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假球丑闻之后:台湾明星棒球手的自我救赎

更新时间:2016-10-10 10:31:06 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Barred From Baseball (in Taiwan)
假球丑闻之后:台湾明星棒球手的自我救赎

The former first baseman for the Brother Elephants, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Yankees, now spends most of his days and nights deep in a local stadium, in a spartan room with all the charm of an old warship.

台湾的兄弟象棒球队相当于纽约的洋基队(Yankees),它的前任一垒手现在不分昼夜,绝大部分时间都是在当地一个球场内一间充满老军舰魅力的简朴房间里度过。

He sleeps on a thin bed. Sports gear towers above him on metal cabinets. A coffee table overflows with snacks, ashtrays and teacups.

他睡在一张铺着薄垫的床上。头顶的金属柜子上,各种体育用品堆积如山。咖啡桌上快餐、烟灰缸和茶杯快堆不下了。

It is the coach’s quarters, where the former player, Tsai Feng-an, directs a high school baseball program, a shoestring operation that demands long hours and pays him a fraction of his old big-league salary. It is also where Tsai, whose name was once as famous as Mattingly, would rather not be.

这里是教练区,前棒球选手蔡丰安在这里指导一个高中棒球项目,这是一个小成本项目,工作时间长,酬劳也只相当于他以前在大联盟打球时薪水的一小部分。蔡本来不应该在这里,要知道他的名气曾经堪比洋基队的球星马丁利(Mattingly)。

“The local people are surprised I put up with these conditions, which is why they support me,” Tsai said. “But I still look at my baseball career fondly, even though there were bad things.”

“我竟然能忍受这样的条件,当地人都很惊讶,所以他们支持我,”蔡说。“但是,尽管有不好的事情,我仍然满怀深情地回忆我的棒球生涯。”

The bad things derive from his role in one of the biggest gambling scandals in international baseball, a scheme in which Tsai and several dozen other players in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, which is the top-tier league in Taiwan, were accused of throwing games from 2006 to 2009 in exchange for thousands of dollars from gamblers.

那些不好的事情是指他在国际棒球史上最大的一起赌博丑闻中所扮演的角色,蔡和其他几个中华职业棒球联盟(台湾顶级棒球联赛)球手被控于2006年到2009年期间,收取赌博组织者数万美元,在比赛时打假球。

Orchestrating the fraud was a gangster who went by the nickname Windshield Wiper, an inside joke among his associates that referred to his quick temper. It was a colorful detail in a case that was as riveting for fans and commentators as a playoff series.

操纵这一造假事件的是一个绰号“雨刷”的黑帮成员,这个外号来自他和同伙之间的玩笑,指的是他的火爆脾气。案件细节非常丰富,对于球迷和评论员来说,如同季后赛系列赛一样精彩。

Gambling in baseball is almost as old as the game itself. In America, every fan knows about the Black Sox scandal, in which eight players threw the 1919 World Series, leading to jail terms and fines. Pete Rose is still barred by Major League Baseball because he bet on games.

赌球从一开始就伴随着棒球这项运动。在美国,所有球迷都知道黑袜丑闻(Black Sox),当时有八名球员在1919年世界大赛(World Series)中打假球,最后被判入狱和罚款。皮特·罗斯(Pete Rose)因为下注赌球,至今被美国职业棒球大联盟(Major League Baseball)禁赛。

Gambling scandals have swept through the Asian leagues with alarming regularity, exposing deep ties between crime rings and the sport even as they strive to make an international mark.

尽管亚洲棒球界一直致力于谋求国际影响力,但赌博丑闻在亚洲棒球联盟中的泛滥令人担忧,暴露出犯罪团伙与这项运动之间的深厚联系。

This year, several players for the Tokyo Giants, Japan’s best-known team, were accused of consorting with gamblers. The troubles in Taiwan, however, were far larger. They almost sank the league.

