Canberra Cavalry's Matt Blazynski offered $30k to fix baseball match

Canberra Cavalry's Matt Blazynski offered $30k to fix baseball match

Taiwanese police are investigating an alleged match-fixing scandal after a Canberra Cavalry player reported to officials he was offered $30,000 to lose their Asia Series baseball semi-final.

Cavalry catcher Matt Blazynski has alleged he was approached at a Taichung bar on Sunday, on the eve of the semi-final.

Canberra Cavalry 2013 Asia Series Champions.

Canberra Cavalry 2013 Asia Series Champions.

Blazynski says he was offered $30,000 to influence his teammates to lose the semi-final against Korean champions Samsung Lions by at least seven runs.

Blazynski referred the matter to Cavalry coaching staff, who passed it up the chain and it eventually led to Asia Series bosses contacting police.


Blazynski was interviewed by police on Monday prior to the semi-final.

Given the Korean league is one of the best in the world, the Lions were expected to beat the Cavalry and advance to the final.

But the Cavalry beat the Lions 9-5 in extra innings to advance to the final against Taiwan's Uni-President Lions, which they eventually won 14-4.

Blazynski didn't play during the Asia Series and has yet to play for the Cavs during this Australian Baseball League season.

While the amount offered doesn't seem like much, it's almost as much as the entire Canberra playing roster is paid over the course of the ABL season.

Its payroll is just $47,000.

Both Canberra and ABL officials declined to comment.

''I can't comment because there's an ongoing investigation,'' Cavalry general manager Thom Carter said on Friday.

Baseball in Taiwan has been plagued by betting scandals over the last couple of decades.

Its competition, the Chinese Professional Baseball League, currently has only four teams.

There were more, but betting scandals have seen several teams disbanded since troubles began to emerge in 1996 because of the nation's love for gambling.

Four players were abducted in Taichung, the city where the Cavalry were based, because one betting syndicate believed they'd fixed a game for a rival gang.

Since then there's been several scandals, and teams kicked out of the competition.

In the lead-up to the 1997 season it was revealed the China Times Eagles were throwing games. They were eventually disbanded after most of the players were convicted of various crimes.

Problems have continued, and it's led to the public losing confidence in the CPBL.

Crowds and television audiences have dropped and there have been concerns the league might not survive.

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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