Sunday, March 23, 2014
Mainly a puff piece, but I figure we should have some sort of place to discuss it in retrospect and discuss future possibilities for non-WBC MLB international ventures.
This trip is over now, but MLB’s international adventures will continue. The details and itineraries of the next excursions have yet to be mapped out. There’s a whole world out there, and much of it is as intrigued by baseball as it is in Taiwan or China or Japan or, as it turns out, Down Under.
So cheers, Australia, and no worries. Major League Baseball will be back.
Friday, March 21, 2014
4:00 AM- Dodgers (Kershaw) “at” Diamondbacks (Miley)
10 PM-Dodgers (Ryu) “at” Diamondbacks (Cahill)
Both games on MLB Network and also, I believe, the local RSNs.
(All times Eastern)
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Descent into the Maelstrom!
With two American pro teams down under this week to play the opening games of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the focus is on glitz, on glamour and on two teams with a combined salary of $300 million.
There’s no doubt life can be extremely glamorous at the top of US professional sports. But scratch below the surface and it’s a different world.
...Even Triple A is a world away from the Majors. Here’s a snapshot of that desperate, often sordid world from a reporter who witnessed it first hand.
Baseball players drink, partly because they don’t always need to be the most athletic specimens in the world of pro sports, but also to pass the time. These guys play up to 160 Games in a season in the Majors or 140 games at minor league level. That’s six games a week for six months. Each night, win or lose, their adrenalin is pumping. A beer or two or seven or eight helps.
No team spirit
Baseball, like cricket, is a team sport that is largely about the sum of individual performances rather than a bunch of guys working together as in the football codes. But it’s off the field that you really feel that lack of spirit, especially at minor league level. Guys in the minors would trample their best mate to get a promotion to the Majors.
Most players in a minor league club barely know each other’s names, let alone hang out together. There are exceptions, but for the most part it is a lonely, selfish mini-universe where the ethos of “one for all, all for one” is as foreign as a Frenchman.
This, right here, is the sport’s secret shame.
You should see the gloop they eat after games in the clubhouse, as Americans call the dressing rooms. Sometimes it has ribs. Often it’s purple.
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM | 24 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
It just wouldn’t be spring without a grumpy ‘Dre.
SYDNEY, Australia—As much as bombastic Dodgers President Stan Kasten tries to convince people otherwise, it’s clear not all of his players like the idea of starting their season on the other side of the world.
Working out at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday turned the usually affable Andre Ethier into the moody Andre Ethier of years past. Without the slightest trace of a smile, a clearly irritated Ethier sarcastically recited the company line.
“Glad to be here,” Ethier said. “Fun trip. This is a good time. Great for baseball. Good for Australia. Happy to be here, guys.”
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