I have read comments from quite a few experts believe Wang will be willing to accept any kind of deal to stay with Yankees in order to get his big endorsement deals. As a Taiwanese who loves Yankees for a long time, I can tell you this belief is totally wrong. This belief definitely comes from an American’ point of view. I can’t blame many experts from U.S have that thought when you consider how big franchise Yankees is in the United States. I realize this when I was in the United States few years ago.
In Taiwan, we have quite a few successful people in all kinds of fields who are very famous around the world, such as Ang Lee, etc. Among them, we also have few other very successful athletes as well. But, I believe Wang means so much to Taiwanese than anyone else because his personality, his work ethics, his charity works, etc.
As long as he keeps fighting and pitching at least at average level in the major league. No matter which team he goes, most Taiwanese will follow him around and support him as usual. In fact, Wang just get a new big sponsorship deal from one of his biggest sponsors, Acer, few days ago. Acer not only pays Wang the same amount of dollars as previous years but also promise to let him leave earlier for rehab without making ads for them. In the past two seasons, Wang still gets quite few endorsement deals even though he was injured most of time.
Furthermore, more and more Taiwanese hopes Wang chooses to leave Yankees. Most of Taiwanese understand baseball and the business side of baseball. Believe me, most Taiwanese expect much more out of Wang than any Yankee fan. Many Taiwanese just feel Yankees front office don’t show enough respect to Wang. many of them hopes Wang not to keep saying how much he wants to stay with Yankees because that may decrease his leverage.
For me, I have mixed feeling regard of Wang’s situation. I know many pitchers can not come back from shoulder surgery. However, I hope he stays because you never have enough pitching. Any pitching staff can be looked terrible when they suffer one or two injuries. Even if Wang comes back at 50% of his 2006-2007 form, he can be a good enough no.4 or no.5 starter.
But, I don’t think Wang will be back. First of all, at this moment, Wang needs playing time to reestablish his value. Small market teams can fill that bill. Secondly, I think one of 30 clubs will give Wang a major league deal and is willing to gamble on him. Thirdly, Wang may have some hard feeling toward to Yankees front office because the way they treat him even though most Asian don’t express their feeling much. Fourthly, Wang once says he like the life style of Seattle, LA, etc. Fifthly, Brian Cashman and his front office staff express more than once how much they like to have power and strikeout pitchers on Yankees staff. Lastly, I believe Wang can accumulate service time if he gets a major league deal somewhere. At the end of 2009 season, it sounds Wang knows Yankees don’t want to have him back when he was interviewed by Taiwanese reporters.
It’s interesting to see how the things turn out. Hopefully, Yankees can work out a deal with Wang because Wang wants to stays. Wang once says Yankees is a great team and the only team he has played for.