Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Baseball in Tokyo !
This morning I watched the Boston Red Sox open their 2008 season against the Oakland A's in Tokyo, Japan of all places. The Red Sox won in 10 innings and Manny was Manny hitting in 4 runs with 2 doubles. My sister called me after Manny's second double and was lamenting the fact that Manny didn't run...Sis, even IF he had run with the hit, Manny would never make it to third safe!! Look at how happy he is playing the game and how well he's received by his teammates, Manny being Manny is what makes him so special!
But back to the game or rather, what occurred to me while watching it this morning!! I wonder if we will ever see the Red Sox play a game in Iraq??
Almost 67 years ago the Japanese Military attacked US Naval Forces in Pearl Harbor, a few years after that the USA dropped 2 nuclear bombs on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima...
Now we are playing baseball there and the fans, 44,628 in the stadium , are cheering for the Red Sox whose starting pitcher is from Japan!!
Since the war Japan has become a leader in the world auto and electronics fields. While we may still be competetors in the world of finance and industry the love of baseball has brought the 2 countries together.
I couldn't believe I was hearing Neil Diamond on there stadium sound system singing "Sweet Caroline" and then hearing the crowd sing along "Na NA NAaa"
It was awesome, of course where did we get the word Karaoke??
Karaoke (カラオケ, Karaoke? from Japanese kara(空), "empty," and ōkesutora, "orchestra") (pronounced /kɑːrɑːˌoʊkɛ/; in Japanese IPA: [karaoke]; ) is a form of entertainment in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The music is typically a well-known pop song in which the voice of the original singer is removed or reduced in volume. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen, along with a moving symbol or changing color, to guide the singer. In some countries, karaoke with video lyrics display capabilities is called KTV. It is very commonly pronounced /kæriːoʊkiː/, leading people to also spell it "kareoke". from wikipedia
Yes baseball has brought our two cultures together in ways business and politics just cannot. Maybe one day in Iraq we can get along at this level too. Certainly it was a long road from the destruction that was part of WWII to American Baseball being played in Tokyo, Japan..
Shortly after Saddam Husein's reign over Iraq crumbled, there were stories of the formation of the Iraqi Baseball and Softball Federation, one such article I found in the International Edition of the New York Times.
But the stories about Iraqi Baseball have dwindled . I am not sure if they are still playing ball in Iraq?? I hope so, maybe one day instead of fighting and killing each other we will be able to turn the battlefields into playing fields.
Hopefully it will be sooner than later.
Did I mention the Red Sox won??