Kuo, Hu Having Fun In Asian Games

To us the Mideast seems like a part of the world in which the people are mostly intent on murdering those who disagree with them. Hardly the place for fun and games yet in one corner that's what's going on right now.

That would be Qatar, a small sheikdom which sticks like a thumb out from the Arabian peninsula into the Persian Gulf.. Awash in money from oil and gas, it has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and has transformed itself into something of a playground for the region. Now, for three weeks it's serving as the host nation for the Asian Games.

The money has allowed them to build first-class facilities for the games which include baseball where a couple of young Dodgers seem to be enjoying themselves for lefthander Hong-Chih Kuo and shortstop Chin-lung Hu are part of the team from Taiwan which is oficially called Taipei in these proceedings.

The team is off to a quick start and both Dodgers are a good part of the reason. Kuo was handed the opening assignment against a strong Korean team (which in the spirit of brotherhood that is suposed to exist here represents both parts of that divided nation). He was dominent in the five innings he worked, scattering six hits, striking out six, walking only one while allowing only a single run.

Hu, who is the leadoff man for his team, collected two hits and Taipei went on to win 4-2.

The next time out, they took on Thailand and I'll bet you didn't know they played baseball in that country. Obviously not all that well for Taipei crushed them 16-0. Hu was 1-3 in this game, driving in two runs.

Kuo was rested, probably for the game against Japan, which has to be the tournament favorite

In all, 45 countries have athletes entered in the games although only six field baseball squads with China and the Phillipines the others competing in the sport. Even Iraq has entered competition in several arenas. It's nice to report that grenade tossing is not one of the events.

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