Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The further globalization of baseball

I have posted before that I don't think an international series between the champions of Major League Baseball and the Japan Series should take place, as there is no incentive to it for anyone, minus television contracts. It can't really be for nationalistic reasons due to the large number of foreigners playing baseball in the States.

At one time, foreigners in Japan was fairly rare, as only 2 gaijans were allowed per team. Now it's up to 4 per, which is good. It provides for healthy competition, and shows that Japanese baseball is an international sport and not just a Japanese one.

This year, there are 56 foreigners signed to teams in Japan. I won't give a by name list, but it does consist of the following nationalities:

2 - Brazil - this is great that Brazilians are playing at this high of a level
1 - Canada
1 - China - this is good also
1 - Cuba
8 - Dominican Republic
5 - Korea
2 - Puerto Rico
10 - Taiwan
22 - Americans
4 - Venezuela

This shows the true international nature of Japanese baseball, and is a pretty diverse group. Not quite the numbers of the MLB, but it's growing.

Some familiar names:

Aaron Guiel
Craig Brazell
Casey Fossum
Edgar Gonzalez
Matt Murton
Termel Sledge
Alex Cabrerra

Lots of foreigners on the Japanese teams. Who don't have any vested interested in playing an after season series for nationalistic reasons.

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