March 2012

Scenes from the Tokyo Dome on Opening Night

Yes, there was a King’s Court in the Tokyo Dome. This is Mariners security guard and avid fan Daryl Chadderdon, keeping the court alive and well half way across the world.

Here are fans lined up to buy concessions, with Mariners items the seemingly popular item. A Mariners shirt, that would be 6,000 yen. Most Tokyo Dome fans lined up solidly in favor of Seattle, with lots of Ichiro jerseys. Did see a couple A’s shirts, but they were in the distinct minority. Read more

A’s players settle into Tokyo

Greetings from Tokyo, where it’s been gloomy and wet since our arrival. Most players, it seems, opted for sleep rather than exploring the city last night – an understandable choice, given the 12-hour flight time and ensuing 90-minute drive to the hotel, along with a 16-hour time change. Many, like myself, couldn’t sleep past 7 a.m., as I’m sure our internal clocks were struggling to adjust, though Tommy Milone should get some kind of award for falling asleep at 10 p.m. and not waking until 8 a.m. “I feel great right now,” he said, grinning.

Milone and Co. are currently taking part in their first workout here at the Tokyo Dome. The Mariners are also here, and a press conference with manager Bob Melvin and a handful of players is to follow shortly. Otherwise, it’s a light day, as both teams prepare for exhibition games the next two days. Read more

Helton to make debut, Tulo back in lineup

Usually, facing Giants ace pitcher Tim Lincecum is not a comfortable way to for a player to take his first game at-bats. But the player in this case is the Rockies’ Todd Helton, who has a career .364 (12-for-33) batting aveage with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs against Lincecum. Helton has walked seven times and struck out five against Lincecum.

Joining the lineup today will be shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is 7-for-38 (.184) with a home run and seven RBIs against Lincecum. Tulowitzki was scratched Monday because of illness and was not in the lineup Tuesday.

In fact, this lineup is quite similar to what the Rockies could be sending out for their home opener April 9 against the Giants. Spots 2-6 will be occupied by second baseman Marco Scutaro, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, Helton and right fielder Michael Cuddyer.

An intriguing move has Charlie Blackmon leading off and playing center field. Blackmon showed positive flashes during a callup last season before suffering a broken right foot. The team’s two biggest prospects are in today, as well. Wilin Rosario, normally a catcher, will be the designated hitter, and Nolan Arenado will play third base.

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will be the starting pitcher, and left-handed veteran Jamie Moyer also will appear. A close eye will be kept on right-hander Esmil Rogers, who is fighting for a roster spot and wants to push his way into the rotation.

Here is the lineup:

Charlie Blackmon, CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowtizki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Wilin Rosario, DH

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Wil Nieves, C

Jeremy Guthrie, P

On Thursday, Drew Pomeranz will start against the Royals at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Left-hander Josh Outman, obtained from the Athletics in the Seth Smith trade, also is scheduled to appear.

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