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Mariners Spring Training Odds And Ends: Felix Hernandez Gets Shelled, M's Arrive In Japan

The Seattle Mariners have arrived in Japan in preparation for their two-game series against the Oakland Athletics that will officially kick off the 2012 baseball season. Jim Armstrong of the Associated Press reported on the M's arriving in Narita on Friday morning. There were a healthy number of fans waiting to greet both the Mariners and the A's at the airport. The Mariners, of course, have deep ties to Japan, not least of which being that the team owner hails from and resides in Japan. Seattle also has three Japanese players on their roster: Ichiro Suzuki, Munenori Kawasaki and Hisashi Iwakuma.

One of the non-Japanese players who may be eager to put the United States behind him for a little while is Seattle ace and Opening Day starter Felix Hernandez, who made his last Spring Training start on Wednesday and got absolutely shellacked. As the Associated Press reported, Hernandez had been throwing pretty much lights-out in the Cactus League until that final start against the Chicago White Sox, in which the picther was roughed up for eight runs in a 13-8 loss. But Hernandez is looking forward to the real season starting, as are the rest of us.

"It's time to be serious," Hernandez said.

Baseball is serious business and certainly all Seattle fans are looking forward to the first official pitch being thrown. As always, it's going to be quite a season.

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