Major league baseball kicks off its 2012 campaign Thursday morning, March 28th live from Toyko Japan. Winning the dubious honor of opening up on foreign soil has its pros and cons. For instance, the Athletics and Mariners were treated like rock stars by the Japanese faithful. Fans swarm them, the media adores them, for at least a moment in time, a nations troubles are forgotten. Once again, the great American pastime brings healing and entertainment to it's international friends.
Okay, enough Kumbaya... Time for the cons, or as in this case I refer to them as the facts. There is a 16 hour time difference between the US Pacific Coast and Tokyo, not to mention over a weeks time between games. That's right, after two in Japan, the A's and Mariners will not match up in a regular season game until Friday April 6th. This is an almost impossible start to any season.
Anyone who's anyone knows that baseball is a game of cadence. The best players in the world will tell you repetition and timing is the key. You don't get those things playing 5 games in 2 weeks. Do not be surprised or gasp in awe to find either of these teams get off to an abysmal start. I can not neglect to mention that for the next week the other 28 teams will be playing spring ball. Worthless, meaningless exhibition baseball. MLB teases us with 2 early morning games in Japan, then makes us wait a week for more.
At the end of the day all those cons don't add up to squat. Call me a softy or what you will. If one kid or family affected by last years near extinction of the entire island of Japan, is lucky enough to enjoy a ball game MLB style, well then, it was worth it.
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