Major League Baseball’s regular season starts tomorrow morning with a highly irregular game. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will take the field in Tokyo for a game that has real implications in the standings that will eventually decide who gets the opportunity to play postseason baseball.
Meanwhile, in Arizona and Florida, the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues will go about their regular business of giving baseball fans misleading data on which to produce faulty opinions. Making matters even more confounding is that at the conclusion of their two game series in Japan, Oakland and Seattle will return to the United States of America to engage in three exhibition games before resuming their regular season schedule as every other team begins theirs.
I’m not normally one to side with tradition over reason, but I’m also someone who finds pleasure in the organization of their refrigerator after buying groceries. Without much in the way of investigation, I’ll trust that MLB has its reasons for scheduling real regular season games a week before Opening Day, but it doesn’t fit the urging of my mind to put everything into neat little compartments and label one official Opening Day as the one day to unite as all. One day in which all the teams in baseball begin their seasons.
I imagine my conflicting feelings are similar to what fans of college football went through when bowl games stopped being played only in December and early January, and instead basically became scheduled year round.
Nonetheless, I’m going to wake up early tomorrow morning, take a cab downtown (because the 6:10 AM ET start time means public transit won’t be easily attainable), enter a most likely empty office building and sit in almost romantic solitude, watching a baseball game that Major League Baseball has told the people of Japan is meaningful.
Despite the ridiculousness of referring to any game played between the A’s and Mariners as meaningful, tomorrow morning’s match up will mark the beginning of the baseball season, even if it truly doesn’t represent what I’ve come to know and love as Opening Day.
I’m hesitantly eager for that, if not for any other reason, than I’m looking forward to this season, and I’m looking forward the numbers based conversations with friends that alienate others, the charmingly over priced beer at the stadium and of course, complaining about off field moves that my team makes.
While it’s not the total immersion with which I might be more comfortable, tomorrow’s game is the beginning of something that I’ve looked forward to for a long time. Pretty much since this happened:
In closing, my feelings about tomorrow are quite similar to how I feel about so many elements of baseball in general, I don’t like it, but I can’t wait for it to happen.