SBD/Weekend Rap

MLB In Sydney Deemed A Success With Near Sellouts, Big Atmosphere

The D-Backs-Dodgers MLB Opening Series in Australia "felt like a success" from MLB's perspective, "at least based on the size of the crowds for both games -- near sellouts -- and the atmosphere at Sydney Cricket Ground" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/23). Saturday's game was played "in front of 38,266 fans who were often loud but clearly more interested in foul balls than home runs." Dodgers C A.J. Ellis called the atmosphere "more festive" than typical MLB games, adding it "had that exhibition-type feel" (L.A. TIMES, 3/23). D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson: "There was an electric atmosphere." Sunday's series finale drew a crowd of 38,079 (MLB.com, 3/23).

Some D-Backs players "had to walk the last half mile" to the stadium ahead of Saturday's game "when one of the team buses had a flat tire" (AP, 3/22). The series' opening ceremonies "that were scratched Saturday because of thunderstorms and light rain were held before Sunday's game." The festivities included two Australian former MLBers, as Graeme Lloyd "threw the ceremonial first pitch" to Dave Nilsson (AP, 3/23).
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