In what is quickly becoming a classic NL West match up and a rather heated rivalry, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks recently announced that they will open the 2014 season against one another.
Unfortunately for fans of the two organizations — and their respective coaches and players — the opener will be played on March 22 in Sydney, Australia, one week before the rest of the league opens its games.
I understand that the major American sports are trying to branch out by taking their products across borders (two NFL teams duke it out in Wembley Stadium in London at least once a year), but to take away our season opener is cruel and highly unusual.
Baseball is America’s pastime after all, and the season opener is hallowed ground for most baseball fans. A game that marks the beginning of summer and a nine-month grind that fans of all teams are surely convinced will end in October glory.
If MLB wants to play games overseas to expand its market, that is fine. If teams want to volunteer to lose revenue — be it ever so small for a team like the Diamondbacks, who have trouble filling Chase Stadium even when they are in first place — that is fine.
Doing it on opening day is where I draw the line.
Is nothing sacred?
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