Monday, January 12, 2009

Language lessons

This is from the New York times, and is an interesting look at the Chinese Olympic team and how they are progressing in their pursuit of baseball.

As someone who has lived in several different countries, I definitely understand the language issue, and trying to explain anything to anyone.
Something interesting I didn't know about:

Chinese officials asked for help with their baseball team five years ago, and
since then, Major League Baseball has paid the salaries of Lefebvre and the
other American coaches who round out his staff. The league has also subsidized
the team’s training trips to the United States since 2003, when Lefebvre became
manager of this group.
I guess with over 1 billion people in the need of baseball merchandise, Bud can afford to be a little generous.
Some problems with the program:

Tom Lawless, one of China’s coaches, said his team had only six players who
could play in the minor leagues. Major league scouts rated the players mostly
2’s on a scale of 1-8. The former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, another coach, said the players’ talent rated at about a high school or a college level. “They are knowledgeable about the game, but have no attention to detail,” he said.

And of course, there are problems with the Chinese officials also:

He and Shen, a serious woman who often wears mirrored sunglasses and a black
sweat suit, butted heads. Shen, a former military officer, preferred long practices. Lefebvre wanted more efficient ones.

They disagreed over lineups. Shen once chose seven relievers and only one starting pitcher for the roster, Lefebvre said.

Nothing too exciting about it, but a decent, if brief, look at how hard it can be at times to get the game going.

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