The Nippon Professional Baseball League opened its season today, two weeks after the original start date was canceled by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.Fans and players hope the return of baseball will lift the spirits of the troubled nation and provide people with some sense of normalcy. But not everyone thinks the country is ready, physically or emotionally, for the games to start.
After all, 400,000 people are still homeless, and many homes that are still standing don’t even have electricity to watch the games. The Rakuten Eagles, who are based in Sendai, can’t use their own stadium due to the damage. Other teams must hold their games during the day to avoid the rolling blackout and electricity shortages.
And some of the hallmarks of attending a baseball game in Japan — crazy music, dancing girls in mini-skirts, and neon lights — all seem a little out of place at the moment.
Still, it does provide jobs and a distraction for a lot of people in need of one. There will never be a perfect time to “get back to normal,” so today is probably as good as any.