Although most of the great non-U.S. ballplayers have come from Latin America, a fair number have also hailed from the East. No, I’m not talking about New Jersey. I’m talking about the land of the rising sun. Players like Ichiro in his heyday or the sometimes brilliant Yu Darvish. Or the professional pitcher pictured here at the right. But aside from a couple Koreans and one or two Chinese, baseball doesn’t seem to have had quite the same effect on the rest of the continent.
We could take the time to do an in-depth study of why certain Asian cultures have successfully assimilated baseball and I’m sure there are quite a few reasond to be found. However, we see no need to be scientific and instead decided to focus on the most important metric available in the internet age: Youtube videos.
So, in two steps, here’s why there aren’t more Asian ballplayers, moving from the west (Rinku and Dinesh??)…[youtube http://youtu.be/kJa2kwoZ2a4]
…to the east:[youtube http://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0]
I think that pretty much clears it up, even if the horsey dance is quite catchy.
Who is the man with the masterplan?
Good question, Jake! And the answer isn’t as easy as one Dr. Dre would lead you to believe.
Honestly, it’s hard to just pick one person and say he’s the man with the masterplan. And since we here at RSBS like to avoid being too categorical, I’m going to give you a list of possibilities and let you decide.
First we turn to the world of baseball. Here, you could say it’s the Washington Nationals, the former laughingstock of the league who now find themselves with the second best record in baseball, who are the man. Or, how about the Cincinnati Reds with the best record in baseball? Even that would be ignoring the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, although several games behind the Reds, are still in wildcard contention. The Pirates?!
If that’s too vague for you, we could always try to drill down a little and offer up some individuals. You can’t spit these days without hitting some news about Mike Trout. However, at only 20 years old, it’s a little hard to say that he’s the man with the masterplan. The same could be said of Stephen Strasburg, although the Nationals’ plan to limit his innings this season could be seen as a masterplan…..or a master cock-up if it costs them a playoff spot or a deep playoff run.
When you say masterplan, though, that seems to be a bit more global than just Major League Baseball. This sounds more like it requires worldwide dominance in which case we should turn our eyes toward London and the Olympic games. The obvious choices here are the US Men’s basketball team who unfortunately seemed almost human against the Lithuanians and Michael Phelps, the Midas of swimming who has a knack for turning almost everything gold.
However, it also doesn’t hurt to look a bit further afield. For instance, how about a man who dabbles in and dominates a field of pseudo-gymnastics. That’s right. Olympic men’s trampoline champion, Dong Dong. With a name like that and the current title-holder as World and Olympic champion, it’s hard to say he’s not the man with the masterplan.
If you were to build the ideal baseball player, you probably wouldn’t come up with Dustin Pedroia. He’s too small and he just doesn’t look like how a ballplayer should look. Likewise, you probably wouldn’t come up with CC Sabathia either. Dude has a huge gut and looks like a whale.
Most likely, if you were constructing the ideal baseball player, you’d come up with someone like Kyle Farnsworth, all six-and-a-half worthless feet of him. Of course, you’d also then be saddled with his contract and seemingly uncanny ability to melt down in important games.
So why is it that Farnsworth is an object of ridicule (at least here at RSBS) while Pedroia is a former MVP and Sabathia is one of the most consistently good pitchers in baseball? Well, it’s the same reason that Jeremy Lin happened in the US of A and could never happen in China. It’s the intangibles that make athletes great and if there’s one thing that we do well in America, it’s the intangibles.
You can have your Yao Mings and your Kyle Farnsworths. Me, I’ll take my Cecil Fielders and David Wells. And I bet you ten yuan I’ll win.
Move over, Keith, there’s a new number 17 in town and he’s got everyone going so LINsane that those all-night disco-caine parties from ’86 look like an afternoon tea. That’s right, folks. Just when you thought you might finally be over that Tim Tebow hangover, in walks the first EVER American born Chinese to play in the NBA. And boy can he play!
(If you don’t know who Jeremy Lin is by now, then it’s time to OPEN YOUR EYES)
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go into some long philosophical diatribe on how Lin’s soft swishing three serves as the perfect metaphor for a hard-working, faith-based US American populous because, as you might already know, THAT’S CRAZY TALK.
What I am going to do is urge you to jump on board the LINvincible Train so you’re not all alone out there on Planet Boring. Besides overusing the same lame LIN puns, the LINvincible Train also features dramatic spin-moves and celebrity bandwagoneers… like the Colorado Rockies’ Jeremy Guthrie!
It’s amazing what getting out of Baltimore can do for a pitcher’s offseason creativity.
G’head, Jeremy! Yer doin’ it right!
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Okay, technically it was more of a catfight than a bidding war, but I guarantee you it was fierce. I was in college at the time, and I somehow duped two girls into believing I was A-list boyfriend material. A gnarly girlpocalypse ensued.
It was awesome.
Then there was also the time in middle school where, for a small fee of one US American dollar, I would open up my father’s Playboy collection for viewing, all in the name of health and sex education, of course.
But I’ve never been Yu Darvish-ed before. I mean, I’ve never had a bunch of folks throwing MAD MONEY at me just for the opportunity to negotiate a contract. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but Nolan Ryan has never gone all in on my ass…ets. My assets. That’s what I meant to say.
Personally, I cannot WAIT to see Yu Darvish in action. I’ve been salivating at his proposed Major League entry since the ’09 WBC and now it looks like I may finally get my wish. Picture a 2012 season with an Adam Wainwright, a Stephen Strasburg AND a Yu Darvish!?!?!? Somebody douse me with Gatorade!
Meanwhile, if Yu’s people are any good, then they got their Newt Gingrich on before teams put in their final bids. You know it, I know it and the American people know it: no one sells access like the Grand Old Party.
