So Japan plays an all-round game. When someone gets on base, they aggressively try to move them around to third base so they can score. Their top players bunt, steal, hit and run, whatever it takes. As soon as anyone gets on first their next player makes to bunt.
By comparison the North American (and Carribean other than Cuba) style is power hitting. If people get on bases it is because a ball was mis-hit and didn't go for a home run. Then the North American players sit on base waiting for the next power hitter to come in and hit a home run. Even the small players in North American baseball can hit the ball out of the park. It is a power game.
But instead we are seeing teams like South Korea, Japan and Cuba playing - well - traditional baseball. Those teams aren't statistics driven, ego driven, power driven or even star driven. Japan had Ichiro, and South Korea had a major league pitcher. Cuba remains cut off from the world, so they have no MLB players.
These three teams are highly agressive in converting base hits into runs. It is fast paced, exciting and fun to watch. Much more than waiting for some steroid pumped ogre to hit the ball four hundred yards and win the game.
The other advantage to this style of baseball is that it wins games. In the final four were South Korea, Cuba, Japan and the Dominican Republic. Only the latter played the North American style and were shut down by the Cuban pitching. Cuba has gone through to the finals and the last hope for the power game was bundled out.
This style of games gives these teams a great sense of team too. Because of the unselfish way they make things happen it means the individual's and team's success are one and the same.
So who will win on Monday night? I am hoping Japan. Sorry Cuba, you are still a bunch of commies. However, it promises to be a good game. Maybe Major League Baseball should get these Cuban, South Korean and Japanese coaches into America - at the least it will make North American baseball more exciting.
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