Ready for an Opening Day start

I went to Europe during the offseason before last for a tour of Navy bases in Spain, Italy and Greece, and I?ve been to Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands, too, and this offseason I went to Tahiti. Traveling wasn?t something I used to be really into, but now I think it?s pretty cool to go around the world and experience a lot of different things, and I?ve never been to the Far East, so I think Japan?s going to be pretty different for a Kentucky boy.

It?s exciting, but it?ll probably be a little bit difficult to balance enjoying the culture and the experience of being over there with staying focused on getting prepared for my start, getting my rest and getting used to the time change. Luckily, we?re over there for a few days before my start, so that should help. We have some team things lined up, so I?ll get to enjoy those, and we have those two exhibition games before mine, so it?s not like I?ll be walking into that stadium for the first time on Opening Day. I?ll have a couple days to get used to everything.


I was pretty excited when we first heard the trip over there was official. Everyone says the fans over there go crazy for the game, but all I really know is what I?ve seen in that movie ?Mr. Baseball? with Tom Selleck playing over there, so it should be exciting to see how they approach the game. I?ve heard about how the game?s played a little differently over there, and they train different, and it?ll be nice to see that first-hand.

I know we?re going to kind of be at the center of the baseball universe because we?re opening the season before all the other teams, but I won?t spend a lot of time thinking about that kind of thing, especially as we get closer and closer to Opening Day. It?s my first Opening Day start, so there might be some nerves, but I?m just going to go out try to just treat it like a regular game and pitch the way I pitch and not get too pumped up or affected by the Opening Day jitters.

Today was the first time I?ve really thought about whether it?ll feel any different for me to make my first Opening Day start in Japan as opposed to Oakland or somewhere on the road back in the United States, and I think it might actually help me. I really don?t know. But I do know that I?m kind of pitching two Opening Days, because I?m pitching our home opener April 1, too, and that?s against the Red Sox, too, and that?s where I think the Japan experience will definitely help.

I?ll already have a start under my belt, against the same lineup, so it should just feel a lot more like any other game.


  1. Trevor


    Looking forward to getting the season underway. I met you at a workout this February and it was great to see the energy this team has. Best of luck on your opening day start, and for the whole season


    Its really cool that you are doing this blog. I’m sure you’ll do great. I’ll be watching at 2 in the morning or whatever it is. I’m super excited about this years team. And i’ll be there April first. Good luck.


    Good luck Mr. Blanton! I’ll be rooting for you and the rest of the A’s this year…even if that means staying up until 3AM PT.



    Joe, my son and I will be in Tokyo cheering for you and the A’s. We’ll cheer for you at the pregame festivities as well. Good luck!



    Joe, Nothing can faze a southern guy like yourself. I’m really looking forward to this season and I’m sure you are too being at the top of the rotation. I hope the team’s spring success carries over to Japan too. Good luck on your 2 opening day starts.


    Joe – It is great that you are getting this start. At the beginning of spring training, I thought that this would be a development year and that you might be traded. Now I see that this team, led by you, could be competitive, like the 2003 Marlins. I would be happy to match you against the Angels’ or Mariners’ opening day starter – and against the Mets’ October starter as well.


    Hi, be sure to catch some of the live Sumo action on TV during you time in Japan. The championship will be determined over the weekend. It’s on usually from 4-6 PM on channel 1 (NHK).


    Good luck Country Joe! I know you’ll be fantastic. Hopefully the Japanese don’t hold a grudge from when you gave Ichiro that shove last year. Go Green and Gold!


    Go get ’em, Joe. You are a class act and we need you more than ever. Enough of those who say we are gonna tank this season. I say there’s no reason you can’t bag 10 wins by the all-star break. How’s that for optimism? Who knows, we might just surprise some people this year. Best of luck.


    Great blogs, Joe. Thanks for the Japan updates. Best of luck to you and the A’s this season. Enjoy the restof your stay in Japan.


    Jason Decker here. Glad to see your having so much fun. I will be watching you and checking up on you all season. I know your going to have your best year yet. Congrads on the marriage and show them ol boys some EC stuff. I’m proud of you. TT you soon Jason


    Hey Joe;

    Brian Webb here, man your a hero to us old edmonson county boys. I use to watch you play on hwy 70 when you were a kid, called a few games back then in the summer. I always new you were going to be great! I check up on you all the time and see your mom now and then, she is proud of her big boy. When I lived in Vegas all the sports people their new we grew up in the same town and they loved to ask questions about your youth. I think your going to have a twenty win season this year. Have a great season man and I will check your blog again.
    Hope the family is good.
    B Webb
    Bowling Green Ky


    hey man im a huge fan and i think you a great asset to this team, lets go all the way

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