Friday, March 11, 2011

The Aftermath in Japan

The world woke up this morning to devastating news from Japan: the country is reeling after facing an earthquake and a tsunami.  The initial earthquake, though offshore, was the largest in Japan’s history registering a magnitude of 8.9 on the Richter scale.  Many cities along the Japanese coastline, including Tokyo, felt the earthquake.  The earthquake triggered many aftershocks, with some registering a magnitude of more than 6.0 on the Richter scale.  The aftershocks were the least of their worries, considering the earthquake triggered a tsunami.  The tsunami was reportedly a 23 foot wave of water when it made its way ashore. 
In addition to having worldwide impact, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan directly impacts the world of sports as well.  Ryo Ishikawa, a native of Japan, is one stroke behind leader Hunter Mahan at this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in Florida.  Ishikawa, only 19 years old, was thankfully able to contact his parents through e-mail but does admit the catastrophe will be a big distraction. 
There are currently a dozen Japanese born players in Major League Baseball.  Takashi Saito of the Milwaukee Brewers announced that he will take time away from his preparation for the upcoming season to be with family in Japan.  There are also reports that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is worried about his family and may take some time off, similar to Saito.  It will be interesting to see what other Japanese born players, most notably Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui, do in wake of this national disaster.
Remember that the tragedy in Japan affects the world as a whole along with the world of sports.  Everybody should keep not only the athletes but all of the people of Japan in their prayers in the near future.
-Written by Kevin Rossi

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