I was watching the Maui Invitational game between Indiana and Notre Dame (your 2009 national champion) when something curious appeared on the ESPN ticker: in baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed a pair of Indian-born men, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, to free agent contracts. They were the top finishers in an Indian reality TV show designed to find raw pitching talent.
Read about it here. Just another example of how Indian culture is slowly taking over the world. Why not baseball? I must admit I'm a little surprised that Pittsburgh took the leap, and not Cleveland.
But this story is exciting for so many other reasons. Consider...
1. They're learning English, in part, from watching Baseball Tonight. So when they hear the phrase "hot stove," they won't be thinking about kitchen safety. I think it's cool. I'd much rather hear my brethren adopt the speech cadences of Peter Gammons than, say, Dick Vitale.
2. My mind races with the cinematic possibilities. Will Lagaan be repurposed as a scouting video? Will Bollywood get wise and make their own versions of Field of Dreams or The Sandlot? Better yet, does this story give director Danny Boyle material for a new cultural trilogy?
3. Finally, there's a reality TV show that positively contributes to society. It's about time. Until now, only Rock of Love embraced that lofty standard of quality. And while I still have so much to learn from the great Bret Michaels, I know he can't be everywhere.