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The Giants and Dbacks may open 2011 in Taiwan

Jul 22, 2010, 9:10 AM EDT

This is fun: Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that Major League Baseball has proposed that the Giants and Diamondbacks open the 2011 season with a two-game set in Taiwan. Baseball has done Japan and Mexico for Opening Day before, but Taiwan would be a new one.

It would be a weird schedule too: the teams would fly to Taiwan in late March, play some exhibitions against their national team and maybe against a pro team or two, play their two game series — which would count in the regular season standings — then come back to spring training and play some more exhibition games before resuming the regular season.

The trip is certainly an odd one, and because of that it would require the approval of the players, so it’s not a done deal or anything.

  1. Chipmaker - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    MLB has opened in Puerto Rico, too.

  2. Simon DelMonte - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Hmmmm. The one drawback to this beyond making the players get their body clocks out of whack is China. The other China. The one that refuses to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation. And which might take offense at MLB playing there. Given how much the NBA bends over backwards to sell its ware on the mainland, I am a little surprised that MLB is willing to do anything to jeopardize a potential relationship.

  3. imabigdog - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Why throw 2 “real games” in the schedule. Baseball is the one sport where pre-season games are not all that different from regular season games.
    Send 4 teams over there (2 that train in AZ 2 that train in FL). 1st have them start training in their respective states, playing the 1st week of pre-season games. then have them go over to Taiwan, play a few games against some national teams, some games against each other. then have them pay each other in “real games” these games can happen while the rest of MLB is still in spring training. Then when the 4 teams get back, have them start the season in their home parks for 6-10 games.
    Why must MLB make everything so hard?

  4. Detroit Michael - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    The same pattern was followed in 2008 without disasterous consequences. On March 25-26, Boston & Oakland played a two-game series in Tokyo that counted in the regular season standings. On March 28-30, they were back in North America playing three more exhibition games.
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/spring/08schedule.htm
    Also, Chinese/Taiwanese relationships seem to have improved slightly: there are now direct flights between the two countries, which is fairly new.

  5. Matt S. - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Isn’t it Chinese Taipei?
    /Little League’d

  6. The Rabbit - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    To the best of my knowledge, within the past month, Taiwan signed its first trade treaty with China. China set aside its claim of “ownership” to negotiate the deal.
    I doubt the mainland will give a flying fig as to what MLB (or anyone else, for that matter) does as long as its money keeps rolling in. Almost makes me miss the Communists….but, only almost.

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