You’ll ‘Roo the Day

“Can we go to the 2014 Opening Day for the Diamondbacks?” I asked my wife.
“Where is it at?” She asked.
“It’s a home game”, I replied.
“If it was at Chase Field you wouldn’t be asking me so it’s obviously not going to be in Phoenix so where is the game going to be played?” she countered.
“Uh, it’s um, well see, uh,” I stammered, “well it’s. Ok it’s in Sydney Australia but it’s a home game honest.”
“Australia? Seriously? Are you suggesting we fly halfway around the world to watch a baseball game?” She asked incredulously.
MLB in AustraliaI’m really struggling here. How could she not think this was a brilliant idea? For the first time in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks they would be starting their season outside of the United States. This is the kind of thing that ranks right up there with batting helmets with earflaps. My wife just stared at me like I was wearing a jock on my head or something. Clearly she was not buying the idea, which is odd because she loved the Crocodile Dundee movies. I thought for sure she would jump at the chance.
Perhaps the excitement was just too much for her so I pressed on with a description of what would occur. Major League Baseball had selected the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks to play a two-game series in Sydney Australia to start the 2014 regular season. The games would be held at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds on March 22nd and 23rd.
Personally I have no idea why they have a field named after a small bug that makes noise but I figured this two-game series would be the perfect way to find out. The Diamondbacks will leave Scottsdale and Talking Stick after the spring training game on March 16th arriving in Australia on March 18th. The first game will be a 7 PM contest on March 22nd while the second game will be a day game at 1 PM on March 23rd. The team will then return to Arizona to resume the last of Spring Training.
You have to admit, a 7 PM local Sydney game sounds a whole lot better than a game that starts at 1 AM Phoenix time; a point I made sure my wife understood. Would she rather stay in bed and sleep or have to be up at midnight for pre-game with first pitch at 1 AM? And you won’t get sleep later that day because the second game would be later that same evening in Arizona. That alone would be worth the trip. My wife though just kept repeating, “are you really suggesting that we fly around the world to watch baseball?”
Well, I guess there are other things we could see either before or after the game. Maybe we could find a kangaroo or a koala bear that wasn’t in a zoo. That would be cool wouldn’t it? Clearly I wasn’t selling this in a way that my wife was buying it.
What about all of the educational aspects of a trip like this? Haven’t you always wondered if the water in the toilets really flush in the opposite direction than they do here? And where else could you buy an authentic boomerang? And who doesn’t want a boomerang? Did I mention there were kangaroos there?
I was losing her. She was starting to tune me out, I could tell. I quickly turned to Google Australia for additional information. According to some of the information in front of me the autumn Easter festivities are some of the best ever. Wait, did they say Easter was in the fall? What kind of place is this?
As I read more and more I learned that there is a lot of backwards stuff there. For example they celebrate Christmas in the middle of the summer and had pictures of New Years basking on the beaches in swimsuits. They completely ignore the 4th of July as a holiday and instead talked about the winter weather. Whoa, we have to go now if for no other reason than to try to explain to our Australian friends that things are backwards.
It’s no longer just a trip to see baseball; this is a humanitarian effort to help educate the Australian population in how things work. When I put it that way, the look on my wife’s face changed. I haven’t seen that look since we put crazy Aunt Nida in a home.
I left the most compelling reason for last, “Besides you have to go. You can’t let me go alone. You remember what happened when I tried to go to Canada by myself.” That particular episode ended with me getting kicked out of Canada. I didn’t even know that was possible and that was Canada. Can you imagine what kind of trouble I’d get into in Australia?


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