Major League Baseball just announced that it will open the 2012 regular season in Japan. It will be a two-game set between the Mariners and the Athletics, scheduled for March 28 and 29 in the Tokyo Dome.
Baseball has opened in Japan four times, but not since 2008. You’ll no doubt remember that it was the 2008 series between the A’s and the Red Sox in which the phrase “And That Happened” was born. Here was the first-ever ATH post. As you can see, the first ever joke I made in ATH — about a manager’s winning percentage being awesome after having one game under his belt — is the same damn joke I used about Don Cooper this morning. I’m also ragging on the Giants offense and the futility of Barry Zito. I have not progressed one iota, and I’m pretty OK with that.
The series in Japan was also the subject of a brief wildcat strike by the Red Sox over the issue of stipends paid — or not paid — to team staffers. It was pretty darn eventful!
Hopefully this time we can avoid meme-creation and labor strife.