November 1, 2007
While the World Series may be over in the United States that doesn’t mean that baseball has stopped around the rest of the world. Today was game 5 of the Japan Series which is the equivalent of the World Series there. The Nippon Ham Fighters are facing off against the Chunichi Dragons. At first I wondered what exactly a Ham Fighter was. I envisioned it being some kind of attack pig with Samurai armor; kind of like a swine Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It turns out that the team is not the Ham Fighters but rather Nippon Ham is the sponsor. In Japan a company can sponsor a team and have their name become part of the team name. I see this as the next logical step after stadium naming rights. Last season the Fighters won the Japan Series for the first time in 44 years which I guess is the equivalent of the Cleveland Indians here. The Dragons who made it to the finals last year too hope to break their 0-6 mark in the finals dating back 53 years. The last time the Dragons were the Japan champions was 1954. This sounds like quite a heated rivalry. The Fighters took the first game of the series and the Dragons took the next three setting up game 5 which would be do or die for the Fighters.