baseball

Tokyo beats Hawaii to take Little League World Series title

70 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

70 Comments
Login to comment

'USA! USA!' I just love the jingoistic sentiments that pour from the hearts of sports spectators. Drum it into the kids early, I always say, and they'll make more compliant cannon fodder when they're old enough to enlist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to Tokyo, well done by Hawai'i!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beezlebub -- Guess you didn't watch the game, and are just making another un-informed post here based simply on the article. In fact, many folks in the crowd were presumably Japanese-Americans, who were waving Japanese flags and dressed in Japanese "attire" including the traditional headbands with the rising sun. But I guess Japanese "jingoistic sentiments" are OK. Right? In any case, good on the boys from japan. Let's just hope some silly politicain does not say today that it is an affirmation of the Japanese spririt. It's just kids playing baseball.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ANOTHER Japanese baseball world champion !! USA needs to come on over and study our training set-ups,you know,get an idea...5-0 baby !!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to Japan! I've always said that if I had kids in Japan I'd prefer they learn the fundamentals of sports here in Japan.

"Stormqueen" until the U.S. sends its BEST MLB players to the World Baseball Classic that tournament means absolutely nothing. Only Japan and Cuba care about that joke of an event. Training after Jr. high school for any sport in Japan is a joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"ANOTHER Japanese baseball world champion"

So what happened to Japan since 2003 ? 7 years of perfecting their "training set-ups etc" ???

First off congrats to the regional all star team from Tokyo "Minami Edogawa"- not all of Japan ! They limited their errors, passed balls, and got a few timely hits- not many !

As for Hawaii- tough run ! The US bracket raised a heavy toll on their pitching to the point that they had to insert their #6 pitcher as the starter ! After playing 5 days in a row the teams pitching staff was all but spent-

"Starting pitcher Cody Maltezo issued three walks in 5 2/3 innings and threw five wild pitches, including one that allowed Masaya Ishii to score the game’s first run in the second inning."

So cut the boys from Hawaii some slack- and did you see the class act at the end of the game when the Japanese players were celebrating on the mound with their fingers waving away- the team from Hawaii all stepped in front of the dugout and... "applauded" !!! Now if I do recall, the last time Japan lost in the final in 2008, they all stayed in their own dugout and... "cried" !!! Go ahead- badmouth the Americans all you want- we still know better ! A quote from Hawaiis head coach-

"I love it here. There’s no losers that come here.” Well said- now let the Anti-American sentiment begin !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ANOTHER Japanese baseball world champion !! USA needs to come on over and study our training set-ups,you know,get an idea...5-0 baby !!!

Obviously YOU DIDN'T READ THE ARTICLE BABY! The USA has won it 5 times in a row. Guess it was the Japanese studying OUR training techniques.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess Branded wants another investigation now;)

And of course, everything becomes a joke when America is losing. Sour grapes, people!! That's the REAL joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

they all stayed in their own dugout and... "cried" !!! All I can hear from Branded is boo hoo hoo crying all over his keyboard,how uniquely tough Hawaii had it..lame excuses from movieguy...and living in the past from coolcali (my 5-0 reference was to their record in THIS tournament by the way,duh!)..oh, and congratulations to the runner-up,not all of the U.S.Let the dynasty begin !!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations to Tokyo, Japan for playing good defense and fundamental play albeit an error that led to a Hawaii score (or as Branded would say, "gifted" by Japan).

Also good play on the part of the Waipahu, Hawaii team. You all must have been eating your Shiro's saimin. You boyz did your state and country proud. Maltezo battled well.

And Branded, why couple your tiny bit of obligatory congrats with a bunch of negativity? What's wrong with leaving it with "Congrats to both teams"? I don't hear any of the players or other people saying such immature rubbish. Auwe!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stormqueem. To actually judge the levels of Japanese baseball and US baseball by who wins the WBC shows you have no clue about baseball. Japan tries and send their best players to the US every year. And, how many have made it? 3? Ichiro, Matsui (sort of) and Nomo?

The WBC is not taken serious by the US.

Now, look at what happens when the US sends all-stars to Japan to play "friendies". Japan got crushed.

