LOS ANGELES, September 10, 2013 — The Los Angeles Dodgers will open their 2014 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia on March 22 and 23, according to MLB.com. Major League Baseball has released the tentative 2014 schedule.
This is not the first time Major League Baseball has opened the season in a country other than the U.S. or Canada.
The first year they did this was 1999 when San Diego Padres played the Colorado Rockies in Monterrey, Mexico. The following year, the Chicago Cubs faced the New York Mets in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo also hosted the MLB opener in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Puerto Rico saw the Texas Rangers play the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001. Then in 2003 and 2004, MLB even had the MLB-owned Montreal Expos play 22 games per year in Puerto Rico.
The rest of the MLB teams will start their seasons a week later on March 31 and April 1.
The interleague series will be the NL West versus the AL Central, AL West versus the NL East and the AL East versus the NL Central. Of note is the Yankees five-game trip in Chicago where they will face both Chicago teams in the same trip for the first time.
The All-Star game will take place on July 15 in Minneapolis. The season will end in October, similar to this year.
The final schedule will be released in January.
Major League Baseball continues to try to gain international interest in the sport. It is clear that baseball will never be what soccer is to most humans on earth. That is fine. There is no need for baseball to be the international juggernaut that is soccer.
Every foray into international waters seems to smell more of money-making opportunities for all parties involved than the stated mission to globalize baseball. A positive that can be gleamed from this is that for Dodger and Diamondback fans, their 2014 baseball season starts early.
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