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Shocked! I'm shocked to find out that Opening Day is in Japan
2008-03-24 21:37
by Bob Timmermann

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution apparently has just realized that baseball's Opening Day is in Japan. My God! Wasn't there a memo about this?

Good morning. You just missed Opening Day.

The Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics played the first game of the major league season Tuesday morning (normal baseball earth time) in Tokyo. I imagine Japan will reciprocate this breach of tradition by opening the sumo season at Fenway Park.

“You’re taking something many consider like a national folk festival and moving it overseas,” said Roger Kahn, baseball purist and author of several books, including the classic, “The Boys of Summer.”

“They just dumped it.”

Oooh, you got Roger Kahn to get all upset! That's so hard to do! Don't tell Kahn that the Dodgers moved out of Brooklyn either.

The first pitch for A’s fans was scheduled for 3:05 a.m. Pacific time. Advantages?

“There are a lot of bars that’ll still be open in Oakland,” Kahn said. “Jack London used to drink there all the time.”

I don't know where Roger Kahn drinks in Oakland, but California law prohibits the sale of alcohol between 2 and 6 am. Perhaps people in Oakland will just be drinking shots in the privacy of their own home at 3 am. Sounds a lot like something Jack London would have done.

Look, it's not great that I'm not going to see the first two games of the major league season. But you know what? I'll live with it. I won't get all pissed off about it like idiots such as Jeff Schultz and Roger Freakin' Kahn.

You know what pisses me off? Roger Kahn! And dopes like Jeff Schultz.


The Braves open Sunday night in Washington, a made-for-ESPN event in the Nationals’ new stadium. They return home after one game. As unconventional as that is, at least they’re in the same time zone. And continent.

The fact that for many years the major league season would open with a game in Washington is apparently lost on Schultz. You know they would do things like get the President to throw out the first pitch. Stuff like that. But instead Schultz goes on and on about Cincinnati. Does anyone really miss seeing Opening Day in Cincinnati?


And there was even one year when the first game of the year was in ... MEXICO!


2008-03-24 21:56:26
1.   Greg Brock
Had Frank Robinson weighed in on this, I believe Bob would have gone supernova.

I heart Angry Timmermann.

2008-03-24 22:18:59
2.   kngoworld
This could be the most emotion I have ever seen/read Mr. Timmermann convey. I love it!
2008-03-24 22:32:41
3.   underdog
I was waiting for Bob to kick in with: We tried it once your way, Kahn, are you game for a rematch? Kahn, I'm laughing at the "superior intellect."

But I guess when you hit 80 you can rant about opening day decorum, real or imagined.

2008-03-24 22:54:28
4.   Greg Brock
3 You are a giant nerd. And I laughed.

You're gonna have to come down here, Kahn...You hear me?

2008-03-24 23:50:09
5.   Yu-Hsing Chen
hey i thought i was browsing , did i accidently type ? :P
2008-03-25 00:01:04
6.   Bob Timmermann
Firejoemorgan is funnier.

By a wide margin.

2008-03-25 01:18:42
7.   Andrew Shimmin
Would nobody have come if they'd tried playing the game during the day time? I think it's great that the games get played out of the country, but it does suck that it's opening day, and I'm going to sleep through it.
2008-03-25 05:38:58
8.   bhsportsguy
4 "From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."
2008-03-25 07:11:43
9.   StolenMonkey86
6 - The out of character nature of this post makes it funnier, actually. And no rule 1 violations.
2008-03-25 07:16:00
10.   Bluebleeder87
there is a saying were I come from "se nos durmio el gallo"
2008-03-25 07:50:08
11.   Vishal
there's no rule 1 on the griddle... right?
2008-03-25 08:07:36
12.   Bluebleeder87

Were the hell have been??

2008-03-25 08:13:29
13.   Bob Timmermann
I would still prefer that this not turn into "The Big Lebowski."
2008-03-25 08:13:45
14.   bobsbrother
I'm listening to a local radio sports talk show host where one of the hosts just said:

"The sport's not in great health here and we're playing games in Japan?"

"Isn't their league doing well? Some people say their league is better than ours."

2008-03-25 08:43:41
15.   Bob Timmermann
I guess the $6 billion in revenue isn't great health?

And the A's and Red Sox made two of the better teams in Japan look like AAA outfits.

