Major League Baseball announces game times for the 2014 schedule

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Since the ESPN Sunday Night games were announced earlier today, you had to figure that the rest of the schedule — as far as game times — would fall in line later in the day. And they just fell in line. Among the details:

  • The opening series in Sydney, Australia between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers will take place on Saturday, March 22nd at 7pm Sydney time.  That means midnight in L.A. and Phoenix, 3AM back east. Which, yes, is inconvenient for some of us, but the point is to bring baseball to Australians, not satisfy people in Ohio, so there’s not a valid complaint there. Not that it will stop people from complaining. The Sunday game will be at 6pm Pacific and 9pm Eastern.
  • On Sunday, March 30th, the non-Australian portion of the season will begin with the San Diego Padres hosting the Dodgers at 8:05 Eastern, 5:05 Pacific.
  • Thirteen games will be played on traditional Opening Day on Monday, March 31st.  The first full slate of 15 games will be played on Wednesday, April 2nd.
  • The final day of the 2014 regular season, which features 12 divisional match-ups, is scheduled for Sunday, September 28th.

Go check your team’s schedule for all of the specific game times, as they should be loaded in there now.

Play ball. Eventually, anyway.

MLBPA agrees to extend deadline for new posting agreement between MLB, NPB

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Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.

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Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.

Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.

Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.