On the other hand, Japanese LLs are tough. I watched most of the games and they deserved to win.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

great teournament, congrats to BOTH teams. let's all put away our biased opinions and enjoy the games for what they really are. a bunch of kids playing for the love of the sport. whether you're simply a fan, a bandwagon rider, or a hard core follower of the little league, don't pollute the board with your negative sentiments. most of the posters here sound like kids younger than the ones playing in this little league, and their posts read more like, i know you are but what am I?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations to Tokyo and Japan, and good on Hawaii and the US for fairing so well up to the final. Although there's still a bit of nationalism involved in such a tournament, mostly from those chanting in the crowds, the kids are still pretty pure and playing for the game and to win more than anything. As such it's bound to be more fun than jokes such as the WBC, where it's all about putting your nation before the game.

Anyway, I think Stormqueen is making a jab at other nations when she says, "ANOTHER Japanese championship", not in regards to this tournament, but the fact that Japan also won the WBC (she fails to mention the Olympics, of course, and the recent women's softball championship, nor DOES she in fact touch on Japan not winning this event for the past 7 years), but hey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to both teams and a good win for Japan.

coolcali, smithinjapan: Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a US team get an automatic bid in the finals every year by virtue of their pool? Don't they play USA based teams only and have 8 teams entered? Kind of easy to see why the US has won more...but hey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The states had eight teams and still couldn't win, does any one know why the States should have eight teams in the tournament?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to both teams for making the finals and congrats to Japan for winning the event! Good job kids!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Anyway, I think Stormqueen is making a jab at other nations when she says, "ANOTHER Japanese championship"

Stormqueen also said "5-0 baby" explaining that it WAS in reference to their record in THIS tournament. But hey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Beezlebub -- Guess you didn't watch the game, and are just making another un-informed post here based simply on the article. In fact, many folks in the crowd were presumably Japanese-Americans, who were waving Japanese flags and dressed in Japanese "attire" including the traditional headbands with the rising sun. But I guess Japanese "jingoistic sentiments" are OK. Right? In any case, good on the boys from japan. Let's just hope some silly politicain does not say today that it is an affirmation of the Japanese spririt. It's just kids playing baseball."

Agreed!! Congratulations to the Japanese team. I watched the game, and I have to say that both the MLB, and the Japanese league have a lot of hot prospects to look forward to in the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to the Japan team for their victory and also to the US team for such sportsmanship in defeat.

redsox- it's true the US automatically takes one of the slots in the World Championship but you must understand the amount of baseball it takes to get there. Months of tournament play against a much larger group of talented little league teams. In my day we were eliminated from the So. Cal regionals (the next year my buddys made it to the final and lost to Mexico, I think. Northridge Earthquake Kids)and we had played quite a few games just to get there from our local tourneys. Then you get state regionals, state championship, regionals and THEN you get a ticket to Penn. to play the best in the country before facing the international champs. No discredit to Japan but countries like Japan, SK, Curacao and other Latin American countries definitely do not have it as tough to get in.

runner3- 8 teams from US play in the US tournament and international teams play in the international tourney. US also has teams from US military installations in Europe, Asia and other places that take part as well. I saw Ramstein, AB, Germany in the final rounds of the US tourney.

Anyways, congrats Waipahu and Tokyo for the great effort! Gotta love baseball!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The states had eight teams and still couldn't win" !

Gee- where to begin ? How about, well... Tokyo has a population of well over 12 million compared to Waipahu at just under a million. Considering the huge talent base to draw from its hard to imagine how Japan hasn't won this for better than 7 years now ! I won't bother explaining how Japanese players spend the whole year practicing and drilling yakyu while the American kids go on to play other sports either. In short J kids practice 365 days a year- the Americans ? Just a few months !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Branded - That's a great and often forgotten point about everything in Japan. While most countries in every facet of life have balance in sports and work, Japan has to practice and do things (sports, school, work) ALL YEAR long without a break just to keep up with the rest of the world. Unfortunately the U.S. government and corporations have taken over to the point where they are taking away that balance. Kids in many parts of the U.S. are now going back to school in mid August where they wont able to enjoy baseball anymore.

