The Mariners and A's will open the season tomorrow in Tokyo, Japan, at 3:10 AM PST. As the teams gear up to start the regular season, here are some news, notes, and stories around the Seattle Mariners:
- Doug Miller writes Ichiro's presence is still felt all over Japan. The aura surrounding Ichiro in Japan is unmistakable and unlike any sports celebrity in the world. He has been showered with love by adoring fans ever since the Mariners landed in Tokyo.
- With Opening Day upon us, there are tons of Mariners season previews cropping up. David Schoenfield looks at how many games the Mariners could win in 2012. Over at Hardball Talk, Craig Calcaterra digs into Seattle's offensive problems and wonders what they need to do to improve. With potential young stars Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak, the future is bright in Seattle.
- Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing examines Mariners import pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who was recently roughed up by the Yomiuri Giants in an exhabition game. Iwakuma will work out of the bullpen this year and Sullivan wonders if Iwakuma has some mechanics issues.
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times gives the Seattle perspective on the A's and Mariners trip to Ishinomaki, a city hit hard by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Players put on a clinic for children, hoping to raise the spirits of those most affected. New Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who played in the affected region last year, said one of the reasons he wanted to become a major leaguer was to have a bigger platform to spread awareness about how people are still dealing with the tragedy.
- The season is about to start, brush up on your roster at the Seattle Mariners Complete Organizational Depth Chart.