For roughly 28 out of every 30 Major League Baseball fans, the season opens next week! Can you feel the buzz in the air? No? This is because for two teams the season opened while your team was still playing Spring Training games. This is also because the first games on the schedule took place in the wee hours of the morning more than 5,000 miles away from the home team’s actual home.
The Mariners and the Athletics played a two-game series this week in Tokyo—actual games that count in the actual standings (and your fantasy league)—while the rest of baseball continued with Spring Training. Then after these actual regular-season games in Japan, Seattle and Oakland will play more Spring Training games.
On April 4, a full week after the A’s and Mariners opened the season, two of the remaining 28 teams (Marlins and Cardinals) will open their seasons with a one-game series in Miami. The Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays, Indians, Reds, Dodgers, and Padres open their season the next day. And if you’re a fan of the White Sox, Rangers, Twins, Orioles, Yankees, Rays, Brewers, Rockies, Astros, Giants, D-backs, Royals, or Angels, your opening day is nine days after the season officially opened.
This begs the question, What the hell is going on here?