Moderator: Back on topic please. Posts that do not refer to the Little League World Series final will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Branded, movieguy, and everyone else making excuses:

Whine, whine, whine, listen to the excuses. It's baseball, the whole point is to win! Take a step back and look at how pathetic your comments are.

Tokyo practised more, Tokyo won, they are the better team.

Michael Phelps practised almost everyday for his whole life to get where he is. Let these players enjoy their moment on the world stage.

Congrats Tokyo!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to the champs!

JT: It's Waipio not Waipahu and the fans from Hawaii waved Ti leaves, not tea leaves. Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It's Waipio not Waipahu..."

Wrong! It's Waipahu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

some of you guys are pretty sad. they are just kids. congrats to tokyo and hawaii. actually congrats to all the teams that made it there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It's Waipio not Waipahu..."

Wrong! It's Waipahu.

@roomtemperature - you better call Staradvertiser and let them know that they got it wrong.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/bulletin/Waipio_falls_to_Japan_in_Little_League_World_Series_final.html#axzz0y4FI5ml1

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, Nimbus. I'd better call the official organization and tell them they have it right on their official homepage:

http://www.littleleague.org/media/newsarchive/2010/May-Aug/2010LLWSFinal.htm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@roomtemperature - you should call them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan>USA in baseball is nothing new to anyone who knows anything about the game of baseball. I have not seen any media coverage about this here in Japan. Would be nice to see some media coverage on this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nimbus, then I'd better call the Boston Globe, the Atlanta Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer...etc...etc...etc...etc as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@roomtemperature - go right ahead.

Moderator: Readers, that ends discussion on this point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great job by both teams. They played well, and were the best two teams of the tourney.

Btw- waipi'o is in waipahu, so both of you are correct.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

redsox: "Don't they play USA based teams only and have 8 teams entered? Kind of easy to see why the US has won more...but hey."

Perhaps they do. But what was the American team record coming into the finals?

roomtemperature: "Stormqueen also said "5-0 baby" explaining that it WAS in reference to their record in THIS tournament. But hey."

Fine. I was simply trying to defend her to an extent, but if you want to make her look like a fool, go ahead. So, what does 'another championship' refer to, then, since Japan hasn't won the last seven years?

Why you dig these holes for yourself I know not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Fine. I was simply trying to defend her to an extent,"

Sure, Smith.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let me put an end to the Waipahu-Waipio debate. According to LL rules, the teams are identified by the zip code they hail from, in this case 96797-Waipahu. However, Waipahu town has their own LL organization separate from Waipio which is slightly north of the city. I am from Waipio and proud to say I played there back in 1986. We are Waipio baseball. Waipahu are the Jackrabbits. nuff said.

Good job to the boys (BTW our population in Waipio Gentry is waaaayy less than 1 million!) Worked so hard to put YPO baseball on the map. Represented America and the 808 state with pride!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well done to all the Japanese boys, and to all the boys who played their hearts out throughout the whole tournament. This is the stuff of legend for some of these kids, it will be a treasured memory forever.

Good on them all!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ElJeffeEnJapon -"Then you get state regionals, state championship, regionals and THEN you get a ticket to Penn. to play the best in the country before facing the international champs. No discredit to Japan but countries like Japan, SK, Curacao and other Latin American countries definitely do not have it as tough to get in."

And I certainly don't mean to discredit all of the hard work that it takes for American teams to make it, but what makes you think that it was any easier for the other teams to qualify? I'm sure there were tons of tournaments that the Japanese team (as well as the other teams involved) had to advance through to even qualify for this event.

Branded - "Gee- where to begin ? How about, well... Tokyo has a population of well over 12 million compared to Waipahu at just under a million. Considering the huge talent base to draw from its hard to imagine how Japan hasn't won this for better than 7 years now !"

Gee, where to begin? If you are considering population and talent base, then the population of the US is higher than that of Japan, which I'm sure you were well aware of. So you might want to re-think that point.

