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.
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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.
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