今年,日本最著名的棒球队东京巨人队(Tokyo Giants)的几名球员被指控与赌球者勾结。然而台湾的问题要大得多,几乎令整个联盟覆灭。

Foreign players have thought twice before agreeing to play in Taiwan (at least one foreigner, a manager, was named in the scandal), and an Australian team declined to sign a Taiwanese pitcher who was linked to the scheme but not charged. (He played in the Dodgers farm system this year.) The country’s push to play host to a part of the World Baseball Classic, which is run by Major League Baseball, has slowed as well.

外国球手在同意到台湾打球之前(这项丑闻至少涉及一名总教练,他是一个外国人)会三思而行,一个澳大利亚队拒绝签下一个与这次丑闻有关但未被起诉的台湾投手(今年他在道奇队[Dodgers]的农场系统打球)。台湾一直希望承办由美国职业棒球大联盟(Major League Baseball)主办的世界棒球经典赛(World Baseball Classic)的部分赛事,这一努力如今也因之放缓。

Before the arrest in 2009 of the Windshield Wiper, whose real name is Tsai Cheng-yi, the Taiwanese league endured several other game-fixing scandals, remarkable in a league that was founded only in 1989 and has had as few as four teams. Players were kidnapped and pistol-whipped, and their families were threatened. One coach was stabbed. Gangsters were arrested and players banished. Attendance dipped, too, but within a year or two, many fans returned.

“雨刷”真名蔡政宜,在他于2009年被捕之前,台湾棒球联盟便已经发生过若干操纵比赛的丑闻。该联盟于1989年创立,最初只有四只球队,因此丑闻显得格外引人瞩目。当时曾有球员遭到绑架,被枪支抽打,家人受到威胁。甚至有一名教练被刀捅。后来黑帮成员遭到逮捕,参与的球员被除名。赛事上座率出现下降,但是一两年过后,很多球迷又回来了。

The Windshield Wiper case, however, was much bigger.

然而“雨刷”一案要大得多。

From 2006 to 2009, the Windshield Wiper and his intermediaries paid dozens of players as much as $30,000 for each game they agreed to throw. In all, more than 40 players, coaches, retired players, gangsters and politicians were implicated, including Tsai, Chen Chih-yuan and other stars.

从2006年至2009年,“雨刷”和他的中间人向数十名球员行贿,以每场3万美元的价格换取他们打假球。共有40多名球员、教练、退役球员、黑帮成员和政客涉案,其中包括蔡丰安和陈致远等球星。

One manager was charged and left the country. An elected political leader in southern Taiwan, Wu Chien-pao, who ran his own gambling ring and had players beaten if they did not cooperate, was jailed. The Windshield Wiper is serving a four-year sentence.

一名总教练遭到指控,并离开了台湾。台南民选政治领袖吴建保经营自己的赌博链条,殴打不合作的球员,因此入狱。“雨刷”被判四年徒刑。

The Elephants, Tsai’s old team, were so badly damaged, they were sold.

蔡丰安过去的球队——兄弟象棒球队遭受重创,被卖掉了。

Attendance leaguewide fell, but perked up in 2013, when Manny Ramirez, the outfielder who played his best years with the Boston Red Sox in the early 2000s, played in Taiwan.

整个联赛的上座率都出现下滑,但在2013年,因为21世纪初期曾随波士顿红袜队(Boston Red Sox)打出职业生涯最好成绩的外野手曼尼·拉米雷斯(Manny Ramirez)来台湾打球,上座率又出现回升。

The league has tried to head off future scandals by allowing law enforcement officials to attend every game. Players are lectured on the evils of gambling and subject to random investigations. The criminal penalties for gambling and fraud were increased, and a national sports lottery was created to give gamblers a legal avenue to bet on games.

联盟试图通过执法者参与每场赛事来预防赌博。球员会受到关于赌球危害性的教育,会随机接受调查。赌博和作假所受的刑罚将会增加。此外,还开放了全国运动彩票,以便赌博者通过合法渠道赌球。

“We hope the worst has passed,” John Chih-yang Wu, the league’s commissioner, said. “It’s impossible to stop the Taiwanese people from gambling, but we think we have good prevention now and the influence of the mafia has decreased.”