But then again, the population of Tokyo compared to Waipahu is completely irrelevant as well. They didn't choose the best players from all over Tokyo to compete. These are club teams, and this team had to beat other teams from Tokyo as well as the rest of Japan (and the world) to make it this far. A larger Tokyo population probably means they had to face more teams to qualify, rather than having more players to choose from.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Practice practice practice, and that is what these Japanese boys have done. They got heart! Congrats

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would have more respect for Japan's win if the guys on second base weren't stealing signs all game long. Tainted victory at best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great win for Japan, but also a good effort on the part of the local boyz from Waipahu. Waipahu, the quaint little town with the nicest people, long history of sugar cane plantations and broke-da-mouth poke. You wen give um good!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US always have more LL teams and a rep in the final in the tournament because the US have more LL teams total than any other country. The US half of the LL tourney is overall tougher than the international half. But the whole point of the international half is to get other countries represented like Mexico and mainly US-expats Saudi Arabia and Germany.

.

Anyways, here's the tally on champions:

United States - 32

Chinese Taipei - 17

Japan - 7

Mexico - 3

South Korea - 2

Venezuela - 2

Curaçao - 1

.

United States - 32

International - 32

.

Anyways, did ya guys see how blatant the Japanese player on 2nd base was on signaling his teammate batter the direction of the pitch? Granted, that's done in any level of baseball even the MLB - but much more subtle. Because otherwise, that would have meant a beanball in between the ribs. Yeah, if that kid tries that again in high school, expect to get hit, haha!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kreza23 laments the ridiculous,

"If you are considering population and talent base, then the population of the US is higher than that of Japan"

Sorry, the population base of the Tokyo metro area is twice that of any major US city- including NY. This is a huge advantage for Japan as they have a higher base from which to choose from. These are "All-Star" teams- selected from the best of the best in the area- the population density of such an area has a huge influence- not to mention coaches that go outside their region to "recruit" ball players, and this is very commeon in Japan. My neighbours 12 year old daughter was sent off to some prep school 5 hours away because she was a promising gymnast ! Imagine that 12 years old and its off to training school... I guarantee you the kids from Hawaii sleep in their own beds at night !

kingsaint:

"I would have more respect for Japan's win if the guys on second base weren't stealing signs all game long. Tainted victory at best."

I'm divided on the issue- granted it is considered poor sportsmenship- but I have to give props to a player that can receive such a sign and adjust to it. The bigger question is- who taught them this ??? It would be a good question for the coach as "fair play" and "don't cheat" are part of the Little League creed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"kreza23 laments the ridiculous, "If you are considering population and talent base, then the population of the US is higher than that of Japan" Sorry, the population base of the Tokyo metro area is twice that of any major US city- including NY. This is a huge advantage for Japan as they have a higher base from which to choose from. These are "All-Star" teams- selected from the best of the best in the area- the population density of such an area has a huge influence- not to mention coaches that go outside their region to "recruit" ball players, and this is very commeon in Japan. My neighbours 12 year old daughter was sent off to some prep school 5 hours away because she was a promising gymnast ! Imagine that 12 years old and its off to training school... I guarantee you the kids from Hawaii sleep in their own beds at night ! kingsaint: "I would have more respect for Japan's win if the guys on second base weren't stealing signs all game long. Tainted victory at best." I'm divided on the issue- granted it is considered poor sportsmenship- but I have to give props to a player that can receive such a sign and adjust to it. The bigger question is- who taught them this ??? It would be a good question for the coach as "fair play" and "don't cheat" are part of the Little League creed."

