Road Trip? Not.

Thursday, March 20 2003 @ 07:00 AM EST

Contributed by: Coach

According to Jeff Blair in the Globe and Mail, the Blue Jays could open the 2004 season in Japan. Paul Godfrey says there's been no formal invitation from MLB to be Ichiro's designated opponent next year, and points out the Yankees, featuring Matsui, would provide the best matchup with the Mariners from a Japanese perspective. My guess? Plans to have a Jays-Yanks series in 2004 leaked out, but soon that will be changed to Seattle-New York, and Toronto may be involved in the European MLB games also being discussed.

The cancellation of this year's mini-series in Tokyo is actually good news for A's fans. Two "home" games that far away, in front of 55,000 fans passionately supporting their opponents, will now be played in front of the Oakland faithful. The rush to prepare and inevitable jet lag might have affected both the A's and M's in the early part of the season. The schedule is back to normal in baseball's best division. Am I the only one who has a hunch that the Mariners weren't as good as their 2001 record or as bad as their 2002 finish? They still look like a 100-win team to me; a healthy Edgar and Randy Winn are nice additions. I'm predicting the World Champion Angels, my darlings as recently as October, to win over 90 games but miss the playoffs.