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Little League Coaches' World War II-Themed Speeches Leave Players Confused, Frightened

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Little League Coaches' World War II-Themed Speeches Leave Players Confused, Frightened

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—Though coaches for both the United States and Japanese Little League teams attempted to inspire their young squads before Sunday's championship game by evoking the memories of those who fought and died for their respective countries in World War II, the coaches' descriptive tales of conflict, suffering, and mass death left players almost incapable of taking the field. "Yeah, Japan carried out a sneak attack on an American territory and killed 2,000 people, but…So? Why is that important now? Why should I keep suicidal kamikaze aircraft in mind during the game?" said U.S. pitcher Kendall Scott, visibly shaken by coach Mickey Lay's speech. "And yes, then we dropped an atom bomb on 210,000 Japanese men, women, and children, but I—I just don't…I mean, why even bring that up?" Players from the Japanese team were equally traumatized when manager Youichi Kubo explained that many in his family perished in the atomic flames of Hiroshima, and that it was almost certainly their dying wish for him to win a Little League World Series.

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