Branded, look at your essay above. An essay full of sour grapes!! Deal with it, man!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry RT- did I miss something ? I mean there's the obvious point of population base giving Japan a huge advantage, the fact that Japan recruits from a larger pool of players, the fact that the international bracket is considered easier by others is well noted, as is the fact Japan had to cheat to win the game... "sour grapes" ??? Nonsense- it just begs the question- how did Japan "not" win this thing for 7 years ??? I mean the deck has been stacked in their favor from the outset... maybe it was the "sign-stealing" that finally got them over the hump. I'll go back and review their other games to see if this was a common practice. I can't help but wonder if the J media back there will pick up on the "cheating" angle- I somehow doubt it... such is the life in Japan where honne/tatemae still reigns true. Kingsaint has dubbed their victory "tainted"- I wouldn't disagree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Branded - This team from Tokyo, Edogawa Minami is one of MANY teams representing one of the many leagues in Tokyo. So they don't simply have their choice of players from all over the prefecture. In fact, over the past decade, there have been three different teams from Tokyo that have represented Japan. If you really believe that the population base was such a big factor, why wasn't there a team from New York city in the finals for the American side? How about a team from California? Why is it so hard for you to simply congratulate the Japanese team without making any snarky remarks? All the kids in this tournament played hard, and they should ALL be proud of themselves, no matter where they are from.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lets hope Little League Baseball opens up an investigation into this. As I said before, it was openly commented on right after it happened- slow motion- the whole works. Considering every game begins with a reading of the Little League creed to play fair and not cheat- well, the coaching staff from Minami Edogawa has a lot of explaining to do. The real question would be if Japan had done this in any other game. If so, they should be disqualified and the Championship handed over to Hawaii. Lest we forget, teams have been disqualified for cheating before- The Philippines !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

my point about the eight American teams is that all countries should only send one team like any other championship or be able to send the same number as other countries, for example Brazil could send 10 teams to the world cup and all of them would do well, same for Canada for hockey and curling, the States for basket ball etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think there is one thing people are forgetting. Sure here in the states your average all star team probably has to play a few more games, however, it's not always the quantity but the quality. A lot of "All Star" teams are not so all star. Not every player on every team is a super star. A lot of them get weeded out quickly, meaning ten run rule. Which also means a lot of times a team is not always playing a full six inning game. You have to take into account that because you play less does not mean it is any easier. Take Taiwan for example. Surely that regional is no cake walk and I would bet most of the US All Star teams wouldn't last. Japans regional is also very difficult. You can't fault a player because he lives in a country that is small and might not have as many LL as say here in the US.

As for the sign stealing. Well first off, it's not illegal as was mentioned on an earlier telecast. Would I have had my team do it? No and I was a bit surprised by the Japanese team doing it as I don't recall a previous Japan team doing the same. Secondly, did it help them? No it didn't. I watched every Japan game as I usually root for them every year and most of the time the signs seemed to be more of a distraction than anything. The batter usually struck out or grounded etc. That wasn't why they were in the final nor why they won. However I do believe the second baseman was telling the batter that the catcher was sitting on the outside of the plate on the homerun that was hit in the later innings. But the batter still had to hit the ball and that relief pitcher for Hawaii was throwing hard. So call it what you will but don't call them cheaters because their pitching and fielding is what really won the tournament for them. If the homerun was not hit I think they still would of won. Defense wins championships.

Minor note, the 32 WS titles that have been won by the US is somewhat of a stretch since for the first ten years foreign teams were not invited to play in the tournament. But ok whatever.

One more thing. What's the deal with ESPN making the foreign teams introduce themselves in English? Some of those kids were having a torrid time getting out their names and favorite player. Is it really so hard to throw some subtitles down on the screen and let them speak their own language.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"As for the sign stealing... did it help them?"

The announcers from ABC sure felt it did. They replayed the hit in question and clearly pointed out how the player on second had signaled the batter- who then rifled a shot into right field. Now, is it illegal ? You say no ! Yet no-where will you find any coach at any level teaching this or encouraging it. I would have to go through the Little League rules book to get an official ruling- like I said, the Japanese media, and little league in general, should be looking into this... what's next "beanballs and brush back pitches" ? Hey they're not against the rules and I saw a couple of players with those large elbow pads on so they can get tighter to the plate.

"the 32 WS titles that have been won by the US is somewhat of a stretch since for the first ten years foreign teams were not invited to play in the tournament. But ok whatever."

"OK whatever" ? Then why bring it up ? Cause someone like me might suggest that Little League is an American invention and really had no obligation to invite any foreign teams to begin with ? Damn nice of them Americans to share their baseball culture and invite many parts of the world to play dont ya think. But hey- whatever.

"What's the deal with ESPN making the foreign teams introduce themselves in English?"

