Major League Baseball Has Dropped The Ball, Committed An Error With Opening The Season in Australia

To “play ball” officially points to the land down under, and therefore, Major League Baseball has dropped the ball, a Popfly, face it, they are about to commit an error. And so, this weekend the rites of spring with hopes filled with summer, with that one club standing in the fall, begin in Sydney, Australia.

Perhaps unorthodox, the 2014 MLB season will be commenced between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks with two games at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Then again, maybe not unorthodox after all, considering that cricket has influenced the game we have come to know as the “Great American Pastime.”

This game may be our pastime, but its interest expand beyond our borders and oceans. Besides the Latin and Asian nations that have produced its share of ballplayers over the course of time, only six active players originate from Australia. But that does not mean the game is played in this land far away from American shores. The Australian Baseball League has its game played in the months that we know as winter, although it’s summer when Christmas time comes and when the New Year emerges. It’s a six-team lead that since its formation in 2009 has seen the Perth Heat win three out of four of its championships.

OK, now that the fact of organized baseball in Australia has been established, no better way to break in its fall than with something that symbolizes spring here, the opening of Major League Baseball.

My goodness, how wrong is this? Sure it’s going to be played on a cricket surface, sure it’s going to resemble the cookie-cutter stadiums that housed not only an MLB team but also an NFL team. Why wake-up in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate opening day. Maybe it will be a Saturday morning here, but in Los Angeles and Arizona, does anyone want to get up a 1AM, the time of the first pitch of the first game in those markets? And trust me, I’m aware the second game is later on in the day, 7PM (PST).

What happened to tradition, one day, pretty much every major league team opens the season. That is how it should be, one day, 30 teams, 15 games, all in first place heading into the day.

Hey, while the Diamondbacks and Dodgers welcome-in our spring, every other ball club will be involved in spring training play. How messed up can that be?

Well, perhaps it’s not all that bad. At least Vin Scully is making the trip.

Frank Sprankle

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