Shinnosuke Abe, depicted in the tradition Japanese style of “extremely weird.”
Final Score: Japan 10, Netherlands 6
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Japan’s revocation of exclusive trading rights with the Dutch in 1858
Once upon a time, there was a period of several centuries when the only white people in the world that Japan was okay with were Dutch people. Japan kicked out all other Western suitors for their trade, but the Dutch East India Company was invited in and told to make themselves comfortable. They certainly did, enjoying exclusive Japanese hospitality for about two and a half centuries.
But Japan eventually got bored with its trade monogamy, and fell victim to the seductive wiles of voluptuous young Americans like Commodore Matthew Perry. The Convention of Kanagawa affirmed Japan’s infidelity, leaving the Dutch well and truly cuckolded. The divorce didn’t go well for the Netherlands, as Japan ended up taking all their stuff and enslaving them.
Now, Japan is just being a dick to their ex for the fun of it. They’ve beaten the Dutch twice in this WBC, by a combined score of 26-10. Why must Japan be so cruel? The Dutch were a perfectly good partner in the 17th-19th centuries. They don’t deserve this.
I can only hope that if Japan ends up playing the Netherlands in the finals, they will show some mercy out of remembrance for the love the two nations once shared.