If you had watched all the games besides Japan- you would have noticed some kids did not introduce themselves in English... so no-one was "made" to do anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry runner3- the tourney set-up as is works just fine. If Asian nations want more representatives they should do the paperwork- I'd love to see the Australians have their own rep... and how about Cuba ??? Like Bobby V kept saying throughout the telecasts- you wanna participate- go to "littleleague.org" and get a team going ! Hey Branded no to insult just because your team (teams) all lost! And your right the tourney works just fine for the Americans because they will be in the finals every year, name any other international tourney that's fixed that way!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Damn, people do like conspiracy theories don't they? Especially when things don't go their way. Pathetic! Just suck it up and give kudos where they are due. Both teams from Tokyo and Waipahu played the game with effort and in the end the best team won. Just give congrats to both teams for playing hard and leave it at that. Sign-stealing? If you want to split hairs, there were other teams in the tournament where you could make a case of nasty shenanigans if you wanted to, but hey, let's not go there. Let's stop being like many strict, overbearing baseball parents who sometimes even get mad at their own son, or son's teammates for making mistakes on the field (believe me, it happens; even in soccer and pop warner football). Sometimes these parents, like some JT posters take this game too seriously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congrats to Waipahu for making it that far. Much smaller population base to pick from, yet their competing with a national team. Also bet that even the Hawaii team had mostly Japanese last names at least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kreza- How many LL teams are there in Curacao or Chinese Taipei? Granted Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka will have proportionally larger numbers of teams fighting for the right to represent Japan but how many inaka prefectures are there where the number of LL's are much lower? Thus making their route to a national championship and a ticket to the LLWS that much easier? Baseball is America's national sport. LL's are everywhere in every state, including Alaska (they get to play a lot of baseball up there due to the extra sunlight in summer). My point is that there is a lot more baseball being played in the US and usually at very high levels. That's why we have a separate tourney and get an automatic birth in the LLWS championship game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Branded, take the homerun away and Japan still would of won. It was just a two run insurance shot. Their pitching was clutch as was their fielding. And I did notice some of players chose to speak in their native language. Damn nice of us Americans banning all foreign teams from the 1975 series because we couldn't take losing much like you are having trouble accepting Japans win because of one sign that was given that actually worked.

ELJeffeENJapon, I think I read there were around 300 little leagues in Japan. Tokyo alone must have quite a few.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ElJeffeEnJapon - "How many LL teams are there in Curacao or Chinese Taipei? Granted Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka will have proportionally larger numbers of teams fighting for the right to represent Japan but how many inaka prefectures are there where the number of LL's are much lower? Thus making their route to a national championship and a ticket to the LLWS that much easier? Baseball is America's national sport. LL's are everywhere in every state, including Alaska (they get to play a lot of baseball up there due to the extra sunlight in summer). My point is that there is a lot more baseball being played in the US and usually at very high levels. That's why we have a separate tourney and get an automatic birth in the LLWS championship game."

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) used to dominate the Little League World Series when I was growing up, so I have no idea how many teams or little leagues there are there, but I do know that baseball is immensely popular there and that they are extremely strong, especially for that age group.

The little league world series is made up of 16 teams, 8 from the US and the other 8 from around the world. So to make the LLWS, a team from the US has to be the best team in a group of about 5 or 6 states. For a Japanese team to make it, they have to be the best team in the entire country. For a team from Taiwan to make it, they have to be the best in Taiwan, plus make it out of another group of countries including Korea and China. That team from Curacao had to beat teams from all over Latin America. I'm definitely not saying that it is easy to make it to the LLWS for a team from the US. Like I said, I'm not trying to downplay the accomplishments of these kids. But it DEFINITELY isn't much easier for a lot of these other teams to make it. You are completely underestimating how popular baseball is in these countries, and you are underestimating the process they have to go through to make it to the tournament.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pscholes18: "take the homerun away and Japan still would of won"

Take the sign stealing away and Japan may have never made it to the finals ! Word on the street is that this little league team has been doing this throughout the tournament !

"Damn nice of us Americans banning all foreign teams from the 1975 series because..."

