2014 MLB Opening Day: Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks Playing In Australia Terrible Idea

Opening Day

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers were given the honor of being one of the two teams selected to play on Opening Day of the 2014 MLB season as announced Tuesday when next year’s schedule was released. The Boys in Blue will face off against the very Arizona Diamondbacks team which is currently trying to chase the Dodgers down for a playoff spot. I believe MLB’s schedule makers have made a horrible mistake.

Deciding to put one of the hottest and most talked about teams in the game against their closest divisional rival from the previous year: good call. Choosing to let these two teams duke it out in the very first game of the year: good call. Deciding to send these two teams over 7,000 miles from their homes and main fan bases to Sydney, Australia in order to play: what were they thinking??

One of the greatest things about MLB is its rich history as an American sport. Depending on when you define the start of the league, baseball has been a professional game in the U.S. for over 100 years and up to 150 years. Baseball is America’s pastime.

Let me clarify that by no means do I think baseball should only be played domestically. I think the expansion of the sport over the years to other countries is both great for the game and fans alike. The international pool of MLB players is a huge addition for the game and has helped elevate it to great heights.

Opening Day is a sacred tradition that should be watched and enjoyed by all baseball fans, but Americans deserve to have this day be celebrated on their own soil. I strongly believe that MLB games being played on foreign soil is a fun and productive way to spread the game across the world, but these kinds of games should be saved for mid-season games. A game of this magnitude should be saved for the people who have loved the game since its inception.

Feel free to comment below whether or not you agree with me and thanks for reading!

Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or follow him on Google.

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  • Eric Becker

    For me, it’s not just the Opening Day aspect, it’s what a series like this does to a team. If you do it mid-season you run into logistical problems in that you probably have to make sure there is an off-day before and and off-day after the series, the fact that the teams are on exact opposite time clocks comes into play….I just don’t like the idea of international play at all. But mid-season still makes more sense than Opening Day, and I think it for this reason: you’re basically starting the season a week early. So during a time when most teams’ pitchers are still stretching out and the team is still trying to nail down its 25 man roster, both the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks are effectively forced to have their starters ready to go 100+ pitches and their 25 man roster set a week before everyone else. Could that play a role in effecting either team in September? Let’s say Kershaw and Greinke start the two games for the Dodgers. We get to the back-end of September. Will having one week fewer to “stretch out” affect their arms mean arm fatigue at the end of the year? Will it increase their risk of injury during the year, especially if both pitch significant post-season innings this year? The only thing that benefits the Dodgers in a sense: these both count as Diamondbacks home games, so this will not affect the home schedule…

    • Isaac Comelli

      Great points, @eric_becker:disqus! That one week less could be missed greatly!

  • Felix Del Rosario

    What is it with Americans and their entitlement to this game? Why is it “ought to be played on American soil”? Isn’t baseball still baseball, wherever it’s played? Will it still not be the American pastime?

    “I’m against international play”. Such a selfish thing to say. Nobody else in the world deserves to watch these teams play, ever, because this is ‘MURICAN!

    I’ll give you the “what if this affects the players on the long run” but I really hope professional players are not deeply affected by pitching a few days earlier.

    Give me a break.

    • Isaac Comelli

      @felixdelrosario:disqus thanks for reading and commenting.
      If my article gave you the impression that I’m completely against baseball being played internationally, I am sorry. That is not what I meant. I was merely protesting the idea of the Opening Day game being played away from American soil. I believe that fans should be given the opportunity of seeing their team play in their own stadium on Opening Day as it is such as special occasion. However, I do think that it is great that MLB is trying to branch the game out to other countries, but there is a time and a place for that.
      Just out of curiosity, where do you live?

      • Felix Del Rosario

        The international play comment was directed at @eric_becker:disqus. My biggest beef with the article was this line: “but Americans deserve to have this day be celebrated on their own soil”.

        I now live in the US, in Texas specifically. I grew up in the Dominican Republic.

        • Isaac Comelli

          I see. In all fairness, that particular sentence did have quite a bit of entitlement behind it haha. But, I still stand behind the general idea.
          That’s cool!