Baseball Season Starts In Japan With Robots In Stands

Bizarre images show cardboard cutouts, mannequins and drum-playing robots filling the stands at Taiwan’s Taoyuan Baseball Stadium instead of real fans when the Chinese Professional Baseball League restarted its season Sunday after a month-long coronavirus lockout. The faux-fans were dolled up in real hats and shirts of the home team the Rakuten Monkeys, some pointing toward the field and others holding signs over their heads — via zip ties around their plastic wrists. The stunt was a concession to social-distancing requirements that remain in place, even with play resuming. “We are the first pro-baseball league to start playing in the world” during the coronavirus pandemic, the league said. “We welcome everyone to follow the new 2020 season and to relax from their tense lives because of the outbreak.” The league did allow cheerleaders, bringing in real humans to root for their teams from the sidelines.

 

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