Updated Mar 24, 2014 - 5:14 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks: IMBIMBY
Do you mind if I gripe? Can I have three minutes of your time to separate my job as a reasonably knowledgeable baseball analyzer just to be frustrated fan?
Major League Baseball has had its season open in a foreign land numerous times. Every time I thought it was a great idea. Looking at the 2014 season opening in Sydney through a wide-angle lens it should be labeled a success. I hated it anyway.
I love the game. If you play baseball on the moon, I'm going to watch. I've loved watching two teams go to a foreign country to start the season in the past. I completely agree that these games have to count in order for MLB to receive the desired effect. I want MLB to do it again in the future. I just don't want it to be the Diamondbacks.
If I'm Derrick Hall, I'm a businessman first. The idea of being able to spread my brand to a new audience is totally worth it. Baseball talent is slowly starting to emerge in Australia. Australian players are not subject to the draft, so Arizona getting a foothold in the country could lead to more inexpensive signings.
It all makes perfect sense. I don't want to hear about "what makes sense." I don't want my team in it.
In politics, there's an acronym "NIMBY." NIMBY means we need a nuclear waste dump, we just don't need it here. You'd love to have a huge federal prison built within 90 miles of your downtown for the job creation, but you don't want the prison 15 miles from downtown because prisons have convicts.
For my team's opening day, I change NIMBY from "Not In My Backyard," to "IMBIMBY." Opening Day, "(It) Must Be In My Backyard." Next Monday won't feel the same when the Arizona Diamondbacks "return" home for their "opening day." I don't want to share our opening day with Australia.
Sure it stinks to be 0-2, but the losses aren't the point. The whole time I was watching, I felt like the Australian fans had something that didn't belong to them. Something that was too important to share. They didn't fully appreciate what they were given and, therefore, couldn't truly respect it.
I love the idea of baseball reaching out to new hotbeds. Without the Olympics, MLB needs to be its own best promoter. It's up to MLB to spread baseball's gospel. Any exported games must count so the best time to do it is March. I'm all for more. Just don't take my Diamondbacks because Arizona's opening day belongs in our backyard.
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf
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