It’s a done deal. The Boston Red Sox will being their 2008 season in Japan against the Oakland Athletics. The Red Sox will play exhibition games in Tokyo against the Oakland A’s on March 22nd and 23rd, and then open the regular season against Oakland on March 25th and 26th. This basically means the Sox will be leaving Fort Myers, FL for good on March 19th. This is during the peak time of spring training, when pitchers are beginning to come into their own; when GMs like Epstein are trying to fit the final pieces of their teams together; and when player evaluations are key. In addition, players will have to gear up for meaningful games more than a week before they normally would.
Everybody should remember what a nightmare trip Japan was for the New York Yankees to start the 2004 season. Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi and others developed various illnesses, and the Yankees started the season 8-11 before shaking off the jet lag on April 27. Fortunately they shook off the fatigue and ills effects and rebounded to win 101 games and the American League East, again. The news just keeps getting better and better for the Yankees and worse for Red Sox Nation.
The article goes on to say: “There are many couples and families in Red Sox Nation who plan their vacations based on spring training. There will be almost two weeks worth of games taken away.” Wow, that sentence should be re-written to say that Red Sox Nation includes a boat-load of couples and families who are complete and total useless losers who should travel overseas and join the Peace Corps, which in and of itself is a very altruistic venture.
Oh yeah, next season the Red Sox will be charging 9% more for tickets at the biggest dump of a ballpark in MLB, now that the Mets are moving out of Shea Stadium. God it is so great to be a Yankee fan.