I’m not a morning person, but I tried to wake up at 5 a.m. on Tuesday to watch “opening day” of the Major League Baseball season. I didn’t make it up for the first pitch, but thanks to my DVR I got to watch the game from the start at about 7 a.m.

The Boston Red Sox battled the Oakland Athletics in the first series of the MLB season on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Both games were played at 7 p.m. Tokyo time, which was 5 a.m. here in the midwest.

Opening day (in the United States) is scheduled for Monday although the Braves and Nationals play opening night on Sunday.

I think it is ridiculous to play the first series of the MLB season in a country other than the U.S.A. And of all places, why Japan? It’s not like the Japanese people haven’t seen a baseball game. They have their own professional baseball league. Each team usually has a few American players on the roster.

I know if a Japanese league team like the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, Tokyo Yakult Swallows, or Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters played their opening series in the U.S.A. I couldn’t care less. If they played the game at Pat Daugherty Field in Centerville I probably wouldn’t go. So why are we hauling our teams across the world to play a sport that Japanese people see everyday? I can think of one reason – money.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has dreams of taking baseball to the global market.

"The game has never been more popular than it is in the United States today. Our goal now is to take that popularity and make it worldwide,” commented Selig. "Look, I'd like to open in Europe. I definitely want to go to Europe. We'll go other places. We need to really step up the pace here, and we'll be back here. This is a really remarkable market, and they are enjoying this so much. Although today, I had an interesting experience at the hotel. I had to pinch myself. I thought I was in Boston. All I saw was Red Sox paraphernalia all over the hotel. This is great."

The Red Sox/Athletics series did sell out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome in a short amount of time, but was it worth it for MLB?

Oakland had to use two of their 81 home games in Japan. Those two “home” games in Japan would have been sellouts in Oakland, which is typical when Boston is in town. Because Oakland lost two home games, MLB is fully reimbursing the Athletics for the revenue lost by not hosting Boston for two games. The A’s are also getting compensated for the three Cactus League games they would have hosted in Phoenix that they lost due to traveling to Japan.

That doesn’t seem very smart to me, but what do I know?  I’m just a small-town sports editor.

Does Major League Baseball not earn enough money? Does MLB need to flood other international markets? Is Alex Rodriguez’s $27 million per year not sufficient? Apparently not.

"We're at numbers today that none of us could have dreamed a decade ago. We're going to draw this year between 80 million and 81 million people. Our gross revenues this year will be $6.5 billion. The interest in the sport is just awesome. Fortunately, the business of the sport is strong, and as a result, we have more competitive balance,” added Selig.

MLB opening day is one of the greatest sports days of the year, but money hungry Bud Selig is ruining it by making teams play a week before the season in ball parks on the other side of the earth.

Keep America’s pastime in America. Hopefully Selig can find a way to settle for $6.5 billion dollars in gross revenue.

And for all you fantasy geeks out there, yes, I have Manny Ramirez (HR, 5 RBI) and Rich Harden (1-0, 9K) on my fantasy baseball team. Jealous?

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