Baseball in Shanghai? Another American Sport Exported to China

Written by Richard Robbins

As an athlete (or at least having been an athlete inrepparttar past) and a sports fan, one ofrepparttar 146695 difficult things about finding myself on an extended stay in Shanghai, China (setting up sporting goods manufacturing and other business contacts) isrepparttar 146696 near isolation from most American sports. Although basketball, overrepparttar 146697 past ten or so years, has become popular amongrepparttar 146698 Chinese people, baseball has yet to find its way intorepparttar 146699 sports culture here. While at every school or playground it's likely you'll find some kid aspiring to becomerepparttar 146700 next Yao Ming, mentionrepparttar 146701 term "baseball" to most Chinese, even ones who speak pretty good English, and you'll likely find yourself having to search through a phrasebook to findrepparttar 146702 Chinese phrase for baseball: "bangqiu" (pronounced bong chi-o).

I had heard from some ofrepparttar 146703 expatriates living in Shanghai that there was some sort of baseball team playing inrepparttar 146704 city, so I did some Google searches to see whether I could find information aboutrepparttar 146705 team. I found a few articles onrepparttar 146706 Internet aboutrepparttar 146707 Shanghai Eagles' spring trip torepparttar 146708 U.S. to compete against junior college teams. The game summaries, published byrepparttar 146709 news people at a few ofrepparttar 146710 U.S. schools against whichrepparttar 146711 Eagles played, described a team that had decent pitching, but not much hitting. As can happen with that kind of team chemistry,repparttar 146712 Shanghai club lost all seven of its exhibition games inrepparttar 146713 U.S.

I didn't expect much when I went to watchrepparttar 146714 team play, but I was excited to actually see a baseball field again, having been in China for awhile, and I wanted to experiencerepparttar 146715 baseball environment here. A Chinese friend of mine hunted down information about whererepparttar 146716 Shanghai Eagles played and at what time, so I took my wife out for a Friday afternoon atrepparttar 146717 baseball field.

The old ball game didn't have any peanuts or Cracker-Jacks, or hot dogs, or drinks, or very many spectators. There was a mascot dressed in a chicken suit, and, although we had to search behind some buildings to find it, surprisinglyrepparttar 146718 field looked pretty standard. There was a total of probably fifty people in attendance whenrepparttar 146719 game began. People came and went asrepparttar 146720 game progressed. Something that struck me wasrepparttar 146721 feeling that many there were obviously hard-core baseball fans,repparttar 146722 kind you would expect to find catching foul balls at a MLB park. After quickly being spotted as one ofrepparttar 146723 only white guys in attendance, I was approached by Dan Washburn, a news consultant doing a story for Baseball America. During my conversation with him, he told me that he met some older Chinese men at one ofrepparttar 146724 games he'd attended. He mentioned that when he asked them what brought them out torepparttar 146725 event, they told him they played ball when they were much younger, being forced to leaverepparttar 146726 game behind when Mao Zedong did away withrepparttar 146727 American influence duringrepparttar 146728 Cultural Revolution. As forrepparttar 146729 group of boisterous, college-aged enthusiasts, I was told that a group of them attendedrepparttar 146730 local baseball college, and they were being trained to later become professionals. (In China, many children who express a particular athletic skill are guided down a specialized path devoted largely torepparttar 146731 ultimate fulfillment of their athletic capabilities.) There were some younger T-ball aged kids atrepparttar 146732 game who were introduced to me byrepparttar 146733 uncle of one ofrepparttar 146734 boys. He wanted them to practice English with me and my wife, and laterrepparttar 146735 two boys asked me to play catch with them usingrepparttar 146736 homemade-looking, well-used baseball one ofrepparttar 146737 boys brought torepparttar 146738 game.

The area we used to play catch wasrepparttar 146739 same grass area outsiderepparttar 146740 stadium used byrepparttar 146741 professional teams to warm up their bullpen pitchers. I usedrepparttar 146742 opportunity to get a feel for how well a professional pitcher in China throws. The one I saw was probably throwing inrepparttar 146743 high-70's to low 80's. I watched him throw curve balls with some good movement and change ups as well. His control was comparable to an average to good college pitcher.

The particular game we watched went into extra innings asrepparttar 146744 Eagles dropped a large lead late inrepparttar 146745 game. Being distracted by people attempting to practice English duringrepparttar 146746 tenth and eleventh innings, it wasn't untilrepparttar 146747 twelfth that I noticed a strange twist to baseball asrepparttar 146748 Chinese play it. Probably forrepparttar 146749 sake of endingrepparttar 146750 game as soon as possible, they allow both teams to start extra innings with a runner on second base. One problem I saw with this approach is that it maderepparttar 146751 game boring, asrepparttar 146752 apparent lack of confidence in hitting onrepparttar 146753 part of both teams turnedrepparttar 146754 extra innings into a bunt-fest. Finally Tianjin broke open and went on to win 9-5 in 12 innings.

Duringrepparttar 146755 game, I met some college baseball players who had become interested in baseball when they came to college. They don't attendrepparttar 146756 designated baseball college, so their educational involvement baseball is only extra-curricular. They invited me to play with them, and I have participated in some of their practices and scrimmages.

Improving Your Golf Balance

Written by Jason Griffin

The need for balance for golf just sounds so simple and easy. As a golfer, you know that maintaining proper golf balance is a key to a good golf game. And it's more than just havingrepparttar correct stance.

Optimum golf balance depends on three aspects: your visual perception,repparttar 146641 signals fromrepparttar 146642 inner ear, and signals from your muscles and joints. Sometimes these aspects get out of sync, causing a balance disorder. Most of which can be easily fixed with some simple ideas.

A lack of balance usually occurs when your head position changes, which is a good reason to keep your head still during your swing! How many times have you been told or noticed yourself that you looked up during your swing? Everybody wants to see where their ball is going and when you move your head and throw off your balance,repparttar 146643 ball doesn't usually go anywhere. At least not where you wanted it to go. So, keep your head down and still and let your playing partners watch for your ball.

Migraines can attribute to a balance disorder. So if you have frequent migraines, seek medical attention. These headaches can affect your golf game in ways you may never have thought of. Not to mention being just plain painful and debilitating.

Also, don't go spending a fortune on new golf equipment hoping for better play before you check your medicine cabinet to see if any drugs you're taking affect your balance. The condition "ear poisoning" seriously affects your balance. Ear poisoning is usually caused by side effects of some medications. Always be aware ofrepparttar 146644 possible side effects of any prescription drugs you may be taking. This is just good advice allrepparttar 146645 way around, let alone it having an effect on your golf game.

Diuretics can pose a problem as well. So if you're taking any of these and you start feeling dizzy, get medical help! Sometimesrepparttar 146646 dizziness can literally become a lifelong problem, so don't delay in seeking help.

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