Baseball season has finally started but not really. On Wednesday and Thursday the first two games of the season took place in Tokyo, Japan, between the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners. Seattle took the first game in extra innings with a final score of 3-1, Ichiro was the star of that game in his home country going 4 for 5 with an RBI. The A’s won the second game 4-1 with their high paid Cuban acquisition Yoenis Cespedes who homered after having just a one hit game with two strike outs in the first game. Now the two teams head back to the US to play…exhibition games!
I find it pretty ridicuous that MLB takes the first official games of the season to Japan, which they have done for the last few years. Its even more ridiculous that the two teams that started the season still have to play games that don’t count. I agree its a nice thing to bring Ichiro back to his home country where they broadcast every game he plays in during the season, but its hardly a reason to make such a decision to bring regular season games there. One could argue that its to expand the game’s reach around the world, but they already have baseball and very competitive leagues. There is also the situation of the smaller ballpark which inflates stats for only two games. Then reality will set back in, here in the U.S., when they play in roomier parks. I know it won’t stop anytime soon but I wish it would.
The real opening day takes place on Thursday when all of the teams start a new and aim for the World Series. The first set of games will start at 1pm eastern time and go through the night. I like the fact that the opening day in the U.S. is starting on a Thursday and carrying on into the weekend. In years past the season started in the middle of the week and it took some of the special feel away. The ballparks will be packed and ready to rock.
This season holds a lot of questions. With a new incredible ballpark in Miami where they have stocked up the team with high paid free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and new manager Ozzie Guillen. Over in L.A. you have the power house Albert Pujols who will look to capture another World Series title and cement his legacy as one of the best players baseball has ever seen. Detroit picked up Prince Fielder and brought him back to the city where his father Cecil played for years. He will undoubtedly make them strong contenders for the World Series title. There are many other story lines, but those are by far the main one to follow as the season begins.
Baseball is still America’s sport. No matter how popular the game of football becomes in the U.S., baseball will always hold a place in the history of this great country. With such a rich history it is hard to not get excited and interested in the beginning of every season. For some fans, depending on how your team does, by July it can be hard to stay interested. It’s going to be a great season and I can’t wait for it to start on Thursday. Anything can happen when the season starts and that’s what I love about baseball.