MLB Starts Season With Rising Sun

Red Sox, A's take the field in Tokyo
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2008 10:45 AM CDT
Tenryu Yoshida, a four-year-old Japanese boy, wearing a Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka T-shirt waits for his father in front of Tokyo Dome.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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(Newser) – The sun was just rising in Boston today as the Red Sox began their World Series title defense by taking on the Oakland Athletics half a world away. Many American fans were still in bed, but Japanese aficionados were paying rapt attention, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The Sox have been selling out exhibition games all week, playing for baseball-crazed fans with a decidedly different style than they're used to.

“It has been a while since I've heard the Japanese fans cheering,” said today’s Red Sox starter, Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka, whose popularity in his native land makes Hannah Montana look like broccoli, is used to Japan’s crazed fans. They beat drums and sing in an atmosphere one owner compared to “Disneyland, and baseball is like one of its attractions.” On the field, Boston prevailed, 6-5, in 10 innings.