Saturday, November 08, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame: Int'l baseball in Taichung

Took Friday evening off from politics, which are now exceedingly depressing, and visited the beautiful new Intercontinental Stadium (BAD: not international because Taiwan is not a country; GOOD: we've been promoted to continent) in Taichung to watch the La New Bears of Kaohsiung play the Giants from Japan. My son and I met up with my friend Karl there. Immediately we adopted the Taiwan side as our own, since we couldn't pronounce any of the Japanese names, especially after a couple of beers.

The new stadium is clean and beautiful.

Buddhist monks? No, a local baseball team watches in uniform.

Fans mob the Giant dugout.

Before the game, cheerbabes provided eye candy entertainment.

The La New team is introduced.

The first batter.

Ready to steal second.

Fans are psyched. The atmosphere, low key and friendly, was very enjoyable.

Cheerbabes lead the crowd.

Cheerbabes hard at work.

Fried stuff, to go with your....

....Blue Girl beer. MILESTONE: Near as I can tell, this image was the 10,000th photo I have posted to my FLICKR account.

Outside the fence fans attempted to watch the game for free.

Great luck! I caught the game's key play -- with men on second and third, the batter hits a deep single to center to bring in two runs, and gets to second when the throw back from center field is screwed up. We take a 6-1 lead.

The cameraman captures the action.

Cheer babes taking break.

Tense action in the 8th, as the Giants score another run to shave our lead to 6-2.

Bottom of the 9th: is the bottom going to fall out of our game? Our reliever is put in and promptly loads the bases: walk, beans a batter, single. The tying run is at bat! New pitcher comes in: bases loaded, no outs. Amazingly, they shut down the Giants, allowing only a single run, to pull out a 6-3 win. Huzzah!

Baseball in Taiwan is good clean fun, and a huge bargain at $220 for infield seating. If you haven't enjoyed a baseball game here yet, put it on your calendar. There are more games this weekend in Kaohsiung (not Taichung!) on Saturday.


Tommy said...

I think the baseball should be the sideshow for the cheerbabes, not the reverse.

Anonymous said...

The stadium is called "Intercontinental" because it was built to host the 2006 Intercontinental Cup tournament.

I'm curious which Yomiuri Giants team La New was up against! At the moment, the Giants are playing the Saitama Seibu Lions in the Japan Series. Yomiuri is up 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, with Game 6 scheduled for today in Tokyo Dome. I suspect the Bears were playing the Giants' minor league team last night.

Cheerbabes! Yowza!

Anonymous said...

A fine photo to have as your 10,000th! Congratulations Michael!

Anonymous said...

I read in the Taipei Times today the report on the game you saw. It seems La New's first three runs came off of two Taiwanese pitchers (Lin Yi-hao and Lee Yu-hung), who play for Yomiuri's farm team in Japan.

Michael Turton said...

Cool! It was the Yomiuri farm team we played, then. They said 'reserves' in the TT but I didn't udnerstand that in a baseball context.


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks "La New" is such a weird name?

Anonymous said...

BTW, the Giants lost Games 6 and 7 of the Japan Series to the Seibu Lions. Now Seibu, the President Lions from Taiwan, the South Korean league champ (I think it's the SK Wyverns) and an all-star team from China will play in a tournament called the Konami Cup, starting this week in Tokyo. It's a good chance for President to avenge Taiwan's loss to the Chinese at the Beijing Olympics (let's not even consider the possibility of another defeat).