“我们希望最坏的都过去了,”联盟会长吴志扬说。“要防止台湾人赌球是不可能的,但我们认为现在已经有很好的预防机制,黑帮的影响已经降低了。”

There have been no reported cases of game-fixing since 2009, he said.

他说,自从2009年以来,已经没有假球案件的报告。

Most players involved confessed to taking part in the scheme and avoided jail by paying fines equal to the bribes they took.

很多涉案球员对参与赌球供认不讳,通过缴纳与所收贿赂同等的罚金来避免入狱。

They were banished from professional baseball and, having trained most of their lives to become ballplayers, they have had trouble finding work, the shame of being implicated sending them into hiding.

他们被禁止参加职业棒球赛,而且,接受了多年棒球训练的他们很难找到其他工作,卷入罪案的耻辱亦令他们隐姓埋名。

But two players, Tsai and Chen, agreed to speak to The New York Times about how they have sought to redeem themselves.

但是蔡丰安和陈致远这两名球员同意接受《纽约时报》采访,谈一谈他们又是如何自我救赎的。

They have taken different paths.

他们选择了不同的方式。

Tsai returned to rural Nantou County. Because of his banishment, he cannot wear a baseball uniform or coach a team, so he instead looks for money to keep his program afloat and to build a new stadium. He bunks with his coaches and players in a dingy dormitory where the communal dining area is next to a homemade indoor batting cage.

蔡丰安回到南投乡间。因为遭到禁赛,所以他无法再披上职业选手的球衣或担任球队教练,于是他四处筹钱维持自己项目的运作,并在筹备建立一座新球场。他与自己的教练和选手们合住在一个阴暗邋遢的宿舍,公共用餐区旁边是一个自建的室内击球练习场。

Tsai had spent years fighting the charges that he helped throw four games. After his initial two-year jail sentence was reduced to six months, he agreed to pay a fine of about $100,000 to settle the case. His probation, which ended in August, required that he report daily to a police station, a humiliation he found hard to do after such an illustrious career.

对于自己受到的在四场比赛中参与打假球的指控,他曾进行多年的申辩。在最初的两年有期徒刑减为六个月后,他同意支付约为10万美元的罚款,了结这桩案件。他的缓刑已于8月结束。缓刑期间,他被要求每天都要向一个派出所报到。有过颇为辉煌的职业生涯之后,他觉得这是一种耻辱,难以做到。

Friends offered him jobs at a university and a technology company, where he could have earned two to three times more than the roughly $1,000 a month he makes now. Instead, he returned to central Taiwan, where he grew up, to work with children and get back to basics.

朋友为他提供了在一所大学和一家科技公司工作的机会。在那些地方,他的收入会是现在的两到三倍。他现在的月薪约为1000美元。但他回到了自己长大的台湾中部,和孩子们一起工作,回归本原。

“Most players would not be willing to do what I do now, teaching baseball in a school, because it’s a lot of work and not much money,” he said. “Even though I got a six-month sentence, I’m still pretty much a free soul.”

“大部分球员可能都不愿意做我现在做的事情,在学校里教棒球,因为工作量大,又没多少钱,”他说。“尽管被判了六个月的刑,但我大致上还是一个自由的灵魂。”

Chen lives a flashier life in Taipei. He runs a restaurant that serves aboriginal food like fried crickets, mountain boar and beetle nut flowers.

陈致远在台北的生活要更风光一些。他经营着一家餐厅,售卖炸蟋蟀、山野猪和槟榔花等原住民食物。

Thanks to his pop star wife, he is a minor television celebrity. He also produces a rice snack with a friend and donates the proceeds to baseball programs in regions where poor aboriginal children live. He tutors high school players.

因为妻子是一位歌星,他也算是个小有名气的电视人物。他还和一位朋友制作米花小吃,将收益捐献给贫穷原住民孩子所在地区的棒球项目。他也教高中的学生打棒球。

But in Taiwan, where baseball is almost a national religion, neither man will regain the stature he commanded as a professional ballplayer. Each continues to proclaim his innocence, but the game-fixing scandal has been a hard stain to erase.

