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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Dodgers may be headed Down Under

By Mark Saxon

According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald, the Dodgers and Major League Baseball are in negotiations to open the team's 2014 season in Australia, likely against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The deal is not finalized -- and no teams have been formally announced -- but an Australian official leaked some of the behind-the-scenes details to a reporter, Adrian Proszenko. The game would be played at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds, according to the report.

"If we can get Major League Baseball's season opener, which we're working on, in a couple of years' time at the SCG, it will really put the game on the map,'' said Bob Turner, chairman of the Sydney Blue Sox baseball team. ''Especially if we can get the L.A. Dodgers to come, where Magic Johnson is the spokesman-owner. That would be great for the game to give us a profile no other sport can really match.''

The major league season has opened in Japan four of the past 12 years and MLB has long explored the possibility of branching out to other global venues. The disruption caused by such long flights has been among the biggest stumbling blocks. Last season, the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's played in Japan on March 28, one week before the other teams began their seasons.