Foreign teams were dominating the tournament through rules infractions including the massive use of over-aged players, out of district players, etc. The ban was in effect for one year and foreign teams were given a stricter sense of guidelines to follow including providing birth certificates and proof of residence- however that still didn't stop some teams from cheating as highlighted by the disqualification of the championship team from the Philippines in 92. Then in 93 teams from the Dominican Rep and Taiwan were both caught cheating and disqualified ! Why little league executives ever invited the "international community" back to play really is "damn nice of the Americans" !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Puhleeze. All teams fought and played hard. Do not even try to take anything away from these kids. Baseball is a kids’ game and if you ask me, it should stay that way. Congrats to each and every kid who play in these tournaments.

Although I am more of a fan than an expert on LL, I would not use the words “sign stealing”. A runner on second is allowed to motion where the catcher and his/her mitt is set. Therefore you will see the runner motioning to the right/left and low/high but never a curve ball, fast ball, knuckle ball, etc. I really think “sign stealing” is used incorrectly here.

In Japan, there are 2 types of baseball: koushiki (hardball) and nanshiki (rubber ball). Most cities and towns will have at least one koushiki bball team but you will find even several nanshiki bball teams in just one small district. The teams that are allowed to play in this tourney are the koushiki bball teams. The koushiki teams have tryouts and are for the kids who want to play “serious” ball. Most nanshiki teams are open for every kid. Please do not get me wrong. There are many very good players in the nanshiki leagues but for the most part, the koushiki leagues have the better players. (I have seen some very good nanshiki teams that would wipe floors with koushiki teams.) There are way many more hardball teams in the US than in Japan.

To add, players in Japan do practice all year round. Are they better? Hard to say. But these J-teams are built for these tournaments. In a baseball tournament such as the LLWS the team with the least errors usually will win. J-players practice to minimize errors and play the game to not lose. It definitely is a different mindset. I will not say “better”. I will say “different”.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"To add, players in Japan do practice all year round."

Why ??? Just so they can parade themselves around as dominant sports figures to the world ? Try a little balance in your life for cripes sake. Go out and make some new friends- join a club and learn something, expand your horizons. The Japanese have it all wrong- they put so much emphasis on winning these tournements that their children learn nothing about other things in life. It explains why the Japanese players will fall to their knees and bawl profusely when they lose any kind of sporting event. They simply have not learned all the lessons sports have to give- and two of them are how to be good losers as well as winners. Like I said before- watching the Hawaii team step out of their dugout to applaud the Japanese as they were waving their number ones in the air is something I hope all Japanese people would witness... pure class !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pscholes18 at 04:56 AM JST - 31st August. As for the sign stealing. Well first off, it's not illegal as was mentioned on an earlier telecast. Would I have had my team do it? No and I was a bit surprised by the Japanese team doing it as I don't recall a previous Japan team doing the same.

In baseball, there is the official rulebook, which teaches kids how to play. And there is the unofficial, unwritten rulebook, stored in players' heads and psyches, with boundaries determined only when crossed. And there is one more rule in baseball: The unwritten is always more important than the written. There is a saying in baseball that if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying. What this means is that manager of the Japanese teams approved what their kids were doing and teaches kids that cheating (unofficial) is ok to get ahead. Japanese team should've forfeit from this international competition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If stealing signs was seen as such a serious offense, then why would catchers hide their signs so deep between their legs and try to hide what they want their pitcher to throw? Why would third base coaches develop a complex system of signs for the hitter to take in? If baseball were such a gentleman's game, why wouldn't they just leave their signs out in the open and assume the other team wouldn't look to gain an advantage?

sfjp330 - "In baseball, there is the official rulebook, which teaches kids how to play. And there is the unofficial, unwritten rulebook, stored in players' heads and psyches, with boundaries determined only when crossed. And there is one more rule in baseball: The unwritten is always more important than the written. There is a saying in baseball that if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying. What this means is that manager of the Japanese teams approved what their kids were doing and teaches kids that cheating (unofficial) is ok to get ahead. Japanese team should've forfeit from this international competition."

I see you're not crazy about stealing signs, but what's the rule on stealing material, cuz the first bit of your post is totally from a website. I felt like I had read that somewhere before and looked up, and sure enough, word for word.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kreza23 at 08:01 AM JST - 2nd September

I guess you never played the game. What your saying is that you approved of the way these kids from Japan, especially the one of the players that intentionally and openly tried to steal the sign and relay to their teammates. This is crossing the line. I guess in Japan and for you, this is acceptable. I guess these managers and parents set a good example on how you could get ahead by intentionally cheating. What the Japanese player did is a good sportsmanship for you? I think its disgusting of their behavior.

