Irasshaimase! Tokyo Welcomes Mariners back to Japan
Photo: Jon Wells
Major League Baseball has announced that the Mariners and Oakland Athletics will once again open the season in Japan in 2019. The two games will be held in the Tokyo Dome and the A's will serve as the "home" team. As was the case the last time MLB opened in Japan—also with the Mariners and Athletics, in 2012—the opening series will be held a week in advance of the rest of the league starting the campaign to allow for the M's and A's to readjust to the time difference between Japan and North America (Japan is 17 hours ahead during Daylight Saving Time, 18 ahead during standard time) before resuming the regular season schedule.
The Mariners and A's will also play two exhibition games each against teams from Japan's professional ranks, Nippon Professional Baseball. In 2012, the Mariners played against the Hanshin Tigers and Tokyo Yomiuri Giants of NPB, losing both exhibitions. They split the two official games with the A's.
This will be the fifth time MLB has opened it season in Japan. In addition to 2012, the season opened in the Tokyo Dome in 2000 with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, 2004 with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and 2008 between the A's and Boston Red Sox.