Kyle Seager, Scott Servais looking forward to Mariners’ return to Japan

May 2, 2018, 3:20 PM
Kyle Seager (far right) was part of the Mariners' 2012 trip to play Oakland in Japan. (AP)...
Kyle Seager (far right) was part of the Mariners' 2012 trip to play Oakland in Japan. (AP)

Kyle Seager was a member of the last Mariners team to play in Japan, making his first opening day roster for their 2012 series against Oakland at the Tokyo Dome. Now that he knows the M’s are going back to Tokyo for another two-game set with the A’s to start the 2019 season, he’s excited to have another opportunity to play in Japan.

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“Honestly I’m looking forward to enjoying it a little bit more than I did the first time,” Seager told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer. “I had an unbelievably good time, but at the same time it was my first opening day – you’re still unbelievably nervous.”

Seager called that trip part of the “whirlwind” that was making his first squad out of spring training, and he is glad he will get the chance to take Tokyo in more next March.

“Man, I’m really looking forward to going back,” he said. “I remember it was a beautiful city. … I’m really, really, genuinely excited to go back.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais is also looking forward to returning to Japan, a place he too only visited once in his early 20s.

“I played in the Olympics back in 1988 and stopped in Japan for five days before I went to Seoul, South Korea,” Servais told members of the media Tuesday, adding that he has had a few subsequent planned trips to meet with players in Japan canceled. “Very excited. I think it’s great. Obviously we have a long history of Japanese players here with the Mariners.”

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Servais expects there to be a positive impact from the Mariners making an overseas trip together to start next year.

“I think more than anything, trips like that tend to bring your entire team and organization together,” Servais said.

For Seager, he hopes to impart on his teammates just how rare and special the Japan trip is.

“There’s experiences that you sometimes get to do in this lifestyle that are just pretty cool and pretty different, and this is one of them,” Seager said. “I think my message to all the other guys is this is pretty exciting stuff and just kind of embrace it and enjoy it.”

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Kyle Seager, Scott Servais looking forward to Mariners’ return to Japan