- Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Times.
Our human thinking is usually cluttered and there are few moments of true silence on a day-to-day basis. Try thinking about your thoughts. Why do you keep that online commentary going, all the time? Sometimes athletes reach what has been called "The Zone" - a special, prolonged moment of intense concentration and focus - as they achieve greatness. Going for the gold seems to be a trait we all share here on earth.
There is a lot in the reporting about this World Baseball Classic, and the final game of a 16-team tournament, that I don't agree with. But I liked Ichiro's quote, and it was nice that the NYT caught it. Sports journalists should aim for the sublime, and perhaps - in some small way - help fans get over old grudges, and not feed the flames... I like how sports events here in Japan are 100% free from the kind of ugly racism and inane hatred you can encounter on the stands in Europe.
Congratulations Japan for winning fair and square, at the Dogers Stadium in LA. Hey! I have actually been there! I think it must have been in July, the summer of '87, when I saw the Cardinals (from St Louis?) and the LA team (can't remember their name) play a fun game of baseball there - and as you can probably guess, I had no idea at all what was going on.
That's Zen too - the art of just enjoying, forgetting, to not take things so seriously, to not let stuff leave a lot of impressions.
With a pulsating 5-3 win over South Korea in 10 innings Monday night, the Japanese won their second straight Classic and remained atop the international baseball world. Until the next tournament, in 2013, the Japanese can boast about being superior to the South Koreans and any country where players pick up bats and baseballs.Winning or losing, it really doesn't matter that much, we all know that. But when you win, you get that special sense of not having to care so much. On the other hand, when you lose, you may be more frank about that fact that the winning or losing didn't actually matter that much. Very Zen indeed, either way.
Now the Japanese and the South Koreans will have to wait four years before they potentially meet in another Classic. The wait will undoubtedly feel much longer for the South Koreans. But the Japanese will savor every day between now and then because they can call themselves the best in the world. Suzuki made sure of that.
Congratulations to South Korea for being great too.