On Wednesday, March 28th I got out of work around 5 PM, swung home to round up a few things, then jumped on I-5 North for the nearly 3 hour trek to Seattle. Once there I spent a couple hours at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse with a couple buddies. They eventually decided to head home and sleep in a comfortable bed like normal people, so I went to Dick's Drive In and devoured a Deluxe Burger and fries before reclining my seat and taking a nap in the parking lot. About an hour later I was sleepily making my way towards SoDo and the Epic Seats office that served as the venue for Prospect Insider's viewing party. This part was an adventure as my sleepiness exacerbated already poor navigation skills, causing many a wrong turn and missed exit. Even upon parking I walked in circles for awhile before finally finding the place. At this point it was about 2:55 AM.
It was worth it. It was Opening Day!
Then the game went into extra innings. Then there was an accident or some other obstruction on I-5 South that blocked three lanes of traffic, seriously cutting into my sleep time once I finally made it home. I managed about 50 minutes of sleep before heading back into work for a half-day.
But it was worth it. It was Opening Day!
Or so I thought. Another 2 AM game and a week of Spring Training and suddenly Felix Hernandez's matchup against Brandon McCarthy lost its significance. It counted -- the Mariners led the American League West -- but it didn't kick off the season. The St. Louis Cardinals kicked off the season in Little Havana against the Miami Marlins live on national television.
The Mariners kicked off their season last night in Oakland. I was happy to watch meaningful baseball at 3 AM with a group of Mariner fans a week and a half ago, but I was excited to watch meaningful, North American baseball at 7 PM. Now we truly enter the wonderful grind of baseball season.
Worth it? Eh...
I want to complain about the Japan Opening Series, but in the end it's only two games out of 162 bugging the fans of two teams out of 30. It doesn't really matter. We won't be thinking about it come July. But it still feels like it could be done better. I love MLB playing games in other countries, but do the games have to be regular season games? If so, could they not be played at a time that allowed both markets to enjoy it? 11 AM or 9 PM Tokyo time might work. Or not. I'm sure a lot goes into planning the series and many considerations are made.
Regardless, we don't have to worry about it for another four years. Hooray for baseball as we're used to it!