MLB Aims For Return Trip To Australia If Next Year's Games Go Well
MLB officials have indicated that the two-game Dodgers-D'Backs series in Australia that will open the regular season next March "won't be a one-off if Sydney embraces" the games, according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. MLB VP/Int'l Events Jim Pearce is "hopeful of a return trip if Sydney gets behind the fixtures on March 22 and 23." Pearce: "Coming back is our long-term strategy. We want to keep building on our successes. There's every opportunity that this could lead to more games here." Moore Sports Dir Jason Moore, who helped bring the games to Sydney, said that MLB's schedule commitments "meant a return to Australia could not happen until 2018 at the earliest" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/14). MLB.com's Paul Hagen reported the D'Backs "will be considered the home team for both games." The teams will "arrive in Sydney on the morning of March 18." The series is the "latest example of cooperation between baseball and its union" (MLB.com, 6/12).
PART OF SELIG'S LEGACY: MLB.com's Richard Justice wrote the games in Australia feel like an "appropriate next step in growing the sport," and this is something MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "envisioned years ago when he began drawing up a blueprint" for the league. Justice: "Baseball is already being played and watched around the globe, so why not show it off at its highest level?" MLB has done a "terrific job making the game available around the world that it's simply a matter of finding a suitable venue for Major League games" (MLB.com, 6/13).