然而,在棒球几乎称得上是一种民族宗教的台湾,两人都没能重获他们作为职业棒球手时的声望。二人依然声称自己是清白的,但这场的假球丑闻一直是个难以去除的污点。

“I left baseball because of the scandals, and that’s not something that I can change,” Chen said at his restaurant, La Fung, or the Guest. “But I can change myself, set goals for myself. I have a wife and kids to take care of. I need to maintain a positive attitude.”

“我放弃棒球是因为那场丑闻,那不是我能改变的东西,”陈致远说在他的“乐饭”餐厅里说。“但我能改变自己,给自己设定目标。我有妻子和孩子要照顾。需要保持一种积极的态度。”

The Arrests

逮捕

The case that was their undoing was discovered almost by accident.

毁掉他们职业生涯的这个案件可以说是意外被曝光的。

A prosecutor in Taipei, Wang Cheng-hao, received an anonymous tip after the 2008 season that hundreds of thousands of dollars were being wagered on baseball games, and the Windshield Wiper was winning most of the time.

2008年的赛季结束后,台北检察官王正皓接到匿名提供的秘密消息,称有数十万美元的资金被用来在棒球赛中赌球,而其中大多数被“雨刷”赢走了。

Gambling is not a crime, but fixing games is.

赌球不是违法行为,但假球是。

Wang and investigators looked at the Windshield Wiper’s bank and phone records and discovered a network of middlemen that ultimately led them to the players.

王正皓和调查人员查看了“雨刷”的银行和手机记录,发现了一个中间人网络,这最终将他们引至几名球手。

The Windshield Wiper, who was from southern Taiwan and in his late 30s at the time, was one of the biggest gamblers in the country.

来自台南的“雨刷”当时年届40,是台湾最大的赌球者之一。

He was subtler than most gangsters. Instead of laundering money through businesses that served as fronts, he had dummy accounts set up in his friends’ names. He had no prior convictions for gambling.

与大多数黑帮成员相比,他的手法更巧妙,不是通过作为幌子的生意洗钱,而是用朋友们的名字开假账户。他没有赌博的前科。

He was a baseball fan, though, and he liked to hang around ballparks, where he sat near the dugout and chatted up players, some of whom joined him for dinner. He also befriended former players living in southern Taiwan, whom he paid to recruit active players.

不过,他是棒球迷,喜欢在球场出没,坐在球员区附近和球员聊天,有些球员还跟他共进晚餐。他还同一些台湾南部的退役球员交朋友,付钱让他们介绍现役球员打假球。

Wang collected evidence through the 2009 season to determine which players were involved. He made arrests when the season was over.

王正皓在整个2009赛季里收集证据,判断哪些球员参与了赌球。赛季结束后,他开始了逮捕行动。

“If we arrested him during the season, it would have affected the games, but if we didn’t stop him after the season, it could affect more games,” Wang said in his office in suburban Taipei.

“如果我们在赛季中就逮捕他,会影响比赛,但如果我们赛季后再不阻止他,就会影响更多比赛,”王正皓在台北市郊的办公室接受采访时说。

According to court documents, one middleman, Chuang Hung-liang, dealt specifically with star players, who at times received money in shoe boxes. Some players were motivated to take bribes because they were upset with their low salaries; others felt threatened.

根据法庭文件显示,中间人庄宏亮专门负责找明星球员,这些球员有时会收到用鞋盒装着的钱。有些球员因为薪水太低才收取贿赂,还有一些人是因为受了威胁。

After his arrest, the Windshield Wiper initially denied everything, but ultimately named about 40 people. The investigation reached back four seasons, to 2006. Some of the appeals, including Tsai’s, dragged into 2014.

被捕后,“雨刷”先是什么都不承认,但最后说出了约40个名字。调查向前追溯了四个赛季,直至2006年。有些上诉一直拖到2014年,包括蔡丰安的案件在内。

A Ticket Out

出路

Like other players from rural Taiwan, Tsai and Chen saw baseball as their ticket out of poverty.

