Ichiro Suzuki to be a Yankee

In their recent search for help in the outfield, the Yankees explored several modest options that might have created a small ripple inside the world of baseball. Instead, they made a move that surprised two continents and helped reinvigorate their pursuit of a 28th World Series title.

With a little more than two months remaining in the season, the Yankees acquired Ichiro Suzuki, who became the first Japan-born position player in the majors when he joined the Mariners in 2001, when he was named the rookie of the year and the Most Valuable Player.

Before Monday’s game between the two teams at Safeco Field, the Yankees sent minor league pitchers D. J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Mariners for Suzuki , whose five-year, $90 million contract expires after this season. The Yankees will also receive cash considerations to offset the financial commitment.

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Mariners enjoy Japan despite loss to Hanshin Tigers

Playing in a raucous environment in a nearly sold-out Tokyo Dome, the Mariners dropped a 5-1 decision to the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League in a Sunday exhibition that kicked off their Opening Series week.

While the Mariners lost the game, they came away impressed with the enthusiasm of the 42,137 fans, who chanted and sang through every at-bat by Hanshin players.

“It was awesome,” said Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders. “It felt like a European soccer game. They’re extremely enthusiastic. It’s good baseball, obviously, and they have a lot of passion and pride in the game. I had a really fun time.”

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Oakland As, Seattle Mariners to open 2012 season in Japan

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will open next season in Japan with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29.Seattle and Oakland had been scheduled to play there in March 2003, but the series was scrapped because of the threat of war in Iraq. The As will be the home team in both games, the commissioners office said Wednesday.

Read the rest of the story: Oakland As, Seattle Mariners to open 2012 season in Japan.