SBD/Issue 46/Leagues & Governing Bodies

D'Backs, Giants Will Not Open '11 MLB Season With Games In Taiwan

D'Backs Exec Says Player Compensation
Was Not A Factor In Nixing Taiwan Games

The D'Backs and Giants "will not be opening the 2011 regular season in Taiwan after all," according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. The two teams had been pegged to play "two exhibition games plus two regular-season games in Taiwan in late March." They then "would have returned to Arizona to finish up Spring Training before resuming the regular season." As part of the deal, the D'Backs "would have had to give up a pair of home dates against the Giants, which they had indicated they were willing to do" (MLB.com, 11/12). D'Backs VP/Communications Shaun Rachau: "We're getting pretty late in the game and a deal couldn't be put together at this time." Rachau added that player compensation "wasn't a factor." A D'Backs player near the beginning of the World Series said that the Giants' postseason run "might have thrown a wrench in the plans." In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro reported the D'Backs saw the trip "as an opportunity to increase their international visibility, something that could make it easier to attract foreign-born players" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/13). In S.F., John Shea reported Giants players "were hesitant from the start -- about the travel, about the compensation, about the possibility it would affect the momentum heading into the season -- and the prolonged postseason raised concerns." Those concerns "were relayed to the players' union," but Giants President & COO Larry Baer said that "in the end, it was the Giants' front office that made the call." Baer added that the team "remains open to international travel, in Taiwan or elsewhere, to 'help baseball grow globally'" (SFGATE.com, 11/12).

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