The Sox are in Japan! Although it was a bumpy road getting there, our city's favorite ballplayers are in Tokyo and are preparing for their first regular season games.
The city of Boston is ready for baseball. The Celtics are tearing through the NBA without regard and the Bruins are hoping to make it to the playoffs, but there is a certain sports energy that is missing from Beantown, and that energy comes from the much missed baseball season.
But there will be a difference at the start of this season. Let's just say you probably won't be getting your friends together for beers and peanuts. Since the Sox will be in Japan, loyal fans will have to wake up at 6am to watch their hometown heroes and defending champs start the season off.
Away games are tough, but an away game to Japan is even tougher. I think the trip weakens the Sox a bit, not for the long run, but for the first week or two. That said, I can understand the value of spreading the MLB brand across the world and forging deeper relationships with the Japanese organizations that end up cultivating some of the best players in Major League Baseball.
As Larry Lucchino, Red Sox president, said in an official MLB.com press release,
"It comes at a good time for us, because we want to express our gratitude to the Japanese baseball world for the contribution their two pitchers made to our World Series championship."
So the season is upon us and the city of Boston will likely be awake a bit earlier than usual. I know that it's going to be rough couple of mornings for this not so early bird. But in the end, who cares? It's baseball season!
P.S. Did you hear and is this really such a good idea? But more on that after the holiday weekend...