Yeah, I was one of those nutty fans that actually got out of bed to watch the first pitch of the 2008 season…Boston vs. Oakland in a historic Japanese opener. It wasn’t historic because it was played in Japan – that had certainly happened before – but with a 6:05 am ET start time, it was the earliest “Opening Day” game ever played. Of course, that was 6:05 am our time…in Japan, it was just a typical night game (which begs the question, “If a game is played at night in Japan and watched in the morning in America, was it REALLY early?”).
So, how was it, you ask?
Well…it was…neat. And I think that word, as simple and tacky as it sometimes sounds, fits “neatly,” if you will. It wasn’t cool or great or even wonderful…I didn’t see it as a great step forward for the international growth of the game – baseball is already a well-established “thing” over there – but it was neat. It was neat to go to bed the night before with the anticipation of getting up before dawn for the first official baseball game of the season. Anything with early morning anticipation feels “neat,” to be honest. But that’s probably about as far as it goes.
I still can’t fully embrace the idea of playing the first game of our national past time in another country. And I hate – full on HATE – the idea of playing an official game during the Spring Training time frame (which is made much worse, not better…WORSE…by following the first official games with exhibition games). But all in all…it was fun.
I got up this morning, brewed my coffee, and sat down in front of the TV alone, before Kim crawled out of bed for work, to enjoy the beginning of one more season of the best sport in the world. And the game?
Brandon Moss…what a story…Pap in trouble late…Dice-K in trouble early…Japan’s hometown hero opening the season in Japan…the first game of the year going 10 innings…no less than 4 lead changes in the course of the game…and even a phenomenal leaping/falling catch in center field…
Yeah…it was fun…But I’m looking forward to this weekend much, MUCH more!
Look for my post-weekend report on my first Opening Day experience and overall Cardinals Weekend next week…it should easily surpass “neat.”