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Nationals back Chien-Ming Wang after affair made public

2012/04/25 12:57:10

Washington, April 24 (CNA) A senior executive of the Washington Nationals expressed his support Tuesday for Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang over his decision to admit publicly to having had an extramarital affair.

"Chien-Ming Wang has my full support, and the support of the Washington Nationals organization, as he and his family deal with a difficult personal situation," Mike Rizzo, the team's general manager, said in an e-mail statement.

"I appreciated Chien-Ming's honesty in relaying the facts to me directly and I am satisfied that he has accepted responsibility for his actions. I hope the time will not be distant when his family can put this ordeal behind them and a healthy Chien-Ming can focus on returning to the mound and to his team," Rizzo said.

He added that the team would not comment further on the issue.

Wang, one of Taiwan's most popular sports figures, held a press conference in Viera, Florida Monday in which he admitted to an eight-month-long affair that occurred two years ago and publicly apologized to his family and fans over the "big mistake."

Wang took the action after a source tipped off a Taiwanese tabloid to the story and provided incriminating photographs.

The pitcher would not discuss the issue again when he showed up at the Space Coast Stadium in Viera Tuesday morning for a workout, saying instead that he will take it easy while preparing to return to the mound following his latest injury.

"My focus now is doing well at my job and getting myself ready to get back to the major leagues," he said.

Wang strained his hamstring fielding a slow roller in a spring training game against the Yankees on March 15 and has been rehabilitating his leg since then.

The Nationals have yet to decide whether to insert him into the starting rotation or keep him in the bullpen and bring him along slowly when he returns to the major league club.

While the extramarital affair is not expected to affect his baseball career, the incident nevertheless has surprised many of his fans because it belied his image as a family man.

According to the owner of a Taiwanese snack shop in Rockville, Maryland, Wang has often visited the shop with his wife and son and shown great consideration for them.

The owner recalled one episode when the couple's child was asleep in the family's car and Wang decided to keep him company while his wife picked up something at the shop to eat. Wang only took his son out of the car after he woke up.

"I've never seen another man who is as considerate to his wife and children as Wang," she said.

(By Chou Yung-chieh, Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)