For a country that loves baseball as much as Taiwan does, this story in Vice Sports about match-fixing is pretty grim. And damn does it hit a little too close to home.

It’s like the KANO version of Moneyball, except there’s no Brad Pitt in sight. Instead, there’s the Taiwanese mafia. Players are pawns. Even the famous ones with Major League experience in the U.S. Their careers are discarded and disregarded by higher powers like litter outside the stadium.

When you’re talking about opportunity and talent squandered, and a generation of promising players wasting away, it’s easy to imagine we’re not just talking about baseball — we’re talking about all of Taiwan.

Low salaries and uninspired youth. Trashy media that’s already scraped everything from the bottom of the barrel. The outside world looks over and shakes its head.

An excellent article. I highly recommend it.

Gray Area: Inside the Mafia-Run World of Match-Fixing in Taiwan by Jorge Arangure Jr.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez, USA Today Sports