I have been based in the Tokyo area for many years and so was more in touch with Japanese pro ball for quite some time. There is very little understanding of the actual quality of ball that is played in domestic pro leagues in Asia (Korea & Taiwan especially).Iain:
Starting with the pioneer, Hideo Nomo, however, there has been a steady parade of Japanese players making it big in the States, so in Japan we now get tons of MLB news on local TV. In fact, the public station, NHK, now devotes a 45-minute newscap to MLB every night at 12:15. Granted, the news is limited to almost entirely the Yankees (Matsui), the Mets ('little' Matsui), the White Sox (Iguchi), the Mariners (Ichiro), the Cardinals (Taguchi), Texas (Ohtsuka), and now the Dodgers (Saito).
Games are also broadcast live in the morning here, but again usually it is Yankees and Mariners games. When NY and Seattle play Boston, then I get to see the games live (or record them for viewing in the evening).
I can only claim 6 time zones (I'm in Paris), but, as is the case for almost every other displaced Sox fan, the Internet allows me to follow the Sox. Although I can't claim to match the 12 time zones that others put up with, I would venture to suggest that being 5 or 6 hours ahead of the U.S. is pretty much the worst time-zone to be in, because about 90% of Red Sox games are at 1, 2 or 4 in the morning, which makes watching live games a major operation. It *can* be done fairly regularly, but you need to be able to survive on a few hours sleep ...Daryl (Singapore Sox Fan) commented in the original post: "You just get used to having games start at 7.05am, just before one heads to work."
The Internet is a great thing. It has allowed me to connect - both virtually and subsequently in real life - with people I would never otherwise have come across and made me feel - despite being an English guy living 4,000 miles from Fenway - part of Red Sox Nation.