Dodgers and DBacks may open 2014 Down Under

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph of Sydney, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are scheduled to open the 2014 MLB regular season at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In a $13 million coup for the state government, the opening series of the MLB will be held at the SCG on Saturday March 22 and Sunday March 23 – the first time a competitive US baseball fixture will be held in Australia and only the sixth time one has been staged outside America.

The games have been described as the biggest internationally recognised event in this country since the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and come exactly 100 years after the Chicago White Sox played against NSW at the SCG.

“Sydney will host the first two games for the opening series of 2014 Major League Baseball at the Sydney Cricket Ground,” Premier Barry O’Farrell said.

“The opening series will feature the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks playing the first two games of the season.

There is no official announcement from either team, MLB, or the Players Association.

If the plan goes through, both teams would likely start spring training very early and then fly back to the U.S. after the two games that count and then play more exhibition games before their respective home openers.

The Dodgers have never played a regular season game outside of North America.

According to weather.com, the average temperature in Sydney for March 22-23 is a high of 76 and a low of 63.

 

  • Anonymous

    Weird – that’s a lot of travelling but it will be good for baseball fans in Australia…

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the home plate ump for tonight’s game give out warnings to both teams before the 1st pitch.

    Sounds like Puig and Belli, among others, will be suspended for at least a game or two

  • Joe Nunya

    Puig will be arrested tonight by agents from the Phoenix area Dept of Homeland Security for being a sleeper agent of that evil commie hoard in Cuba.

    • Anonymous

      Since Puig holds a Mexican passport, that may be tricky.

      • Anonymous

        That’s even worse for him. Next time the Dodgers visit Phoenix, they’ll try to round him up under SB 1070 for being an illegal immigrant. Hope this isn’t is a rule 5 violation. Or 6 or 7.

        • Anonymous

          I’m not sure, but I think Jon would frown upon it because “internet comments” and “immigration” go together as well as J.P. Howell and Turner Ward.

          New metaphor!

          • Anonymous

            Nice.

            I prefer “go together like socks and sandals” when such a metaphor is required. But all I get are blank stares when I tell that joke in Germany.

      • Joe Nunya

        All part of the subterfuge…just watch ‘The Americans’. Plus it’s AZ. Last these are our Bums and they will break our hearts every time.

  • Adam Luther

    I always like the response that “tactical” pitches from “control” pitchers like Kennedy and Greinke are described as “one just got away as I was trying to go up and in.” They hit a lot of batters, so they sort of hind behind that on message pitches. Perhaps it did get away, but we have a score of 2-2 and putting guys on just doesn’t make sense…

  • Anonymous

    John, are you close enough to attend these games? I hope so. Good on you, mate.

    • Anonymous

      3 and a half hour drive

  • Anonymous

    The Dodgers played last night like a cornered rat. They’ve suffered just about every kind of loss you can imagine, and finally, finally finally they came out swinging after the D’backs buzzed their best player and their big money free agent pitcher. I never justify a brawl, but you could see that the fight was the result of three months of utter frustration at not being able to piece hits together. So far, they’ve been unable to respond with their bats, so they responded with their fists.

    We’ll see what kind of leader Mattingly is today. A good one will be able to channel that energy into on-field production and use this as a turning point in the season.

    • Anonymous

      ” So far, they’ve been unable to respond with their bats, so they responded with their fists.
      We’ll see what kind of leader Mattingly is today. A good one will be able to channel that energy into on-field production and use this as a turning point in the season.” – SaMo

      Well put SaMo… :-)
      Yeah. I’m interested to see what kind of effort our boys bring tonight.

    • Anonymous

      Never really noticed a lack of energy or effort from the Boys, just a lack of talent and bad breaks.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      “A good one will be able to channel that energy into on-field production” — I don’t know how much this is true. I’m sure he’ll do his best but it’s always up to the players to play, to hit, and to pitch well when they’re on the field. He can say whatever he feels is right but players could still play poorly. Hope that is not the case of course! I do get sense players love playing for him and will do whatever they can for him.

