Best of 2014- Future Possibilities for International Games

Originally published on July 27, 2014.

At the start of the season, regular season games were held in Sydney, Australia.* Whether you like it or not, it was not the first and won’t be the last time that MLB opened overseas. But, where will MLB go next? Here’s an overview of possibilities:

 

* This was partly written immediately following those games, but fell by the wayside until now, so here it is.

A Return to the Tokyo Dome

Used under Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en), taken by “DX Broadrec”.

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Baseball Pedigree: Has hosted baseball since it opened in 1988, home of the Yomiuri Giants, hosted WBC games in 2006, 2009 and 2013, hosted MLB season-opener games in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Japan is one of the preeminent baseball nations on Earth and host to the world’s 2nd most prominent baseball league.

Capacity: Between 42,000 and 55,000 (depending on configuration)

Pros: Japan is baseball-mad, has shown it can pack the stadium for MLB games, and the Tokyo Dome is highly-familiar to MLB officials and some players thanks to it’s many previous MLB-related events. Being a dome makes weather considerations non-existent, and Tokyo’s status as one of the world’s greatest cities allows for plenty for players to do when not playing.

Cons: It’s been done before several times, it’s a type of stadium that has been phased out of MLB, and, while this isn’t much of a factor that MLB cares about much, there is the time difference issue, with night games in Tokyo being early morning games in the Eastern USA and very, very, very early morning games in the western part of the USA.

Likelihood of return: It’s inevitable that MLB will return to Japan again sometime in the future, the question is whether the Tokyo Dome is the place it will happen. More-than-likely yes, but I’ll be looking at other possible Japanese sites later on.

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My five best position players, pitchers, and managers- just in time for the “End of the World”

Well, here it is. One day until the end of the world, according to the Mayans. Never mind that the Mayans actually didn’t predict that 12-21-2012 was the end of the world, or that the Mayan culture didn’t see history as a straight line but rather as a series of cycles, or that they found another Mayan calendar that extends past 2012, or that the Mayans didn’t see the collapse of their own empire coming… a bunch of crazies on the internet say the world ends tomorrow, so who am I to argue?

Humanity had a good run. We mastered fire, created the wheel, spoken and written language, and invented pre-sliced bread. And remember that time we landed a man on the moon? Or when we drove smallpox into functional extinction? And we created the Internet, allowing us to watch video of a Corgi getting cleaned using a vacuum cleaner!  Good times. Good times. Heck, it’s a shame that those stupid Mayans didn’t give us time to fix that whole Global Warming thing sometime before it turned us into a wetter version of Tatooine, because that probably would have ended up there on the list of accomplishments.

Stupid Mayans.

But, hey, the end of the world gives me the perfect excuse to finally say who I think are the greatest ballplayers of all time. After all, if history ends tomorrow, I can say with certainty that this list will never have to change again!

So here we go (after the jump- because the Mayans would have wanted it that way):

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