Mariners to Open 2019 MLB Season in Japan, Some Joke They Should ‘Stay There’
Given the history of the Mariners as one of the first teams to tap into the talents of players from Japan, it's only fitting they will be opening the 2019 season across the ocean. The Mariners also did this in 2012.
The Mariners will be facing the Oakland A's in a two-game series called The 2019 Japan Opening series March 20-21st.
The Mariners regular season opener at Safeco Field will not be affected by this series, nor is their 81-game home schedule. These two games will be treated as "road games" for Seattle.
No fewer than 8 Japanese-born players have made it to the Majors with Seattle, most notably Ichiro Suzuki, who is Hall of Fame Bound.
Seattle will fly from their spring training complex in Perioria, AZ directly to Japan and also play a pair of exhibition games against Nippon Professional Japanese teams on March 17-18.
The jury is still out on the 2018 team, as the franchise is currently experiencing the longest active playoff drought in baseball, 16 seasons. However, the team is 16-11 and sitting in 2nd place in the American League West, a half-game ahead of the Angels, and 2 1/2 out of first behind the defending World Champion Houston Astros.