Chen-Yen Chiang is one of the most famous, and most popular Taiwanese starting pitchers in the CPBL today.
Currently wearing the number 16 shirt for the Uni-Lions in Tainan he goes into tonight’s game against the Rakuten Monkeys in his adopted hometown looking to bag his team’s 18th win of the season, and his own 5th.
A few days ago he spoke with friend of The Taiwan Times, Henry Hsing (see pics), in the Lions dugout in Tainan.
For a while they chewed the fat on how Chiang felt moving down from Taichung to join the team, his favourite player as a youngster, and the issues facing the team this season.
How would you introduce yourself to someone just starting to follow the CPBL
Hi everyone, I’m Chen-Yen Chiang, a pitcher with the Uni-Lions (based in Tainan, Taiwan) and I joined the team seven years ago now.
How did you first get into the sport as a child?
I was a really restless kid growing up, so my family sent me to our school’s baseball team during 3rd grade as a way to use up my energy, and I have loved playing the sport ever since
Did you have any baseballing heroes at that time? In Taiwan or overseas?
My favorite baseball hero is Ying-Chieh Lin.
And a favorite team?
I had no particular favorite team, and I seldom watch a lot of games nowadays since I’ve already spent so much time in the game (laughs)
How did you come to join the Lions?
At first I got drafted by the Lions seven years ago.
It was tough during the first few years since I’m from Taichung, and was unfamiliar to this new environment with all my friends and family still back in my hometown.
After all these years though, I am glad to say that I am familiar with the city now, and it feels good to be here in Tainan.
What has been your career highlight to date.
During a game last season, in 2019, I had my first complete game.
It felt ‘passionate’ and encouraged me to be able to achieve this as a professional player in a professional baseball league.
The Lions are the most successful ever team in Taiwanese baseball in terms of Series won. Why has the team struggled in recent years?
I believe that the Lions team we have now is a rather young team, and is still making adjustments as the team develops.
It’ll take some time to get on track and will eventually become better and better over the season.
And how about under COVD-19 – how has that been for you and the team?
Not too much influence, but it just meant we had slight delays every now and then, and more practice time before the season opened.
You are currently – 17-23 (score as of June 13th) How do you think the team will finish this half season / total season?
I don’t really have any exact numbers in my mind, as it is not too easy to predict. My main goal is to stay healthy and finish the whole season.
How do you relax away from the mound?
I love spending time with my two kids, a boy and a girl.
I try to accompany them in whatever they do as much as I can in my free time.
Being with them really eases my tension caused by the game, and makes me feel fulfilled.
And five years from now, where do you see yourself?
I haven’t thought that far ahead just yet, but I hope when I look back five years from now, I can feel that I have achieved something within my career, and that I can feel proud about it.
As for upcoming goals, I hope the Lions can win the championship this season!