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Dodgers name Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu as the starters for series in Australia

Mar 9, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

As speculated last week by MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick …

Zack Greinke would have started the second game if not for a calf strain that he is still rehabbing.

Kershaw will face Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin in the first game on March 22 at the Syndey Cricket Ground in Australia and Ryu will meet D’Backs righty Trevor Cahill in the second game (March 23).

It’s only a two-game set.

If Greinke can avoid setbacks, he’ll probably line up to start the Dodgers’ first game back in the states on March 30 in San Diego. Dan Haren is L.A.’s fourth starter, and Josh Beckett or Paul Maholm will be fifth.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    You know….It’s really irritating that OUR “National Pastime” opens it’s season in different countries.

    I don’t have a huge problem with them trying to promote the game overseas, but doing it to the detriment of the American audience really is a slap in the face.

    If you’re going to limit the actual start of the season to one series, it should at the very least be in America, and should probably involve, you know….maybe the current Champions and, oh I don’t know….their biggest rival?

    You want to have some games in Australia or China of frigging Iceland, go for it….have them open on OPENING DAY with the rest of the teams. But at least make the first series a marquee matchup, and not at 6 o’clock (or whatever) in the frigging morning in the country where 99.8% of your customers reside.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Also….I know “it” can’t be possessive and that it’s actually a FOUR o’clock start this season. So STFU in advance.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      I find the voting response incredibly interesting.

      19 votes in about 20 minutes since I left my office, all negative, but no counter responses.

      • johnnysoda - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        Unless you’re a Dodgers or Diamondbacks fan, does it really matter that much to you that you had to post this rant? Does it keep you up at night, or something?

        I don’t mind it too much, personally. Promoting the game in other countries is a good thing.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Actually, as a BASEBALL fan, yes it is irritating that the season opens at 4:00 in the morning when most fans, in the country the sport is based in, don’t get to enjoy the start of the season.

        It’s fascinating that, apparently, this is such an incredibly popular thing that MLB does.

    • Reflex - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      I strongly disagree with you. Foreign friends of mine are increasingly asking me more about baseball, and one of my Indian co-workers asked to join my dynasty fantasy league this year. Baseball’s outreach to other nations, of which this is a part, is a good thing on the whole. It increases revenues, it increases viewership and it increases the chances of those countries developing competitive leagues and players. This is all in the long run a great thing for the national past time, especially if we want the best players in the world to aspire to play here.

      Whatever MLB is doing, its working. So what if two games out of 162 are played elsewhere. You suggested moving this to opening day, but with travel schedules it is not realistic and players would be upset to have to play overseas and have zero recovery time before playing other teams. This was a good compromise. We still get opening day here, and other nations get to see a special game or two and see what top level competition looks like.

      I don’t really have any sympathy to your position. I think this is a good thing. The numbers agree really. And while I don’t put much stock in the thumbs, I think most people agree too.

      Besides, it permits us all to watch a regular season game a week early. How is that not a good thing even if its out of our time zone?

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        I appreciate the response.

        I just don’t get it. Like I said, I don’t have a problem giving the foreign markets a series, but I don’t see the benefit to doing it at the beginning of the season (aside from the travel schedule) as far as the fans go. Open the season March 22nd with a Red Sox/Yankees series (or Dodger/Giants series when one of them win the series) and then have a series with a random matchup in Australia or wherever….

        It devalues Opening Day in my opinion to have it a week late, after the gimmickry of a “special” series in another country.

        Or do it as a leadup to the All Star break where you can adjust the schedules without seriously impacting the competitive ability of the teams involved (the whole jet-lag thing for the teams opening in other countries is still a problem, right?)

        I don’t get having the second most significant games of the season being played somewhere that doesn’t have an actual strong tie to the game just to promote the game.

        Play spring training games there. WTF difference does it make to Australia?

      • Professor Fate - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        At the risk of having to endure a whiff of the long-dead horse you insist on beating:

        As MLB grows the game into other countries you are going to have many, many more chances to gnash your teeth about playing games outside of North America. At some point you may, or may not, realize that these attempts to increase a business’ operating reach and revenue are simply not going to go away nor should they.

        Opening Day is “devalued” (in your opinion) for two teams. Yet those teams still have an Opening Day in the States. As long as the baseball season is, I just can’t get worked up over two games and a whole week.

