This photo pretty much explains the lunacy of the Red Sox-A's series in Japan. They had all this pageantry before the second game. Each of these teams is pretty much going to have four opening days. You could argue the Red Sox will have five.

Not that anyone should be having a big pity party for the Red Sox or anything, but they now have to fly to Los Angeles for a three-game set in the L.A. Coliseum. A nifty idea, sure, but more schedule goofiness to deal with. Real games with much pomp, then fake games with much pomp, before heading to Oakland for some muted pomp, then to Toronto, then, finally, back to Boston on April 8.

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The Red Sox are the signature franchise in baseball now, and to the winner goes ... well, a completely spoiled start to the season. But hey: Manny homered today, and, as we all know, he never knows what city he's in anyway.

A's 5, Red Sox 1 [Boston.com]