In baseball, there is a vast difference between suddle (cheating) stealing versus intentional (cheating) stealing of signs. If you make it obvious on stealing signs, then you crossed the line, which is what this Japanese player did without any questions. I have no respect for this Japanese team and especially the manager. They should foreit the game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In baseball, there is a vast difference between suddle (cheating) stealing versus intentional (cheating) stealing of signs.

Good point, sfjp330. Then again, if we split hairs, many of the little league teams in this tournament could have a case made against them of some sort of cheating. Take overage players. I won't name the teams, but there were several with some big kids who looked a bit older than they should be. Just look up what happened in 2001 with a New York team that blatantly allowed an overage player (I think Danny Almont was his name). Till this day, it is not so difficult for young athletes to sneak on a team that they would be overaged and overskilled to be on. Recently there was a news report of a 21 year old posing as a middle school football player. But hey, let's not go there.

which is what this Japanese player did

It hasn't been proven yet, and is "alleged", just like the "alleged" overage players from Texas. We won't know until investigations are conducted, so let's not jump to hasty conclusions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330 - You couldn't be any more wrong. I grew up on baseball and captained my high school baseball team. Your views on intentional cheating vs. subtle cheating confuse me, because you can be subtle about the way you cheat but intend to do it. What exactly constitutes subtle cheating to you, that isn't intentional? And why is cheating OK to you if it's subtle?

If you think the other team is stealing signs, you can throw them a brush back pitch. If that's not your style, you get your pitcher to talk to the catcher and change the signs up. If you're worried about location, and not pitch selection, you get your catcher to set up outside, and have the pitcher throw inside. There are a lot of things you can do about it, and they happen often. If I were a coach, I wouldn't encourage sign stealing, but it's a lost art, and if people can do it, I don't see anything wrong with it. You just have to do a better job of hiding your signs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foreign teams were dominating the tournament through rules infractions including the massive use of over-aged players, out of district players, etc.

Branded: Stop throwing stones until you start looking in your own backyard first. How about them big kids for U.S. teams like Pearland, Texas? We all know that America has such lax rules for the age of players in little league organizations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kreza23 at 05:31 PM JST - 2nd September

Have you seen the replay? It really looks bad. They represent Japan and they made the image of Japan look sneaky and bad. I guess when you become a manager of a little league, you should show them the replay and tell your players you approved of this and should continue because you play baseball in Japan. What the individual from the Japanese team did was blatently wrong. This Japanese team does not belong on this tournament and should be kicked out for the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It hasn't been proven yet, and is "alleged", just like the "alleged" overage players from Texas.

Hotbox: I think there were more overage players on the Georgia team than the Texas one. As for Texas, they looked as if they should be more accused about stealing signs than being overage. I remember seeing how desperate they were to get any runs in their final game against Taipei. Sure enough, a kid gets on base and did some kind of funny move. Next thing you know, that Beau kid launches a two-run homer. Dirty, if you ask me.

This Japanese team does not belong on this tournament and should be kicked out for the future.

sfjp330: The same could be said about the Texas and Georgia teams. They played downright dirty tactics. How can they allow that in the little league systeam?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations, Japan. However - "World Series?" How many countries have Baseball teams?? Something of a misnomer, I think.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@realist:

Here's a like for ya. If you see any part of the world not covered, let me know.

http://www.littleleague.org/series/2010divisions/llbb/series.htm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why the heck is little league baseball being reported what is next the mickey mouse cup!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh boy. Some of the posters here really sound like those fanatic fans in U.S. featured on 30 for 30 series done recently by ESPN regarding Cody Webster of Kirkland team which beat Taipei in 1982.

As for stealing signs, the kid from Georgia team put it into perspective.

“It’s more of a mental thing,” he said. “It gets in the back of the pitcher’s head that (the batter) might know what’s coming. I always do it. It’s pretty obvious. I might as well say, ‘Hey, I’m giving the signs.’ It’s your fault if you don’t change it.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites