USA TODAY US Edition
-Japan delays opening of baseball season.
The opening of Japan’s Central League baseball season will be delayed until at least Tuesday and possibly longer as the country deals with the effects of the earthquake and tsunami. The league board will meet today and team owners will meet Saturday to discuss a government request to not start until April 12, which would match a delay already put in place by the Pacific League. Teams also are being asked to not play night games in April in the hardest-hit areas in order to alleviate pressure on the country’s power grid, which is being repaired. The Central League, with no teams north of metropolitan Tokyo, is not as affected as the Pacific League, which already announced it would not play night games through April 3. The Pacific League includes the Rakuten Golden Eagles, who play in Sendai, where some of the worst devastation occurred. Team owner Toru Shimada inspected damage at Kleenex Stadium and hoped it could be ready by the end of April. Damage to the stadium includes six buckled light towers, cracks in support beams and problems with the sprinkler system. — Paul White