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Long Home Run: Red Sox-A's To Open '08 Season In Japan
Published November 15, 2007
|Birth Of Second Child Could Sideline
Matsuzaka For Games In Japan
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: In Boston, Michael Silverman writes the trip, "first brought up by Japanese sponsors in late spring, never caught the imagination of Red Sox players, who were concerned primarily with the toll trans-Pacific flights can take on a body." However, there was "never enough of a groundswell of discontent to derail the plan," and MLB took steps "to make the trip less disruptive" than the '04 Yankees-D'Rays series. Red Sox SS Alex Cora said, "We have to be good ambassadors of the game." Lucchino added, "There was a serious effort to adjust the schedule to allow for a more comfortable re-entry" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/15). The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, on whether playing the season opener in Japan will hurt the Red Sox: “I think it can. The team will probably have to leave around March 19-20. To me, that’s a peak time. … You have to play competitive games almost a week before you normally do." Cafardo added, "People look forward to going to spring training, and now you’re cutting off a couple of weeks. … People probably already have their vacations, they’re already booked” ("The Globe 10.0," NESN, 11/14). A's GM Billy Beane said the trip "is great for baseball, and what's great for baseball is great for the A's. There aren't reasons not to pursue an opportunity like this. They're giving us more than ample time to prepare, before and after the trip. The game is going global. Any attempt to restrict that is shortsighted" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/15).