Mariners Have Arrived in Japan
The team gathered at the Peoria Sports Complex early Thursday morning with travel bags in hand and ready for an experience that will not be soon forgotten.
The group left complex around noon Thursday and were in the air shortly after 1:00 pm.
The Mariners plane touched down at 5:33 pm local time (1:33 am in Seattle) and after a long 12 1/2 hour flight, all most people wanted to do was sleep. Unfortunately, with the time difference the traveling party was advised to stay awake for a few more hours to help fight jetlag.
The flight itself had a little bit of everything to help pass the time, some played cards, others watched movies, and if you’re Munenori Kawasaki, you showed off your dance moves to Felix Hernandez in the back of the plane.
The plane was full of energy as the excitement of finally being on the way to Japan was setting in.
While some in the traveling party have already been to Japan (Chone Figgins, Jaime Navarro) with the MLB All Star Tour, this will be the first visit for the vast majority of the players.
After landing and going through customs, the team went out into the airport concourse where they were greeted by 50-60 photographers who gave everybody the Hollywood red carpet treatment.
It was a very warm welcome that was much appreciated by all.
The team then took a one hour and forty five minute bus ride to the hotel where plenty of tired travelers will quickly meet their beds for a good night of rest.
This is just the beginning of a fun week as we get ready for Opening Day on March 28 against the Athletics so check back often as we’ll keep you updated on what the team is up to each day.
On Tap For Saturday (Seattle times in parenthesis)
2:00 pm (10:00 pm Friday): Team bus departs for workout at the stadium.
3:00 pm (11:00 pm. Friday): Mariners Press Conference.
3:30-5:30 pm (11:30 pm – 1:30 am): Mariners workout at Tokyo Dome.
On Tap For Sunday (Seattle times in parenthesis)
9:00 am (5:00 pm Saturday): Mariners bus departs for Tokyo Dome.
7:00 pm (3:00 am Sunday): Mariners vs. Hanshin Tigers
Pitching Probables in Japan:
RHP Hector Noesi vs. Hanshin Tigers
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Tokyo Giants
RHP Félix Hernandez vs. Oakland Athletics
LHP Jason Vargas vs Oakland Athletics