We will finally get to see a Dodgers game as the Boys in Blue play their Cactus League opener versus the Arizona D-backs on Wednesday. Coordinating Dodgers only television channel SportsNet LA will be launching the night prior at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25th. Unfortunately only Time Warner Cable customers will receive the new channel. “Negotiations” with the other television cable service providers are said to be ongoing according to the DirecTV Twitter account. Monday night Dodger fans flooded them with tweets about being able to watch their Dodgers this Spring through DirecTV:
@dodgerslogedude We are still in discussions on how to provide Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA at the best value for our customers.
— DIRECTV Service (@DIRECTVService) February 25, 2014
Let’s hope negotiations with the other cable providers end up with quick agreements so that all the Dodger fans can watch their Dodgers. Even though there is still some time before Opening Day in Australia, all Dodger fans should have access to Spring Training games as well.
Clayton Kershaw will be starting Spring Training game #1 on Wednesday with Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Dan Haren pitching in the following three Spring games accordingly. Josh Beckett will not go to Australia. Don Mattingly hasn’t made any starting rotation for Sydney official yet, and it is suggested that he is contemplating not starting Kershaw in Sydney in order to lesson his workload.
This special Sydney trip is viewed as an important event which hopefully can raise awareness of baseball in Australia as well as other parts of the world. Clayton Kershaw should absolutely start. The Dodgers will be on showcase on a global scene. Clayton Kershaw, the quintessential American ace, should be opening the series down under, and the Dodgers should hit the gate running this season starting in Sydney.
Taking it easy for the first two games of the regular season shouldn’t be an option. These two games count. Clayton Kershaw has been the Opening Day starter for many years, and he should be the Opening Day starter once again for the Dodgers in Australia on March 22nd. Sure, the plane ride is long. Aren’t these professional athletes we are talking about here? Traveling is part of the gig. Australia is far, but I’m sure the team will not be flying coach. There’s also five days between their last Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch on March 16th and Opening Day on March 22nd. They have an exhibition scheduled against Team Australia on March 20th, but the regulars wouldn’t need to play all nine innings during that one.
After Australia the Dodgers then have four days off before they resume their Spring schedule with the Freeway Series against the Angels. Once again, these games offer time for the regulars to rest before the regular season resumes on March 30th vs. San Diego. Even though it takes a whole day to travel, the players will still get time to recoup.
If Zack Greinke is too grumpy, then the Dodgers should start Hyun-jin Ryu in the second game in Sydney. Ryu is already an international
star, and his fans in Korea would love to see him pitch in Australia. Greinke reportedly said that there was “absolutely zero excitement” for the trip according to Ken Gurnick. I’m not sure if he was serious or maybe sarcastic. Ethier way if he doesn’t want to pitch you can use Ryu or Dan Haren.
You better believe the D-backs are still mad about last year’s pool party, and they will not be going to Australia to take it easy when playing the Dodgers. The Dodgers shouldn’t just go through the motions during this series, but instead begin the season on a 2-0 winning note, and then head back to the States two up on the hated Snakes. The Dodgers should show the world that they mean business wherever they may have to play.
I’m sure Kersh wants to pitch in Sydney, there doesn’t seem like there is anything he wouldn’t be up for. I think Kersh may have a bit to prove to everyone and himself after the disastrous start in Game 6 of the NLCS. Plus Kershaw just signed his big record breaking contract with the Dodgers, and I know that he wants to live up to expectations. He’s truly special, and I think that Australia should have the opportunity to see Kershaw pitch on their continent.
I bet Clayton Kershaw can throw a mean boomerang.