徳島 英会話教室 

Japan Wins the World Baseball Classic

Yesterday, Japan won the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic (WBC) beating Cuba 10-6 in the final. As an American living in Japan, I was in a unique position to experience both the thrill of victory, as well as the agony of defeat. Watching the Americans lose to Mexico was disappointing to say the least. With an endless number of superstars on the roster, it’s hard for me to understand what went wrong for Team USA. Prior to the WBC, I always believed baseball was less of a team sport than basketball and football; I now think differently. I believe it was good teamwork and experience that resulted in Japan and Cuba meeting in the finals. Baseball is a pressure packed sport, where one error can make the difference between winning and losing. Add in a losers out format with your entire country watching, it can be daunting even for a Major League Baseball professional. Every member of Team Japan has played in Japan’s intense win or go home High School National Tournament, which generates excitement similar to the NCAA Basketball Tournament in the US. Playing baseball under these conditions is difficult and I believe it was this past experience that was the difference in the end. On another note, it was interesting to see another side to Ichiro Suzuki. Living in Seattle, I’ve always seen Ichiro play, but new very little about him as a person. The recent quotes in the paper and the emotion he showed during the WBC, I think portray him as truly passionate about the sport of baseball and his country. I also think America is rubbing off on him a little bit. Could he be the Muhammad Ali of Japanese baseball?… you decide. Here are a few Ichiro Suzuki translated quotes that caught my attention recently:

  • “We’re going to put the Koreans in their place.” (before the first game against Korea in the WBC)
  • “I don’t think Korea will beat Japan for 30 years.” (before the first game against Korea in the WBC)
  • “This is the worst day of my life.” (after losing to Korea for the second time)
  • “To lose a 3rd game to the Koreans would be unforgivable.” (before the third game against Korea)
  • “This is the greatest day of my life.” (after winning the WBC championships)

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