Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring camp has been surrounded by questions involving their two-game opening series in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Recently, starting pitcher Zack Greinke said he didn’t have any excitement about the trip, prompting team president Stan Kasten to clarify his comments. A.J. Ellis was sent for a promotional tour through Australia at the end of the 2013 season and Yasiel Puig even made a promotional video for the trip.
Talking to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, relief pitcher Brian Wilson has a positive outlook about the trip:
Guys will see the Australian culture, they’ll see that everyone is smiling there, there’s a social community and a lot of outdoor activity, he said. The weather’s beautiful. OK, it’s a long flight. We deal with tough travel all the time. At the end of the day, we’re playing a sport. A lot of us get in the mindset that we deserve or are supposed to have certain amenities. We take things for granted.
The series is part of MLB’s plan to globalize the game and heads to a continent that has recently adopted baseball as a premier sport. Australia has been apart of the World Baseball Classic and is beginning to send more prospects to the United States. Wilson spent some time in Australia in the off-season, bringing back a very positive vibe about the area.
He also added that promoting the game in Australia might encourage young kids to want to start playing baseball, something he believes is their duty. Wilson’s comments should do well in regards to making Australian and MLB officials happier than they were after Greinke’s comments.
Regardless of how the players feel, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be in Sydney next month to begin their regular season and will experience a rare opportunity.
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