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Monday, November 9, 2015

WBSC Premier 12 : Japan v. Korea

I watched the first game of the Premiere 12 last night between Japan and Korea. It was an interesting game, although it was a bit surreal watching two teams from Japan and Korea play while the game was being announced by an Australian(?). Korea scrapped, but it was clearly outmatched. The Korean team looked like it was somewhere between a AA to AAA team and the Japanese team lived up to where just about everyone lists Japanese baseball (AAAA - not quite MLB, but not a minor league either). In the end Japan coasted to a pretty easy 5-0 win.

 A few notes:

 Japan is ranked #1 in the tournament and if last night was any indication it may win on pitching alone. Ohtani looked like he would smoke AAA players and might be ready for MLB. He certainly handled Korea.

 The field was terrible. It was a multi-use stadium with astroturf everywhere except for islands of dirt at the mound and around each base. There were no dirt base paths and not even any lines other than the foul lines. The ball bounced off the astroturf like a ping-pong ball and just slid over top of it without any friction. Now I remember why these things have been banished in the U.S.

 Japanese fans cheer all the time. They don't stop over there just because the pitcher is getting ready to pitch (at least the other team's pitcher). Drums. Drums. More drums.

 As someone who grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, I approve of Korea's blue uniforms with white K on their hats.

 It sounds wrong to hear someone speaking the Queen's English while announcing a baseball game. The Australian(?) announcer did a fine job, but it was so weird hearing him say "in the fourth innings", "in the fifth innings", "in the sixth innings", etc.

 In Japan they do not appear to have any of the time concerns that everybody over here is obsessed with. The game went over 4 hours and nobody cared. As it should be.

 Next game: Netherlands v. Chinese Taipei in Chinese Taipei.

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