Oh the Dems do it too.
Ron Paul. That is all.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Wilson Ramos Kidnapped
I know Venezuela has a vast array of domestic problems, but why kidnap Wilson Ramos?!?! While he may some day become a catching superstar for the Nationals, he only made the league minimum in his 2011 rookie season, and I can think of 18 million reasons why Carlos Zambrano would have made a better target.
Rick Perry Is a Moron
In case the whole let’s waste taxpayer money and time by devoting an entire day to praying that “God” will fix our country’s financial woes rather than taking any responsibility or doing any actual work to make things better strategy didn’t prove that presidential hopeful Rick Perry is a mindless delusionoid, then perhaps this republican debate gaffe will make it clear:
MLB & Taiwan All-Stars
Hooray! There was baseball in November… even if no one outside of Taipei paid any attention to it. I heard there were some exciting moments, but none could be considered as entertaining as my favorite Chinese baseball experience:
When it comes to colonialism, the US has tended to take a different approach than our European forefathers. The Belgians had their “chop off a hand if they aren’t working hard enough” method, the French used a “leave the country in even worse shape than you found it” doctrine and everyone tended to embrace the “prop up a minority tribe and give them weapons so everyone else hates them but they fight each other instead of us” hypothesis. The US, after a failed attempt in the Philippines at European style colonialism, invented a new way. We decided to sow our products and culture on any possible fertile land and then reap the harvest.
You can call it what you like but the US approach has been pretty successful so far. You probably can’t find McDonald’s in Mogadishu but it’s one of the few world capitals where that’s true. Yankee hats decorate heads from Morocco to Malaysia and is there anyone who doesn’t know who Kobe Bryant is? Neo-colonialism, as it’s often called, has even found its way into US diplomacy where baseball and basketball feature prominently in pro-American campaigns in Latin America and China, respectively. Honestly, it’s a much nicer kind of colonialism.
That’s probably why it’s not much of a surprise that the Chinese internet community laughed aside a recent State media editorial claiming that the newly arrived US ambassador to China, Chinese-American Gary Locke, was an American attempt at neo-colonialism. Locke captured quite a few fans before he even arrived when pictures of him buying his own coffee, using a coupon and carrying his own luggage showed up on the internet. The Chinese have a reputation for being frugal and they appreciated seeing these same qualities in the US representative to their country. It’s ninja neo-colonialism. You don’t realize what is happening until it’s already done.
I, for one, applaud this new approach. Appointing an Ambassador who comes from the same cultural background as the country where he will serve and someone who has real experience from his time as governor of Washington and Secretary of Commerce? That sounds less like neo-colonialism and more like common sense to me. Or maybe that’s exactly what ninja neo-colonialism is all about.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
The proverbial (and literal) gloves come off in this verbal masquerade of utter ridiculousness and yes, injuries do occur (though mostly to Johanna and, since they are mental in nature, hardly noticed). Among the topics of conversation one will find: Jeff’s wandering Forever 21 eyes, Zack Greinke’s ribs, the difference between a half and a full nelson, Cameroonian baseball, Bud Selig-bashing take 47 and much, much more… all to make you smile, laugh and play!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Keith is all over the interwebz killin’ it. You should definitely check out his crew and their subsequently hilarious podcast at Undercard Films. And keep your eye out for what’s next. Dude’s makin’ a movie!
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Recorded Saturday, March 12, 2011
Although the Japanese no longer provide the same nightmare fodder that they did in the early 90’s, the Chinese have more than made up for the loss. Sure, most of the population still lives in abject poverty but the country’s economic might is ever increasing. More than that, with 1.2 billion people, how do we know they aren’t creating an army of Yao Ming-like super soldiers?
If you think I’m just fear-mongering, think again. The Chinese have developed a missile that can hit a moving aircraft carrier. And who has the aircraft carriers? Yeah, that’ll keep you up at night. Did I mention that there are 1.2 billion of them? Oh. Right. Sorry.
We should probably keep in mind that the Chinese aren’t the only Asian nation with a billion plus people at their disposal. And beyond taking over call centers and consulting companies, India has made a strong move into our national pastime with their exportation of Rinku and Dinesh as well. Ok, strong might be a bit of an overstatement since these guys haven’t even made it through the Pirates’ farm system. But you see my point.
However, if there’s one area where we should truly fear the Indians, it’s marriage. Not understanding the concept? I think this will make it very clear:
Repeat after me: I will not run away on my Indian girlfriend, I will not run away on my Indian girlfriend, I will not run away on my…..
Tired of the Barbara Boxer v. Carly Fiorina bad-hair-day feud? Are you sick of the back-and-forth budget battle between Senate democrats and republicans? Has your patience been tested with Joe Lieberman’s unending political bed-swapping?
I have a solution.
And I learned it from the Taiwanese.
It’s called… fist fighting; and though we at RSBS would never condone violence as a foolproof solution to conflict, we do admit that a quick, controlled and monitored brawl will go a long way in fixing an otherwise needless argument. Why do you think my nefarious and oft-rattled colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has been so passive in his literary retorts lately? Uh… yeah. ‘Cuz he knows not to mess with these guns.
It worked for Nolan Ryan (not so much for Robin Ventura). It worked for Pedro Martinez (again, not so much for Don Zimmer). It worked for Carlos Zambr — wait, okay, maybe it doesn’t always work.
But, as was the case in Taiwan’s parliament session yesterday, it did provide plenty of laughs (not to mention plot lines for future Michael Bay films):
Still not convinced?
No? Okay, imagine Saxby Chambliss dueling to the death with Kristen Gillibrand… in jello! Think of what wonders that could do for our country! People might actually vote!
So yeah, go ahead and hate me, folks… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.