When I first heard the news that MLB was sending two teams to Japan to kick-off the 2012 season I didn’t think much of it. Now that I am stuck in a classroom full of 6th graders taking state mandated tests, I have some time on my hands. Major League Baseball is a monster-sized, multi-national, money making operation. This is fine. As a matter of fact, this is great. I have no problems with this whatsoever. But hosting Opening Day in a different country…that’s some bull!
You can talk all you want about how Japan is a great consumer of all things MLB. You can praise them over and over for what they have done for the game. And don’t get me wrong; they have done positive things for the game of baseball. But they are still number 2 when it comes to fans. I know how much it sucks to be an Astros fan right now. Bud Selig publicly humiliated us. Try being an A’s fan today, though. They couldn’t even watch their team play on opening day. Seriously. Imagine how it must feel to know that you woke up to catch the 3 AM start time, only to see that the Oakland regional network was not carrying the game, the MLB channel would be playing it on tape delay 3 hours later, and then trying MLB.com to see that the game has been blacked out despite any amount of money you have already paid. This is where the beef lies with Opening Day held across the world.
Bud Selig and Major League Baseball will try to tell you different. They will try to explain to you that once every 4 years (Baseball has opened up the season in Japan in the years 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.) baseball needs to make its way over to Japan to help expand the game. They will try to tell you that we still have Opening Night this season- April 4- and Opening Day- April 5. Malarky, I say. That rhetoric is purely diarrhea of the mouth.
If it is so damned important to make sure games get played in different countries, does it really have to be the first game of the season? Certainly not. Bud, you do know it is called America’s Pastime, right?
Give the people what they want. All we want here is this American sport of baseball to hold its Opening Day in America. This is hardly asking too much. Expansion of the game is great. I really do believe that, and so do most of you readers out there. Keeping American fans from not being able to go to the park to watch their team’s opening game is horse manure. Making it so that fans of a team playing their Opening Day game in a different country can’t watch said game is down right blasphemous. And hosting the very first baseball game of the season in a different country is just the worst idea ever. Figure it out, Bud Selig. You’re really starting to wear out the knees in those pants…if you know what I mean.