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Japan Trip: Exciting For The Players, But Not Their Fans

Perhaps you want to weigh in on the strong possibility the A’s and Red Sox will open the season playing each other in Japan. The players seem wholly excited about it, which is the one plus I can see—whatever boosts my team’s spirits, and is legal to boot, works for me as a fan. Swisher seems totally jazzed by the idea, and Ellis has mentioned how disappointed he was when the planned Japan excursion was cancelled in 2003 because of some war that had broken out. It would appear that the players see it as a privilege, not a chore, to “represent” in Japan. Then again…So many negatives…

The A’s are already at or near the top in the league every season in travel miles. Part of this is due to their being in the West Coast, and part seems to be an anti-A’s conspiracy that produces closed-door conversations like “NY-CLE-NY…Buuaaaaaha-ha-ha!!!” and “They’ll go to Boston only in two-game series… Buuaaaaaha-ha-ha!!!” Undoubtedly, Kotsay’s, Duchscherer’s, and Chavez’ backs have not appreciated the added stress of leading the league in frequent flyer miles. Do the A’s really need the extra miles, and jet lag, of going to Japan for their first road trip as a start to the grind of the regular season?

And then there’s the impact on us, the fans. After waiting five months for baseball for resume, after thinking, for six months, about the next A’s game—and finally we’re tied for first place again!—my idea of Opening Day is not to sleep through the game, and then wake up in the morning going, “So did we win?” It’s one thing to miss a game, or a series, at some random point in the year, but miss the entire first series of the season? What a letdown.

Your thoughts?