        Scheduling a series in a country halfway around the world in the middle of the season? Do you really consider that an alternative argument? In my opinion, the “second most significant games of the season” would pretty much be just about any of them compared to the very first two. Maybe you believe that neither team will be able to recover within 160 games if they start out 0-2. And apparently that potential 0-2 is somehow a different 0-2 because it took place in the southern hemisphere.

        Australia does in fact have a strong interest in sports played in the U.S., including the NBA, NFL and, yes, MLB. Any business worth a damn does not ignore opening potential new markets. Australia is also near Asia, a pretty large hotbed for MLB.

        Australia is near the end of their summer right now. An All-Star break series would put those games in their winter. That would give you a built-in reason to complain about that scenario, but you just sound like another American without a clue about what happens outside this country.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Good points.

        I look forward to the start of Australian rules football in Detroit this season.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        Also, I reiterate my point about playing SPRING TRAINING games there because it makes no difference to the Australians.

        There is no point to opening the season, which true fans really look forward to, in another country that doesn’t value that experience as much, while making those games LESS accessible to their existing base.

        It’s the same as offering free Showtime to new cable customers while jacking up existing customers bills and offering them nothing.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        I’m just going to say that though I appreciate opening games up to other places, it does kind of suck for fans to have survived the long dreary off-season to suffer further– just when you’re jonesing the worst because it’s right there in front of you — because you can’t go to the park for the first game of the season (unless you drop serious coin to take yourself/the fam on an expensive “road trip”). Perhaps it might be better to schedule exhibition games in the spring or off-season instead. Let the local or national team have the pleasure of facing off against the Yanks or Dodgers or something. I’d think that would help spur interest elsewhere too. (Not that I particularly care which teams get to be first in starting the season.)

        I’m going to avoid saying something snarky about making it the international past-time…

      • Reflex - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        If it is a spring training or exhibition game it will NOT be the stars of a team going. You would NOT see the Dodgers start Clayton Kershaw in Australia for a exhibition game. In fact he would not even make the trip. Lots of players sit out the All Star game since its an exhibition, even though it now counts for something.

        At the end of the day though, I can’t see why this is a bad thing. We have DVR’s these days, nobody has to watch it at 4AM. For the vast majority of us, this is just another game in another market that we wouldn’t have attended anyway. For the 70,000 fans who could have attended in person, well, that’s too bad I guess, but I haven’t seen them flooding message boards to complain.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        Thing is, it’s the first game of the season.

        Even living on the East Coast I would watch the first game of the season at 4:00 in the afternoon even though it’s not a team I care about BECAUSE it’s the first game of the season.

        I’m not watching at 4 AM, let alone a goddamned recorded version of the game.

        That’s my point. The fans who ACTUALLY support the game should come first. Not a marketing ploy to try and grow the game to fans who don’t really care.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        You know, I’m super-bummed that I’m going to be blacked out for our first game of the season and hate that I have to watch it later on video. :(

      • Reflex - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:25 AM

        Um, Australia has produced several major league level players in the past decade. So has Japan, Puerto Rico and most of the other locations that they’ve done this in. I think you are dramatically underestimating the value of this, giving back to places that actually ARE taking baseball seriously. It is not a US only sport, and has not been since WW2 at least. And many of those countries are increasingly sending MLB talent to play in our national pastime.

        Again, two out of thirty teams are playing an early game, a game that wouldn’t even be played that early if not for the international nature of it. Enjoy the fact that you get a game a week early instead of bitching that its at an inconvenient time.

        Also, what the hell is wrong with recording and watching it later? Seriously, its not like the quality of the game went away. I never get to see the All Star Game live, it always starts before I get home from work. I record it, and start watching it when I get in. Its the same experience, but a couple hours later. So what?

    • historiophiliac - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      Is this what it sounds like when doves cry?

  2. NatsLady - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Well, good grief, you can wake up and watch it on MLB.tv. Unless you were going in person I don’t see the big deal. The Nats season opener is in NY, so I’m going the “home opener.”

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      Oh…is the Nats/Mets opener at 4:00 in the morning also?

      • Reflex - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Man, I just wish people had gotten around to inventing a device that could record and play back video any time I wished so that I did not have to wake up at 4AM to watch a ballgame…

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        I would rather watch no sports at all than watch sports not in real time.

      • Reflex - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:27 AM

        Quite frankly, that is a completely idiotic statement. As someone who once worked in broadcasting I have news for you: There is a delay in virtually all broadcast events. You have always been and always will be watching sports ‘not in real time’ unless you are physically present at the game. Whether its time shifted the usual four seconds or two hours makes no difference.

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