Opening Day Wake Up Call

So I was on the treadmill this morning. Last week, front buttons popped off two pairs of pants on consecutive days and rolled across the office restroom. Have you ever been one cinnamon roll away from the heaviest weight of your life?

Anyway, I digress. It was 5:30 a.m. and on the TV screen in front of me, tuned to ESPN2, was the first baseball game of the 2008 season. I joined the action in the fourth inning with Oakland leading 2-0. Boston came back to win 6-5 in 10 innings, in case you’re interested. The sun also rose at some point.

Major League baseball must not think you’re interested. That’s why the first game of the season was played in Japan at 5 a.m. CDT. I understand baseball is a world game and the MLB is an international league filled with a veritable UN of stars. But opening day should be about beer and hot dogs, not coffee and bagels.

The traditionalist in me would have complained, had he been awake.

Perhaps it’s a fitting way to start a feel-good season. On Monday, my beloved team, the Minnesota Twins, overpaid to keep closer Joe Nathan. It’s the capstone move in an off-season that saw the stingy Twins lose Torii Hunter and trade Johan Santana, the league’s finest pitcher, for a quartet of no-names and a jelly of the month club membership. I exaggerate. They got no jelly. They may also be toast in a division loaded with talented teams. Even the Royals look formidable.

But win or lose, I’ll still be listening to their foibles and triumphs on my back deck. And thanks to the Sirius-XM satellite radio merger, I’ll probably be paying more for the privilege. There’s nothing more American than baseball on the radio, and massive unfeeling communications monopolies.

The government says there will be no harm for consumers. It must be true.

Perhaps I’m just cranky because I was up so early, or because my pants are tied on with twine. I should just be glad that spring is here and baseball is back.

I should also go get a cinnamon roll. I’m starved.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Opening Day Wake Up Call

  1. Todd,

    I think Major League Baseball was caught in a tough spot here. Obviously, baseball is huge in Japan, so they faced an incredible opportunity to expand the influence of the game and make some money.

    Given that opportunity, of course they’re going to take it, but when? During the season was absolutely not an option. Can you imagine an AL team’s travel schedule around it? Maybe 3 games in Seattle, off day and trans-Pacific flight, 2 games in Japan, off day and trans-Pacific flight, 3 games in Anaheim? No one would survive.

    And imagine the uproar if the season ended in a close pennant race, with the decisive game being played at 5 AM? No chance.

    So baseball did what they could, not because America doesn’t care, but because Japan cares, and their money spends just as well. Some days, it spends better. It’s been a rough run for the dollar.

  2. That post was simply brilliant. That one needs to go into your next book.

  3. You’re writing another book? Sweet.

  4. Dorman

    I’m still working on my first book. It’s a history of procrastination. Ba-dum-bum.

    I’m here all week. Try the veal.

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