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Japan loves Darvish - but MLB wants China

By Shigemi Sato

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© 2012 AFP

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The game between China and the US at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 turned into a running brawl, and was a disgraceful spectacle of poor sportsmanship. (The catcher on China's team had to be hospitalized with a concussion.) This bodes poorly for the future of the sport in China.

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Baseball is an expensive game that can catch on as a country is developing rapidly, as it did in the US and Japan. I'd advise MLB not to try to sell the game unilaterally, lest it be seen as American cultural imperialism. Japan, emphasizing the age of the game in Japan (i.e. back to Meiji) and Cuba (hardly victims of American cultural imperialism) should be equally involved in selling the game in China, with perhaps a nod to the complicated nature of the sport and the wealth of statistics it generates.

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