MLB Could Open Season In Japan In 2008

Matt Aug –
AHN Sports Writer

All-Stars
A-Rod, Ichiro or “Dandy” Dan Haren are among the MLB players that
might show off their skills in

Tokyo
next spring.

MLB
officials are planning for games to be played in
Japan
next season, with the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and the

Oakland A’s among teams
being considered for the trip to further promote the game overseas.

The Boston
Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres have all
also been mentioned as possible teams of interest to play in the
intercontinental series.

“I
expect that we will have games in

Tokyo
next spring,” Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer, said told AP on
Tuesday.”We’re looking at the schedule, looking at what’s available, looking at
permutations, looking at teams training in Arizona vs. teams training in
Florida.”

If MLB
arranges the series, it will mark the third time this decade MLB games would be
played at the Tokyo Dome, following the New York Mets-Chicago Cubs, two-game
showdown in 2000 and a pair of contests between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil
Rays in 2004.

Those
match ups opened those two seasons in style, though a 2003 series between
Seattle and
Oakland was
taken off the schedule due to the impending
U.S.
war in

Iraq.

The
players union is working with MLB to give it time to work in the games in

Japan, waiting
a month longer than usual, until the end of July, for the release of the
league’s schedule.