和其他来自台湾乡村的球员一样,蔡丰安和陈致远也视棒球为摆脱贫困的门票。

Tsai began playing in the streets with friends with whatever equipment they could find. When he was 10, he was recruited to attend a private school with a well-known team. In 1988, Tsai was good enough to travel to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., where his team won the title by beating the team from Pearl City, Hawaii.

蔡丰安开始在街上和朋友们打球时,他们用手边可以找到的任何装备来打。10岁那年,他被一家私立学校录取,加入一个很有名的球队。1988年,蔡丰安凭借出色的球技,到宾夕法尼亚的威廉波特小联盟世界系列赛(Little League World Series)打比赛,他的球队击败来自夏威夷珍珠市的球队赢得了冠军。

When the boys returned home, they were paraded through the streets. The trip was eye-opening for the son of a bus driver and a hairdresser who rarely saw him play.

球队回到家乡后游街庆祝。这次旅行令这个公车司机与理发师的儿子大开眼界,而父母很少去看他比赛。

“Country folks don’t really watch baseball games,” Tsai said over noodles at a restaurant near his school. “They have loads of things to do; they’re very busy.”

“乡亲们不怎么看棒球赛,”蔡丰安在学校附近的饭馆里边吃面条边接受采访。“他们有太多事情要做,非常忙碌。”

Given his modest means, playing baseball was a necessity. He turned pro in 1997 and joined the Mercuries Tigers. When the club folded after the 1999 season, Tsai joined the Brother Elephants. He had a career year in 2002, hitting 21 home runs and batting .294. He played in the 2004 Olympics, where Chinese Taipei finished fifth.

因为家境贫寒,打棒球成了谋生的必需。1997年,他成了职业球员,加入三商虎球队。1999赛季之后,俱乐部倒闭了,蔡丰安又加入了兄弟象。他职业生涯的高峰是2002年,打出了21个全垒打和.294的打击率。他参加了2004年的奥运会,中华台北队最终获得第五名。

“By the time I became a pro, I wouldn’t say I was happy about this,” said Tsai, rail thin and all business. “Most of the players come from poorer families, so the only thing they thought about was playing well so they would have a bargaining chip to get more money to help their families. It was a job.”

“成为职业球员时,我不能说自己很开心,”身材削瘦的蔡丰安说话直接。“大多数球员都来自穷困家庭,他们只想好好打球,有筹码谈到更多薪水,帮助家里。这只是一份工作。”

Though salaries in the Taiwanese league have increased in recent years, they are nothing like what players in Major League Baseball earn, and they are barely more than what a manager at a white-collar company might bring in.

尽管台湾联赛球员的薪资近年来有所增加,但还是与美国职业棒球大联盟球员的薪资相去甚远,比一个白领公司经理的薪酬高不了多少。

Because they are celebrities, they are often invited to bars and restaurants, where their tabs are covered.

因为他们是名人,所以经常会被请到酒吧和饭店,要他们埋单。

“Taiwanese players like to drink, and drinking is a way to relax, but once they start going out with people, that creates a lot of trouble because people know who you are and will want a lot of things from you,” he said. “Drinking would make you do stupid things.”

“台湾球员喜欢喝酒,喝酒是一种放松的方式,但他们一旦开始出去和人喝酒,就会惹出很多麻烦,因为人们都知道你是谁,就会希望从你这里得到很多东西,”他说。“喝酒会让你做傻事。”

Prosecutors accused Tsai of throwing four games years after he stopped playing.

蔡丰安退役数年后,检察官控告他在四场比赛中打假球。

He was sentenced in 2011 to two years in jail and ordered to pay a fine. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to a six-month jail term, which he avoided by paying a smaller fine.

2011年,他被判入狱两年,缴纳罚金。上诉后,判决减至入狱六个月,缴纳了一小笔罚金后,他得以免于服刑。

He said that in the first few years after he left baseball, at least five groups of gangsters tried to get him to help them fix games. Some, he said, offered as much as $300,000. He refused.

