Spring, baseball and culture

Cultural Insights — By on March 20, 2006 at 11:26 am

Well, here goes. How does one start a new blog? What is an appropriate first entry? The first day of spring seems like a good time to launch a new venture, and the advent of baseball season is a sure sign of spring, so why not begin with a post about baseball and culture?

Jayson Stark had a nice piece yesterday on espn.com about the clash of baseball cultures between Japan and Cuba in the World Baseball Classic championship game. He writes:

The Cubans play baseball with emotion oozing out of their caps. Fists pumping. Hands clapping. Flags waving. Mouths moving. If something in a ball game is worth doing, it is worth celebrating. That’s their own special M.O.

The Japanese, on the other hand, often play the game like the men of science they are. Is there any fundamental they haven’t practiced at least 4.9 billion times in their lives? Is there any skill they haven’t studied and perfected with machine-like precision?

Anyone who has ever traveled to Latin and/or East Asian countries will appreciate the contrasting sporting styles that have arisen from these two cultures. And it is exactly items like this that I want to point out with my blog. I would like for this site to serve as a gathering place for cross-cultural perspectives on current affairs, travel, sports, government, business and other topics of interest.

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