Bryan Anderson's journal: Arriving in Taiwan

Nov. 8, 2007

The St. Louis Cardinals took catcher Bryan Anderson in the fourth round of the 2005 draft and he's been on the fast track ever since. He made his full-season debut at age 19 in the Midwest League and was named to both the midseason and postseason All-Star teams after hitting .302. He made the leap over a level to Double-A in 2007 and hit .298 as one of the league's youngest position players. He was a Texas League All-Star and participated in the Futures Game in San Francisco. He's spending this fall with Team USA and will represent the United States in the World Cup to be held in Chinese Taipei Nov. 6-18.

Hi from Taiwan. We have been here for about a week now and it is definitely different from anywhere I have ever been.

The day we left we had our final practice game in Arizona and we pretty much showered up and got on the bus to the airport from the stadium. From Arizona we flew to Los Angeles and had a pretty good layover in LA. The flight from LA to Taipei was 10 hours or so. I slept a good portion of the way so it wasn't that bad. Then from Taipei we had to jump on a team bus to Taichung for another two hours. Then we finally got to the hotel. Of course the rooms weren't ready for us, so we had to sit around for a few hours. Finally, the rooms were ready and we got to settle down. After a full day of traveling it felt good just to lay down for a bit.

If you have ever been to Chinatown in Los Angeles you can kind of get a feel for Taiwan, except it's about 1,000 times bigger. Mopeds run wild here. Almost everyone and their brother drive a moped here. It's like nothing I have ever seen. The food is okay -- it's not bad, but it's not great. I have worn out the McDonald's down the street and we have been here less than a week. I like sushi but this sushi is gnarly. It's not like it is in the States. Their money is also different: 30 Taiwanese dollars equals one U.S. dollar, so that takes a little time to get used to.

There are about five to 10 fans outside the hotel all day and all night collecting autographs. They must have gotten 20 signatures from each guy on the team. The first few days here we had some light practices at the two stadiums where we are going to play our games. On Wednesday, we had our first game against Mexico. We battled with them for a little bit but we ended up putting some on the board and shut them out to win, 3-0. On Thursday, we played Panama and shut them out for our second W. We are 2-0 right now and on Friday we've got Italy.

I'm going to relax now and watch one of the two television channels that speak English. Talk to you next week.