27 April 2005

Korea bests Japan!

OK, not really. What happened is that two MLB teams, with Koreans pitching, beat two teams with Japanese pitchers in New York. link

In the US, this is going to get a big collective "huh". And I know there'll be questions about it in trivia games across the country.

But I remember when I was working in Korea, there was a Korean pitching in the US majors whose image was plastered all over Seoul. Think Michael Jordan in the US at the peak of the hype, and you'll have some idea. And in Japan, where I was living at the time, the same was true of the Japanese players in the MLB. It didn't matter that I don't follow sports - no one, in either country, could believe that I had no clue who these guys were.

So I think these games in New York will be the cause of much rejoicing and celebrating in Seoul, and give rise to a great deal of soul-searching in Tokyo.

On the other hand, I had an American friend visiting recently, and while here he saw a Pepsi commercial which featured the likes of Beckham, Totti, Ronaldinho, and Roberto Carlos. Afterwards, I asked him how many of them he had recognized, and he didn't know who any of them were, and didn't believe me when I guessed that, worldwide, every one of those men was more famous than any American sports star, with the possible exceptions of Jordan and Tiger Woods. It just goes to show how very insular the US can be.