SBD/September 19, 2011/Franchises

A's Discussing Opening '12 Season Against Mariners In Japan

The A's and MLB have been discussing a potential season opener in Japan
The A's "could be making a return trip to Japan to open the 2012 regular season," according to Joe Stiglich of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Though "nothing is close to being final," A's GM Billy Beane confirmed that there "have been discussions with Major League Baseball about the A's crossing the Pacific for the second time in five years to play their opener." The A's "split two games" with the Red Sox at the Tokyo Dome in March '08. A's P and player rep Craig Breslow said that MLBPA officials "have asked him whether his teammates would be receptive to the idea." Breslow said, "It seems like the guys would be excited." MLB reportedly is "talking to the Seattle Mariners, who feature outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, about playing the A's." Stiglich noted if the A's were to re-sign DH Hideki Matsui, the series "would be huge in Japan." However, there is "skepticism about whether the plan comes to fruition, with one concern being that sufficient sponsorship might not be secured" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 9/18).
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