Sunday, November 08, 2009

asian baseball tour 2009: taiwan!

so back to my promised posts about taiwan. one of my main goals for my trip was to see a baseball game, something which i did on my third night but had almost forgotten about when i left. by the end of the trip, when people asked what i did on the west coast, i had to think pretty hard for something besides walk around night markets and drink milk tea.

but yes! i saw the uni-president 7-11 lions (hereafter 7-11) take on the sinon bulls of the chinese professional baseball league in taichung. like in korea, major corporations own the baseball teams, but unlike in korea, they have no home stadiums. instead the four teams travel all over the island playing games. the taichung stadium was pretty decent, much smaller than the one in korea but substantially larger and well-kept than the tianjin stadium. it probably compares to an older AAA stadium in the states.

the crowd was fairly small, probably because it was a tuesday night and there was a light drizzle for the first part of the game. nevertheless they seemed really into it, pumped up by what appeared to be professional cheering teams (you can see the 7-11 side below). it's unclear actually how much of the crowd was actual crowd, and how much was the cheer squad. nevertheless, things felt fairly professional. they even played a series of american classic rock covers throughout the game, with words changed (in chinese) to relate to baseball. for example, the eponymous chorus of highway to hell was replaced with "aishang bangqiu," which basically means "to fall in love with baseball" or kinda "to be crazy about baseball (in a loving way)." the first translation is easier.

anyway, i actually left the game at the top of the 9th because i was getting really hungry (no concessions in the cheap seats), but by that point sinon was crushing 7-11 12-1, so i don't think i missed much in the last inning.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

snow in beijing!

tis quite beautiful outside. only problem is now it's ball-freezing cold and they don't turn the heat on for another two weeks.