I was surprised to see on my friend Matt's site, Fenway West, that the Red Sox are supposedly currently negotiating to play some MLB games in Sydney, Australia this coming March.
The Sunday Telegraph of Australia basically are saying it is a done deal, and will be playing games against a yet-to-be named opponent at the Sydney Cricket Ground (pictured).
A curious line from the article:
The Red Sox are considered the Manchester United of American baseball and would prove a huge hit Down Under.
Manchester United of American baseball? I think Liverpool or Arsenal would be a little more accurate, but they certainly do have the same passionate following ManU has.
Baseball does have a following Down Under, and a few players have made it to the bigs from Australia. The Red Sox also have an Australian connection, as Australian national team coach Jon Deeble was once a manager and coach in the Sox' system a few years back, and Craig Shipley, former infielder, is the Red Sox' Vice President of International Scouting.
The Red Sox went to Japan in March 2008 and it was a success. The Red Sox owners are trying to get the Red Sox brand name to a more worldwide audience, and that certainly is a good thing. But the journey to Japan left the team exhausted for the better part of April. Next year's schedule has the Sox opening against New York at Fenway, but unless the Yankees agree to go the schedule would have to be altered considerably. This leads me to think that all of this might be just some Australian's pipe dream.