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When last UmpBump cast its wary eye on Olympic baseball, we were bemused to see that the IOC and something called the “International Baseball Federation” (presumably, the precursor to the United Federation of Planets) had actually changed the rules of the game:

Each team’s at-bat in the 11th inning and beyond will begin with runners on first and second bases. Teams may start the 11th at any point in their batting order under format changes announced Friday…

This transmogrification of the actual rules of baseball was hard enough to swallow. But now we have learned that, in addition to having a communist government with an appalling human rights record and being big ol’ dirty polluters (and worse still, not yet banning UmpBump), the Chinese have failed to instill in their team the proper respect for the sport’s unwritten rules.

In the fifth, top prospect-turned-Olympian Matt LaPorta crashed into catcher Wang Wei, who then, regrettably, had to leave the game. In the sixth, Nate Schierholtz bowled over Wang’s replacement, Yang Yang, while attempting to score on a sac fly. Yang, who was incensed and had to be restrained by teammates from attacking Schierholtz, later went on to score China’s only run of the game on a solo homer and allegedly pimped it in a fashion better suited to a Manny Ramirez walkoff bomb than a 9-1 rout.

China’s manager, who is 1965 Rookie of the Year Jim Lefebvre, argued that Schierholtz’s slide was illegal. However, it was LaPorta who bore the brunt of the Chinese team’s wrath as it was he who was beaned with a pitch in the seventh inning. LaPorta lay on the ground for several minutes before finally leaving the field, and was later diagnosed with a concussion. (By the end of the game, five Americans and two Chinese had been hit by pitches.)

C’mon, China. Your repressive regime and lead-infused toys are bad enough. Do you have to mess up basebrawls too? Everyone knows that in games that count, the runner is honor-bound to try and knock over the catcher. And everyone knows that if a retaliatory pitch is required, it is properly aimed at the ribcage or the backside. If you want the respect of the wider world, you’ll have to do better than this.

15 Responses to “It’s Hard to Translate Unwritten Rules”

  1. Lyndsay says:

    the team is called the Warthogs??? why would anybody want to be a warthog? is this a compliment? I mean, it’s certainly better than the Winston-Salem Mechanical Voiceboxes, or the Winston-Salem Lung Tumors, but still…

    were those scary pig-like things in Willow warthogs? the ones that ran around and ate babies?

  2. Ernie Shore is also about to be given to Wake Forest University. The WFU team has lights on their field, and the Warthogs are building an impressive new stadium in downtown Winston-Salem.

  3. Wes Wilson says:

    It’s a good thing for Wake Forest, too. Their field is EASILY the worst in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I’ve seen high schools in North Carolina with better baseball stadiums.

    As for the Warthogs, they used to be called the Winston-Salem Spirits back when they were the Cubs and Reds farm clubs. I liked that name — back when Frank Castillo played there. Then they had a contest to rename the team, and Warthogs was chosen. The name kind of stinks, but it has character, and I think the mascot is awesome.

  4. Is warthogs better than iron pigs? I can’t make up my mind.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Warthogs is good, but Iron Pigs is more creative (and has more to do with the local economic culture), so Iron Pigs wins.

    Also, the Greensboro Grasshoppers used to be the Greensboro Bats. I think we can all agree their new name is way awesomer, no?

  6. I would like to see it be “War Pigs” and they could use the Black Sabbath song for their theme music.

  7. oh my god don’t even tell me there’s a mascot. that thing will give me nightmares…I’ll start looking around for a midget running around screaming “the bay-bay! the bay-bay!”

  8. bats are kind of cool though, and definitely scarier than grasshoppers. grasshoppers are probably better base-stealers, but bats, man, they fly at you from outta nowhere and they BITE. and they have rabies – so it’s like a team of Milton Bradleys!

  9. A friend of mine used to work for the Greensboro team when it was the Bats. I still have a hat with the old logo. But I still like Grasshoppers better.

  10. Jon Thierbach says:

    China is like france a bunch of softies. We played good clean baseball(sorta)?they tried to kill one of our guys for it.I think we should take it out on the asian players in the states.I say come upstairs on Ichiro(even though not chinese,who can tell the difference anyway)?

  11. Paul Moro says:

    Um, Jon? Hi. Asian here. Ummm… Yeah, I’d prefer it if a) that did not happen, and b) if you didn’t say things like “all asians look alike”. Because I don’t like stating obvious things like this. It’s awkward.

  12. It’s too bad the Chinese players were being managed by an American that happens to be an absolute idiot.

  13. “Thierbach Says:

    August 19th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    China is like france a bunch of softies… racist blather…”

    hey, who the hell taught Furman Bisher how to use the dang interwebs?

  14. Sarah Green says:

    For the purposes of this discussion, it’s actually really easy to tell the Chinese apart from the Japanese, Jon:

    The Japanese are the ones who actually play baseball.

  15. I’d also watch out on calling them “softies”, Jon…there’s over a billion of them, and they could all pommel horse the shit out of you.

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