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True World Champions: Japan beats Cuba 10-6 to win the inaugural World Baseball Classic

The “World Series” has perhaps become a bit of a misnomer. With the United States making a meager showing and a quick exit in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, the concept of a “world champion” has been challenged. In the wake of this event, several things have become clear about the international baseball scene. For one, throwing a pile of major league superstars together a few days before a tournament and hoping they perform is not a great strategy (to see more evidence of this, look no further than the Team USA basketball team in 2004). Secondly, any arrogance we may have had about being the best at our national pastime can be thrown out the window. Perhaps the most important realization for Americans, however, is that these other nations outperformed us not because of any intrinsic talent they had. They did so by playing with more passion, better teamwork, and solid fundamentals stemming from their tremendous work ethics.

For anyone who was surprised to see Japan in the final, remember that Japan has been playing baseball since the 19th century. In fact, some Japanese are convinced that their country invented the sport, just as some South American nations claim soccer as their own, despite its actual beginnings in England. The legendary Sadaharu Oh, who managed the Japanese team, has more career home runs in Japan (868) than Hank Aaron, the hallowed MLB record holder, had here (755). Moreover, the Japanese baseball work ethic has been on display in America ever since Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and later Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees crossed the Pacific. The Mariners’ President of Operations in the Pacific Rim commented that Ichiro practices so frequently and with such passion that he can never find enough people to play catch with him. Not coincidentally, there was only one major leaguer left on the two teams playing for the WBC championship: Ichiro.

I focus on Japan for obvious reasons, but Korea made a big splash as well, with Seung Yeop Lee, Jong Beom Lee, and pitcher Chan Ho Park all making the All-Tournament team. To put that in perspective, they had three people on the twelve man all-tournament team, as did Japan; the U.S. only had two.

While interest may not have been as strong after the U.S. exited the World Baseball Classic, the message is clear: Asian nations, as well as the typically heralded South American and Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba, can not only compete with us, but they can beat us. Perhaps this will lead to more recruitment of Asian players for the MLB. I also hope it shows Americans that at a time when the steroid scandal has stained our national pastime, the pure form of the game – relying on passion, teamwork, and fundamentals — is making a comeback overseas, and it is reaping dividends.

Let’s Chat: APA Discussions

It is amazing what can result from a group of strangers and some free lunch. At the Asian Culture Center every other week, you can experience just that – a discussion within a small gathering where participants learn more about themselves and others by exploring Asian Pacific American issues. Welcome to the bimonthly “Who are Asian Pacific Americans?” discussion series.

What is there to discuss? I myself, having lived the Asian American life, realized that there was so much concerning Asian Pacific Americans about which I had not thought. Even with general topics such as the model minority myth (where Asians are stereotyped as the “ideal minority” in America) and the APA Dating Scene, each participant found something in which he or she was personally interested, and the discussions gradually took on lives of their own.

Don’t believe me? Come join in on the fun and take a seat – you will not leave without being changed at least somewhat. Plus, who can pass up some free lunch?

Asian Student Union Awards Ceremony

When: April 28th, 2006 7:00pm
Where: Devault Alumni Center
What: Celebrate the 2005-2006 year with presentations of the
following four prestigious awards:
-Student of the Year
-Committee of the Year
-Event of the Year
-Website of the Year

More information:
1. Student of the Year
-Any committee executive can only complete ONE nomination
-Only TWO student leader nominations will be allowed from any ONE organization
-The top THREE students that have been nominated the most times will be selected for interviews (three interviews).
-*in case of a tie, the ASU board will vote upon who will go on to the next round.
-Nominations can be submitted now until March 27nd
-Nomination forms can be found here.

2. Committee of the Year
-Please fill out survey between March 27th and April 15th.
-Survey can be found here. Please submit
the completed survey to and

3. Event of the Year
-What event from your organization do you want to be eligible for the Event of the Year Awards? *Cannot nominate events that are parties
-Please send your nominations to and between March 27th and April 15th.
-Nominated events will be posted online starting March 27th in a poll. The event with the most votes wins.
-For joint-events, the student group(s) that are organizing (not just participating) the event will be awarded.

4. Website of the Year
-External judges will be evaluating each website as of March 27th.

Black Student Union: Fashion Show

***** ” U N P R E D I C T A B L E ”
* Giving you “something we’ve never done before!”
* featuring Throwback- Workout- Crunk- Political- Bedroom & Formal fashions
*** Friday, March 31
***** 8PM @ Wilkie Auditorium
* $5 Admission – BSU Member’s Get discount (Bring your black card)
*** featuring DJ Watts
****** performances by poet Steve Gaskin and IU Essence
******* also featuring the Ladies of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc.

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