It was announced Wednesday that it's not enough that the Oakland A's have to open their home season in Japan against the world champion Boston Red Sox, but now the Athletics have to change the time of their home closer against the Beantowners as well. Just what the $200 million Sawx need, a little consideration.
Rather than rail against the lost opportunity for big attendance, high TV ratings and making the Bosox get only a full day and a half to recover from jet lag, the A's or Major League Baseball shifted the game (without consulting Oakland fans) to allow the poor champs a chance to get away from Oakland at the dinner hour rather than tough it out on their private plane on a red-eye. When you visit the A's official mouthpiece oaklandathletics.com, the spin is enough to make Stomper the elephant dizzy. Instead of saying, "Hey, thanks MLB for screwing us over once again" the site sucks up by sighing, What a great opportunity to bask in the rays of God's natural light instead of subjecting our beloved fans to having to put on our parkas for a subzero night.'
The season hasn't even started and we're already behind.
How exactly does opening the season in the Far East against the Eastern division champs count as an Oakland home game? Is the fact that two of the Red Sox pitchers hail from Japan likely to influence the crowd just a little? Unless there's unexplored Tokyo love for Travis Buck, it seems the "home" crowd is going to be roaring support for the visitors for our first two games of 2008.
Apparently the baseball world stops spinning if there isn't a Red Sox or Yankee story line to follow, so if letting Boston play a few more games in front of friendly crowds greases the skids to get Big Papi, Manny and the fun bunch back in the post-season who gets hurt?
Other than Oakland fans who might have liked getting tickets to real opening day and now can't, because y'know their boss won't give them the day off to travel to Japan. Or maybe the ones who spent money expecting to enjoy April 2nd's night game only to find it a late April fool's joke?
The best revenge of course, will be to beat Boston and send them home on a losing streak. But to make sure that won't occur we await major league baseball's next idea to unbalance the playing field, maybe telling the A's that they won't be allowed to use bats or wear gloves for the four game series.— Kibby Kleiman