      • Anonymous

        In general, I agree that players have to play. But the best managers seem to find ways to motivate players to produce their best. I don’t know how somebody is supposed to motivate Ethier to stop sucking, but I hope Mattingly figures it out before he gets fired.

        • Anonymous

          Last night, at least, Ethier did not suck.

  • Anonymous

    If they open in ‘Stralia they will need to learn how to run the bases backwards.

    • Anonymous

      Now, now :)

      • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

        What, John, the Coriolis effect doesn’t change baseball’s rules? ;)

        • Anonymous

          So that explains it then!

  • Anonymous

    Schumacher better learn to pick on guys his own size…

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      At least he doesn’t pick on guys half his size, like one Carlos Quentin.

  • Anonymous

    Just woke up !!! (I am so excited) :)

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Well, I love how they call a brawl a “bit of biff.” I may need to steal that phrase for something.

    • Anonymous

      John, can you tell us what the dimensions of the Cricket Grounds are likely to be for baseball? The seating pattern must be very different from a baseball diamond.

      • Anonymous

        An artist’s impression of a baseball game in action at the SCG heads the article

        • Anonymous

          WBBA, I don’t know any more than the article, but I know it’s a great stadium to watch sport in

        • Anonymous

          Thanks, I hadn’t clicked on the link. Looks like lots of foul ground.

          • Anonymous

            I wonder if they will use it for the bullpen the old fashioned way (I miss seeing Left and Right fielders tripping over bullpen mounds!)

  • Anonymous

    Ok so which of you guys are coming! (got to get ready for work, so I’ll chat more later!!)

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Haha, if you pay my airfare and get me the time off… ;) (Well I probably still wouldn’t be able to but fun to think about)

    • Anonymous

      I could definitely be persuaded to visit then.

  • Anonymous

    Seeing the final line reminds me of a classic line by Hank Greenwald, who did the Giants games for so long: that if Houston and Montreal won their divisions, it would be the first time the LCS was played entirely outside the United States.

    Yes, Greenwald knew what he was saying about Texas.

    • Anonymous

      In his own way, Greenwald was the best: “You get Bob Walk 16 runs, and he can be tough.”

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    I hope the DBacks and Dodgers don’t try to play a game of knifey-spoony, that never goes well.
    And don’t moon the Prime Minister.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    No word on suspensions so far but the Dbacks have Montero in their line up, who I assume will be getting his share of days off whenever the league decides to make a statement.

    In other news Dee Gordon is starting at second base tonight in ABQ.

  • Anonymous

    Can John from Aus tell us what the dimensions of the Cricket Grounds are likely to be for baseball?

  • Anonymous

    In addition to physical talent, pitching depends on deception and/or intimidation. The best example of combining the two, in my opinion, came from Pedro Martínez while he was still with the Dodgers. Once, in a game at Candlestick with the potential winning run on third with one out in the tenth, he knocked down Matt Williams – but did not hit him. On the next pitch, he got Williams to swing feebly at an outside breaking ball for strike three. No beaning or even HBP necessary, but it was a masterful performance, both intimidating and fooling Williams. The Dodgers subsequently won, in the 11th I believe.

    • Anonymous

      FWIW, to me Kennedy, at least, was just pitching Puig inside (after seeing him powder outside pitches all week) and one got away. On the other hand he led the NL in HBP last year and leads this year as well, averaging about 11 a year over his career.

      • Anonymous

        To me, Kennedy looks like a headhunter who deserves suspension not for six games, but for six starts.

  • Anonymous

    Although some Dodgers swung some punches, they had to assume they would miss their target so their intent couldn’t have been to hurt somebody.

  • Anonymous

    1. SS: Nick Punto
    2. 2B: Mark Ellis
    3. 1B: Adrian Gonzalez
    4. RF: Yasiel Puig
    5. LF: Jerry Hairston
    6. CF: Andre Ethier
    7. 3B: Juan Uribe
    8. C: Ramon Hernandez
    9. SP: Hyun-Jin Ryu

  • Anonymous

    NPUT