March 30, 2004
How do you say "Opening Day" in Japanese?
The Devil Rays beat the Yankees earlier today by the score of 8-3 in the Tokyo Dome.
The hosts did their best to duplicate the atmosphere of games back home, with some twists, of course.
The Yankees, including Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson, were introduced to "New York, New York," while the Devil Rays came out to Anastacia.
Even though New York was the visiting team, the Yankees wore their famous pinstripes -- the Hall of Fame couldn't find any records of them having done that before.
That's cool. Someone will win a bar bet with that trivia question this year.
Women in pink-and-green kimonos presented Torre and Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella with bouquets. Many of the ads on the outfield walls were in Japanese kanji script, and women vendors walked through the aisles selling whiskey.
Hmm. I don't remember whiskey vendors at the game I attended
, but then I was at Jingu Stadium
and not the Tokyo Dome.
The two teams play again tomorrow, then fly back for the real Opening Day on Sunday. Hope the D-Rays enjoy their temporary stay in first place. I doubt that's gonna last much longer.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 30, 2004 to Baseball
I don't like this "opening day" trip to Japan at all. The Yankees will fly home after these two games, go back to Florida and finish off the exhibition season. Huh?
MLB is pathetic. Steroid scandals have ruined the most revered records. The quest for the big-money contract in your free agency deal has replaced the desire for a WS title. Gimmicks like opening in Japan and new stadiums with piped in noise. Heck, two years ago they couldn't finish the all-star game and now it decides the home field advantage for the WS? WTF?
Sometimes I feel sorry for "the Governor William J. LePetomaine" of baseball, Bud Selig. I can't decide if he an inkling of what a failure he is, or is too stupid to comprehend. More and more I lean to the latter.
I can sort of understand what MLB is thinking by opening the season in Japan, especially since the Yankees have one of the best Japanese ballplayers on their roster. It was George Steinbrenner's idea to turn the Yankees into a global product when he made the marketing deal with Manchester United a few years ago, and this trip to Japan is another attempt to sell the product.
Having said that, if it isn't the first Monday in April at 1:35 in Cincinnati, it isn't Opening Day.