2008-03-25 08:50:48
16.   ToyCannon
I agree with Schultz, this is crazy and another typical Bud Selig dufus move. Bob getting angry at people who are right is fun to read. We have moved opening day from Monday to Sunday night and now to Tuesday where no one but those living in Oakland or Boston got to watch. Might as well have played on the Moon. Now Boston gets to come back to LA and play pretend games again. What a farce. Does Bud care that he is screwing up roto leagues all over the world. Brandon Moss just saw his value explode from nothing to something.

JD Drew had General Soreness after hitting a grand slam in an earlier contest. Trotting around the bases must have tweaked his back.

2008-03-25 09:39:25
17.   Indiana Jon
I miss opening day in Cincinnati. Many people in my area of the country do. I can remember a time when missing school to go to opening day was an excused absence and required no note from your parents.
2008-03-25 09:41:34
18.   yankee23
13 You want a toe? I can get you a toe. Believe me dude, there are ways. I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon--with nail polish.
2008-03-25 09:54:21
19.   rbj
Wasn't it like two years ago when the Yankees and Mariners opened the season in Japan?

And one season, the old Montreal team played a number of games in Puerto Rico!!!

It is almost as if MLB wants to grow the game globally (like the NFL playing a regular season game in freaking London) and is playing games in countries where a lot of players come from!

I do miss Opening Day in Cincinnati. Though I would make an exception for playing halfway around the world.

2008-03-25 10:04:48
20.   ToyCannon
Opening day was big in Ohio. I can remember when 60,000 plus fans would show up for a Cleveland opener and then it would fall off 80-90% for the next game.
2008-03-25 10:05:35
21.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Okay. Very funny. Now untie Bob and let him back at the keyboard...
2008-03-25 10:20:06
22.   Bob Timmermann
I wouldn't be as angry if the article weren't so xenophobic and poorly thought out.

Opening day is a local event for one team. It is not a national event. How many of those Cincinnati home openers did you ever see televised?

2008-03-25 11:05:36
23.   Bluebleeder87
nice to see you back Vishal, seriously.
2008-03-25 11:24:22
24.   Linkmeister
From the CBS Sportsline recap:

"A crowd of 44,628, including fans from Boston, cheered at the Tokyo Dome, which hosted baseball's opener for the third time in nine years"

Take that, Roger Kahn.

2008-03-25 11:30:46
25.   Bob Timmermann
Interesting that they actually reported the true capacity of the Tokyo Dome instead of saying that there were "55,000" that they usually do. Even though there aren't 55,000 seats and there is really no place to stand where you can see the game.
2008-03-25 12:22:15
26.   ToyCannon
Beginning in the 90's I thought I saw them all the time on ESPN but I could be wrong.

I don't really have a problem with opening day starting somewhere else. I have a problem with opening day starting 6 days before the rest of the league, and then playing practice baseball after they played opening day. It really sounds like something that would happen in bizarro world.

2008-03-25 14:33:42
27.   bobsbrother
Opening Day was really a local holiday until ESPN got in the game and started showing as many games as it could to kick off the season. If you're going to start the season in Asia, you really don't have much choice but to do it a few days early, unless you want a jet-lagged team stumbling off a plane and getting swept in its first series back in the States.
2008-03-25 15:06:21
28.   Bob Timmermann
Don't disagree with Roger Kahn! He knows better.
2008-03-25 17:11:53
29.   joejoejoe
2008-03-25 18:11:48
30.   El Lay Dave
If I didn't get 3 until after I read 4 , does that make me a smaller-than-giant geek?

I agree with Bob in 22 . I never watched a Cincinnati home opener. Also, doesn't each team that opens on the road also have an Opening Day celebration for their first home game? There isn't one Opening Day, there are 30, and this year 31, with the Japan games opening day for the season and the Sox and A's still having Opening Days in their own ballparks.

The time is awful for us left-coasters, but New Englanders could have Breakfast with the Red Sox and still get to work no later than if they a morning doctors appointment.

I agree with 26 that the subsequent exhibition games are weird. Give the teams a few days off and let them open the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever it's called) on the weekend.

2008-03-25 19:04:29
31.   bobsbrother
But in-season exhibition games are another baseball tradition that is being phased out. Weren't we bemoaning the demise of the Hall of Fame Game? Certainly the in-season exhibition has a history that goes back decades. Why spit on that one?
2008-03-25 21:12:17
32.   underdog
4 I'm only a half-size nerd; while I remembered the gist of that Trek dialogue, I did have to look it up to get it right. Just so you know. I don't go to conventions with the pointy ears and all. And by Grabthar's hammer, I hope I never do!
2008-03-25 21:30:27
33.   Greg Brock
By Grabthar's hammer...What a savings.

Greatest line ever.

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