Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki has made the Seattle Mariners' 25-man opening day roster, bench coach Robby Thompson said Tuesday.
''As of right now, Mune is on our 25-man roster,'' Thompson told a press conference at Tokyo Dome, on the eve of the Mariners' season opener against the Oakland Athletics.
The Mariners signed Kawasaki, an All-Star shortstop in Japan with the Softbank Hawks, to a minor league contact with an invite to spring training. The 30-year-old had said he only wants to play in the majors at Seattle with Ichiro Suzuki.
Kawasaki hit .387 (12-for-37) with 10 RBIs in 12 spring training games before coming to Japan as a member of the 30-man traveling squad for the two-game series.
''He's done a lot of good things for us,'' Thompson said of Kawasaki, who helped Softbank to the Japan Series title last year. ''He's full of energy and passion for the game. He is a great teammate and a pretty good player.
''He's brought a lot of life to this ballclub. We are really pleased to have him. He's going to basically play shortstop, second base and a little bit of third base. He'll be moved around a little bit.
''We really feel he's going to help us get better.''
NEW YORK (AP)\Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has announced an agreement to sell the bankrupt team for $2 billion to a group that includes former Lakers star Magic Johnson and former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten.
The agreement, announced late Tuesday about after five hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three finalists for the auction, is to lead to a transfer of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court.
Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners would become the controlling owner. The price would be easily a record for a North American sports franchise.
As part of the agreement, the Dodgers said McCourt and gcertain affiliates of the purchasersh would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium for $150 million.
I'm hearing a lot of people say "Magic owns the Dodgers!" No, he doesn't.
Mark Walter, CEO of Guggenheim Partners, is the new controlling owner, and the group includes film producer Peter Guber, baseballs Stan Kasten, and Bobby Patton & Todd Boehly of Guggenheim. Magicfs the public face, Kastenfs the baseball guy (goodbye, Ned), and Walter is the controlling interest. It may not seem like an important distinction, but it is, though itfs fair to note that Walter is not expected to be a hands-on owner in the Steinbrenner or Cuban tradition.
TOKYO (AP) \ Dustin Ackley drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning and Ichiro Suzuki went 4 for 5 as the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 Wednesday in baseball's season-opener in Tokyo.
Brendan Ryan doubled to lead off the 11th, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Chone Figgins and scored on Ackley's single to center.
"I was able to put a good swing on that one," Ackley said of his 11th inning hit. "Our team is off to a good start, and that's all that matters."
Suzuki then gave Seattle an insurance run with a single to center off Oakland reliever Jerry Blevins that scored Ackley from second.
The capacity crowd of 44,227 at Tokyo Dome was a sea of flashbulbs every time Suzuki came to bat. He got a standing ovation when he took his position in right field in the final inning.
Suzuki got his first hit in the first inning on a grounder over the mound that was deflected by Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy, allowing Suzuki to beat out the throw from shortstop Cliff Pennington.
Ackley put the Mariners ahead 1-0 in the fourth on a solo homer to center off McCarthy. Suzuki then came up and beat out a grounder to short for his second hit of the game.
"I'm glad I was able to put our team on the board and get an early lead," Ackley said.
Oakland tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when Kurt Suzuki hit a double to left that scored Pennington from third.
Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen picked up the win after pitching two scoreless innings in the ninth and tenth. Brandon League retired the side in the 11th for the save. Andrew Carignan took the loss after giving up both runs in the 11th.
Seattle starter Felix Hernandez struck out six and gave up one run on five hits over eight innings while walking none. McCarthy gave up one run on six hits in seven innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes picked up his first major league hit with a double to lead off the seventh.
When the game started, it was 3:09 a.m. on the West Coast.
The game Wednesday was the fourth Japan opener, following the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs (2000), the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay (2004), and Boston and Oakland (2008).
Before the game, a video presentation honoring the victims and survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami was played on the center field screen at Tokyo Dome. The video was narrated by Derek Jeter, Bobby Valentine and Cal Ripken Jr.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish did just fine without a scouting report on the Colorado Rockies.
He struck out 11 in six innings in a 5-3 victory over the Rockies on Friday night. He allowed three runs and six hits and walked one.
Jason Giambi hit a two-run home run, his first of the spring, off Darvish in the second inning. Both Giambi and Todd Helton hit doubles off Darvish, who will be the Rangersf No. 4 starter.
The Rockiesf Michael Cuddyer left in the sixth after a Darvish fastball hit him on the right hand. He suffered a bruise.
Darvish struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki each three times.
gIt didnft seem like I had that many strikeouts,h Darvish said through an interpreter. gBut just the way me and (catcher) Mike Napoli, the way we worked together tonight, some of the great pitch calling that he made for me, and the way I was able to pitching comfortably, that all led to the 11 strikeouts.h
Darvish walked the first batter he faced, Marco Scutaro, but ended the first inning with strikeouts to Dexter Fowler, Gonzalez and Tulowitzki.
In the second inning, Helton led off with a double, and Giambi followed with a two-run home run.
gI threw a strike, and he hit a home run, which I deserve to get hit in that situation,h said Darvish, whose ERA is 3.60. gGiving up a home run to a hitter like Jason Giambi, Ifm kind of honored by that.h
Darvish threw 98 pitches and got in trouble in the sixth inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Fowler, and after a stolen base, wild pitch and two outs, he allowed an RBI single to Helton, a double to Giambi and hit Cuddyer. A flyout ended the inning.
Darvish said he didnft get tired.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Darvish didnft seem fatigued, as he continued to show good velocity.
gHe had a good four-seam fastball working. He was moving it around, threw some good sinkers, went through some pretty good hitters, especially those left-handers,h Washington said. gEach time hefs taken the ball, hefs gotten better.h
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