baseball game on March 11, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz.
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield fields a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Carlos Rivero in front of pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in the seventh inning during Friday's spring training baseball game on March 11, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz. John Sleezer jsleezer@kcstar.com
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang throws in the sixth inning during Monday's spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on March 14, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang throws in the sixth inning during Monday's spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on March 14, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz. John Sleezer jsleezer@kcstar.com
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield fields a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Carlos Rivero in front of pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in the seventh inning during Friday's spring training baseball game on March 11, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz.
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield fields a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Carlos Rivero in front of pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in the seventh inning during Friday's spring training baseball game on March 11, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz. John Sleezer jsleezer@kcstar.com
i
Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield fields a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' Carlos Rivero in front of pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in the seventh inning during Friday's spring training baseball game on March 11, 2016 in Surprise, Ariz. John Sleezer jsleezer@kcstar.com
SURPRISE, Ariz.
The latest comeback began with a phone call, a baseball Hail Mary on a quiet day last September. It lasted 45 minutes in all, a series of inquiries and questions and a dose of skepticism from an aging 35-year-old pitcher.
Chien-Ming Wang was not yet convinced — not completely, anyway — but he had few places to turn. This new plan represented hope. A decade ago, he had won 19 games in back-to-back seasons for the New York Yankees. By last summer, he was still lost into the darkness, his career beginning to fade away.
He had not pitched in the big leagues since 2013. His once vaunted sinker topped out at 89 mph. His arm barked between starts and required a thick layer of ice to dull the soreness. His resume now included the taint of independent-league ball; he had spent a short stint last summer with the Southern Maryland Stone Crabs of the Atlantic League.
So as the offseason began, at the suggestion of his agent, Alan Chang, Wang sat on a conference call and listened to the ideas of Ron Wolforth, an idiosyncratic pitching guru who promised help. Wolforth, the owner and founder of the Texas Baseball Ranch, has forged a career on two things: Teaching young prospects and nurturing reclamation projects. He brought back Scott Kazmir from the depths of independent ball. He worked with Barry Zito in the twilight of his career. Perhaps he could work his magic again.
As Wang sat on the other end, Wolforth laid out his methods in simplistic — yet detailed — terms. The program would not put Wang in a box, Wolforth told him. They would not quash his individuality. Most important: They could help him regain his velocity.
By the end of the conversation, Wang agreed to a three-day session in late November. Wolforth boarded a flight to Tampa Bay, Fla., near Wang’s home in Orlando. They met at the Florida Baseball Ranch, a satellite facility in nearby Brandon, Fla. The meeting, Wang says, was a turning point.
“There’s nothing to lose,” Wang says now. “Why not give it a try?”
Three months later, Wang is here at Royals camp, in the midst of another comeback bid. When camp began, he was something like a 35-year-old lottery ticket, another veteran pitcher in a crowd, a genuine long shot. Then he started throwing.
For Wang—and the Royals—the early returns have been promising. His sinker is humming again, hitting 95 on the radar gun, according to one scout. He has allowed just one earned run in six innings, recording three scoreless appearances. His new manager would like to see more.
With Yordano Ventura battling the flu, Wang will start Saturday against the Rangers in San Antonio.
“Guys can bounce back,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s still pitching. So it’s an opportunity: Come on in and show us what you got.”
For the Royals, the philosophy is a core principle; less mantra, more way of life. A year ago, the Royals conjured reliever Ryan Madson from nothing, signing the veteran reliever after he had lodged three years away from the big leagues—and a year away from organized baseball. He responded by coming to spring training, winning a job, and posting a 2.13 ERA in 63 1/3 innings. When the season was over, he signed a three-year, $22 million contract with the Oakland A’s.
In the offseason, the Royals set out to find the next Madson. In the early weeks of December, as club officials traveled to the winter meetings in Nashville, Wang’s name surfaced as a possibility. Rene Francisco, the Royals’ assistant general manager, received a tip: Wang was undertaking a new throwing program; he was healthy again. He was worth a shot.
“We had nothing to lose,” Francisco says. “It was: ‘Let’s see if we can find another Ryan Madson.’”
A month earlier, on Nov. 29, Wang had sat down for his first consultation with Wolforth. In baseball circles, the Wolforth way is an unorthodox endeavor, if not outright controversial. It has dedicated pupils, like Indians starter Trevor Bauer, and some skeptics. Among the practices that Wolforth endorses: Shoulder exercises with a long tube; various forms of long-toss and the use of weighted balls; and the utilization of a “connection ball”, an inflated ball that is tucked between the shoulder and forearm.
For Wang, once the ace of the Yankees’ pitching staff, there was little to lose. From his rookie season in 2005 to the summer of 2008, he posted a 54-20 record and a 3.79 ERA. From 2006 to 2007, he won 38 games while his adjusted ERA-plus hovered above 120 (the league average is 100). He was only 28 years old.
His career began to crumble as his body gave way. In June 2008, he suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament in his right foot and missed the rest of the season. A year later, the foot problems manifested into shoulder issues and Wang underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in 2009. After a two-year rehab, he returned to the big leagues in 2011. He never recaptured his old form.
“It was disappointing,” Wang said.
As Wolforth inspected his new student, he began with a series of assessments — or audits, as he calls them. Wang underwent a pain audit, where he identified areas of discomfort. Next there was a recovery audit. Then a mobility and stability audit, among other tests. And finally, there was a performance audit, where Wolforth pulls out a four-quadrant strike zone and asks a series of questions.
“If I asked you to throw 100 fastballs to this spot, how many could you execute?”
The tests revealed a number of things, Wolforth says. For one: Wang had a difficult time throwing his sinker to the outside corner against right-handers, a sign of a mechanical issue with his front side. He was also failing to harness the power from his legs. At 6 feet 4 and 225 pounds, Wang has the build of a power pitcher. But for much of his career, Wolforth says, he survived with an arm that could touch 93 with little help from his legs.
“He asked: ‘Am I going to have to change anything?’ ” Wolforth recalls. “I said: For the most part, no. But you’re going to have to use your legs a lot more.”
After three days in Florida, Wolforth formulated an offseason plan for Wang. He returned in January for another checkup. Wang was eager to master his altered delivery.
“He was an exceptional student,” Wolforth said. “Not just a good one. He might be one of the best students I’ve ever had.”
In the early days of spring training, a documentary film crew followed Wang around the Royals’ complex. As Wang ran sprints on a side field, a camera captured the workout. Back home in Taiwan, where Wang grew up, he remains a national celebrity. His movements are tracked. His career followed. His life under the spotlight.
As Francisco points out, Wang doesn’t need any of this. He doesn’t need to be here, still working his way back at age 35. Which is one reason the Royals were interested.
“He doesn’t need the money,” Francisco said. “He’s a star in Taiwan. But he’s still out here.”
For now, though, Chien-Ming Wang’s latest comeback continues. The film crew will keep following him. The ending remains uncertain.
“I’ve been up there before,” Wang said. “I just feel like it’s not time to give up yet. I’m still trying to make it back.”
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article66933502.html


新加坡 Tech in Asia 直擊】台灣政府關節快復健!創業政策規劃不能只學半套←上一篇 │首頁