White Hat Sports Headlines

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baseball In The Land Of The Rising Sun

Obviously, baseball is one of the biggest sports in the world. They have made it into a marketing machine, and are slowly going into different markets. But their recent move to playing games in Japan is extremely short sighted, and has a lot of flaws.

For one, the games in Japan take place at an extremely awkward time for the Sox. They play the two games against the Oakland Athletics that count towards the regular season record, then go back to the United States to play more spring training games that don't count. Not only that, but they play the games at the start of the Japanese baseball season, which many of the teams in Japan are not happy about. Bobby Valentine was one of the only people in Japan to come out and say it, but Japanese baseball is a very popular sport, and the MLB games being played there absolutely take away from the beginning of their season.

Another thing to consider is the pay. Each member of the team was supposed to get a $40,000 bonus for taking this trip, but MLB decided that only players would get the bonus, and not the coaches. That was resolved when the Sox players boycotted the games, and threatened to not go to Japan if the coaches did not receive their share. MLB caved farely quickly, giving the coaches the money they deserve.

It's great that we can promote sports from the United States and create huge fan bases in other countries, but we should ensure that we find appropriate times to do it. Until then we only create animosity between leagues, and can easily hurt the teams more than help them.

~Aaron Jackson

No comments: