Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

A warm, fuzzy feeling and a short, sharp shock


USA/The past week in baseball gave some fans a warm glow about their relationship with the game, and sent shivers down the spines of others worried about unruly fan behavior and the aggressive reaction to it.

The passing of 92-year-old Ernie Harwell, who broadcast Detroit Tigers games for 42 years, brought an outpouring of affection from fans, while the tasering of a teenager who disrupted a Phillies game with a frolic in the outfield raised disturbing questions about ballpark security.

Footage of the Philadelphia policeman firing the electrical charge to drop the trespasser to the ground seemed to be everywhere you looked on television and the Internet.

It raised a national debate about security for the players from the fans, and for the fans from overzealous officers.

Japan: key to a truly global World Series?


The story goes that shortly after baseball¬†great Babe Ruth had settled into the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo while touring Japan in 1934, there was a knock on the door. He opened it to see a Japanese man in a kimono. ”Sign baseball,” the man said.

As soon as the Babe autographed that baseball, the man pulled another out of his kimono. Then another. And another. And another.

Its baseball star fallen, Taiwan scopes alternatives


rtr26txvA chain of injuries suffered by New York Yankees star Wang Chien-ming is pushing a pair of more obscure Taiwan-born U.S. Major League Baseball pitchers into the limelight as dejected fans grudgingly seek alternatives.

Fans in baseball-crazy Taiwan, though far from giving up on Wang, say they are looking harder at Ni Fu-te and Kuo Hong-chih. But unlike Wang, a starting pitcher responsible for winning games, the other two are relief pitchers and neither is quite a superhero.

from Shop Talk:

Detroit Tigers bring Xmas in July

CUBA USA BOYIt's the story that keeps on giving as more and more organizations hold "Christmas in July"-type events in the final nine days before the timeline becomes unusable.

Today's entry comes from the Detroit Tigers, who announced that they will be celebrating the unseasonal holiday in style this Thursday, transforming Comerica Park into a winter wonderland complete with live holiday music, toys soldiers, Christmas trees and yes, the man himself, Santa Claus, will be there.  He'll even be bringing some of his elves.