Tuesday, March 21, 2006

America, the sequel

Smaller, weaker, better ... the Japanese sure seem to have our number, as demonstrated, metaphorically, in the World Baseball Classic.

We invented the automobile, they virtually perfected it. We've just seen history repeat, this time on the diamond.

They certainly don't have our talent, at least in the athletic sense. But the Japanese team played the purest of baseball, and the result speaks volumes. Hitting behind runners, timely bunts, pitching ahead in the count ... who says the fundamentals are boring.

The Americans, apparently, who swung from their heels and came up empty in the WBC, routinely forasking little ball for macho swagger. I don't buy the popular argument that other countries wanted it more; we just seem to have lost sight of the team concept. We can spout cliches, but we have trouble executing them.

"Teamwork," trite as it may sound, helped us persevere through World War II, with everyone pitching in, from the factory sector to Hollywood. Now, teamwork can only be found in our shiny decals: "What do you want from me? I've got a 'We Support the Troops' bumper sticker on my SUV."

A Japanese import, most likely. There's your metaphorical wrap-up, admittedly clumsy. But there's a point in there, somewhere. No doubt an Okinawa blogger could communicate it much more effectively than I just did.

1 comment:

  1. The USA may have done better using college kids, shades of the olympic hockey and basketball programs.

    You make a great point, since when was baseball supposed to be all macho, and power based. There was obviously a turning point in the major leagues, just look at the rising pitchers ERAs.
    Seems the Japanese remember its the thinking man's sport.