Today's NY Times looks at baseball in China, which has four teams and is hardly a national pasttime. The Times reports that China has a rich history of baseball, which dates to the early 1900's, but was wiped out by the Cultural Revolution in the 1960's (silly revolutions). The man behind the Chinese Baseball League is Boston-native, Thomas McCarthy, which gives Gothamist doubts about the whole thing. What is McCarthy going to teach them, the art of losing and bitching? With the teams in place, China hopes to improve their chances for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The Chinese National Team didn't make the Athens Games, but have an automatic berth for the Beijing Games.
The league, in its second season, currently has only four teams - Beijing Tigers, Tianjin Lions, Shanghai Eagles and Guangdong Leopards - with two more teams to be added next year. One team will be Rupert Murdoch's and the other will be the Chinese Army's team. Gothamist wonders what their names will be. Fox and the People's Liberation Team are some thoughts that come to mind. There's nothing quite like marketing your own product. If there is any justice in this world, one team will be in Chengdu and will be named the Chengdu Pandas. If that happens, you know Gothamist will be all over that merchandise.
Speaking of pandas, Gothamist has no idea what's going on with the Gothamist Pandas since the West Side Little League seems to have issues with responding to e-mails. We'll try to keep you updated though.