Baseball made its long-awaited return on April 12, albeit in Taiwan. The Chinese Professional Baseball League became the first league to start the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic and featured its first home run during the opening game. One week later, the CPBL had its first brawl of the season.
The Rakuten Monkeys and Fubon Guardians faced off on Sunday, providing even more baseball action for fans. The action was broadcast on Twitter by Eleven Sports, which provides English commentary for the international audience. Former Houston Astros pitcher Henry Sosa was on the mound, and he hit Monkeys infielder Kuo Yen-Wen after throwing several fastballs too far inside. The two teams reacted by clearing the benches and heading to the middle of the field for a brief brawl.
"For our international viewers, you need to understand that this never really happens in the CPBL," one of the announcers said during the brawl. "It's usually a very conservative league. They don't even argue balls and strikes or outs very often. For this to happen right now, can I say it's quite exciting?"
The other announcer agreed with the comment. They further explained that Major League Baseball is more prone to these incidents than the CPBL. The announcers also said that it was very evident that Sosa was purposely throwing fastballs at Yen-Wen. They didn't know the exact reason, but they believed that it could have been caused by Yen-Wen pointing his bat at the catcher.
While the announcers were more surprised by the bench-clearing brawl early in the fourth inning, the fans were just happy to see baseball action on a Sunday. Several commented about how the players were "scrapping at 7 a.m." like it was middle school. Others just said that the brawl was the perfect way to come out of isolation. Although one fan on Twitter joked about how these athletes needed to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Given that MLB was forced to push the start of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus, the fans have gotten more interested in the CPBL. They want to watch more of the upcoming games and see if there will be any more brawls or exciting moments. This will be possible for future Monkeys games considering that Eleven Sports broadcasts these matchups on Twitter with added English commentary.