A grave insult is being perpetrated.
Over the weekend, the Central Leagues’ DeNA BayStars and Hanshin Tigers both revealed new alternate uniforms for the 2023 season. Although they’re ugly in my eyes, teams trying to do things differently to make money is part of baseball, and not the insult referred to above.
That is being perpetrated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which on Friday gave final approval to a plan to redevelop Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien neighborhood, a project that will demolish Jingu Stadium and Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground and replace them with newer facilities.
While not yet at liberty to write at length about this nefarious plot, the idea that Tokyo will be better off without two of Japan’s most historic sports venues is so ludicrous it hurts.
History is something individuals value. Organizations or companies in possession of history employ it as part of their culture and utilize it in their branding, but its loss doesn’t figure in the balance sheets of companies in need of growth to pay off loans, or debt-ridden governments.
In 2019, Tokyo leaked a plan to build new stadiums in the place of Jingu and Chichibu, construction that would be paid for by the builders being allowed to construct new glass and steel monoliths in the neighborhood.
To be fair, the idea, which was explained in terms of an overall plan to renew Tokyo in line with the recent Olympics, must have seemed like a good idea to Gov. Yuriko Koike. Tokyo could get two new stadiums and more business infrastructure to tax for the price of nothing.
What’s more the plan came at a time when Tokyo was expected to be saddled with a huge amount of debt over the Olympics so that Japan’s sports grifters could fill their pockets at the taxpayers’ expense.
Yet, while the sports venues’ history doesn’t pay taxes, it is something that once destroyed can never come back. Scientists have a plan to bring back wooly mammoths and it is conceivable that neanderthals could once more walk the earth, but ballparks have no DNA that can be used to fertilize an egg and implant it in a living host.
Once they are gone, they are gone.