他说,离开棒球的前几年里,至少有五组黑帮来找他,要求他帮忙联系球员打假球。他说,有些人开价到30万美元,他都拒绝了。

“If I was willing to do it, I could have done it ages ago, rather than teaching kids baseball and getting 30,000 dollars a month,” he said, referring to New Taiwan dollars. At current rates, that would be about $950 a month.

“如果我想干这种事,我早几年就干了,不会在这里教小孩子打棒球,赚每月3万块钱的薪水,”他说的3万块钱是指新台币,按照目前的汇率约合950美元一个月。

Tsai has three young children, but his days are spent with his players, with potential donors and at the construction site where a new county stadium is being built. He said he gets up at 6 a.m. and finishes work at midnight.

蔡丰安有三个小孩,但他的时间都和球员以及潜在的赞助者们一起度过,或是呆在兴建中的县体育馆的工地上。他说自己早晨六点就起床,将近午夜才收工。

Budgets are tight, so broken bats and worn baseballs are patched up with tape.

预算很紧张,折断的球棒和破损的棒球都用胶布粘起来继续用。

He said he tells his students that pro ballplayers can earn a lot of money, but also spend a lot of it. Better, he said, to live modestly and humbly.

他说,自己告诉学生们,职业棒球运动员能赚很多钱,但也会花掉很多钱,简朴低调地生活是最好的。

Unlike Tsai, who works in relative anonymity, Chen Chih-yuan lives in Taipei in plain sight. Tan and fit, he was known as the Golden Warrior on the Elephants. But while once among the highest paid players in the C.P.B.L., earning about $100,000 a year, Chen now tries to make ends meet.

和近乎隐姓埋名工作的蔡丰安不同,身在台北的陈致远生活在众目睽睽之下。黝黑健康的他在兄弟象队绰号“黄金战士”。他曾是中华职业棒球联盟薪资最高的球员,年薪达到10万美元,但现在只能勉强做到收支平衡。

Most days, he is at his restaurant. He advises a high school baseball team that his brother coaches. With a friend, he produces dried snacks called “bang bang,” which means “good bat” in English. A cartoon of Chen’s face is on the wrappers.

他大多数时间都在自己的餐厅,还为一个中学生棒球队担任顾问,他的兄弟在那里做教练。他还同一个朋友一起做一种名叫“棒棒”的脱水点心,它是“好的球棒”的意思。包装上还有陈致远的卡通头像。

The profits are spent on sports equipment for poor children, he said. He is from an aboriginal village in eastern Taiwan, where he said he had no refrigerator and went barefoot as a child.

他说,卖点心的盈利用来给贫困的孩子买体育装备。他说,自己来自台湾东部的原住民乡村,小时候家里没有冰箱,他也没有鞋穿。

The legal troubles effectively ended his career, something he has tried to get past.

法律纠纷基本上终止了他的职业生涯,他说,自己试图忘怀这件事。

Chen is now more cautious, wary of gangsters. When he is invited to dine out, he asks who else will be there. If there is a name he does not recognize, he declines the invitation. He also tells younger players to simplify their lives, implying that he did not. After all, he was sentenced to at least a year in jail that he settled by paying a fine.

陈致远如今变得更加谨慎,小心提防帮派分子。如果受邀出去吃饭,他会问还有什么其他人在场。如果有不认识的人到场,他就会拒绝邀请。他还告诉年轻球员,生活要单纯一点,暗示自己过去没有做到这一点。当时他被判处入狱至少一年,最后缴纳罚金才得以免于服刑。

“My own story is like teaching material for other people to learn from,” he said. “The scandal is in the past and it’s bound to surface one day, so there’s no running away from it. I learned a lot, and if people don’t like it, I will do better to make them understand I’m not who they think.”

“我的故事就像给其他人学习的教材,”他说。“丑闻是过去的事,总有一天会曝光,所以没什么可逃避的。我学到了很多教训,如果人们不喜欢,我会做得更好,让他们了解我不是他们想的那样。”

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