TOKYO (AP) — Special editions rolled off newspaper printing presses and Japanese fans who'd taken time off work to watch the World Baseball Classic final celebrated with banners emblazoned with "Samurai Japan."I don't know what that's like - being surrounded by a nation who cares, really cares, about baseball. Boston was sort of like this when I visited in 2003, but mostly you really have to seek out other baseball fans instead of talking about a game around the water cooler.
The WBC may not be a big deal in the United States but it's huge in Japan, which prides itself on its baseball pedigree. Needing a 10th inning to beat archrival South Korea 5-3 in Los Angeles late Monday only added to the tension.
Workers crammed into bars and restaurants in Tokyo and other cities to watch the game, which started at 10:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Electronics stores selling big screen TVs were turned into public viewing galleries as the baseball-crazy nation stopped to watch as Japan defended its title.
The game was awesome.