Visiting teams are used to having a little attention on them during batting practice, but rarely as much as the Mariners are getting right now down on the Tokyo Dome field. Japanese fans are huddled by the thousands up against the netting that separates the box seats from the field.
The crowd cheered each deep blast hit as the Mariners attempted to put on a good show. We’ll see whether any of that carries over on to the field, as it hasn’t been BP that’s been the team’s issue the past four years.
Outside, the crowds began forming more than two hours ago. Some have been lining up for a half hour or more to buy souvenirs and team merchandise.
Many of the fans I saw had Mariners apparel on, but it will be tough to tell which team gets the most cheers tonight until the game actually begins. The Tigers play their home games at Hoshien Stadium, which I visited yesterday during my trip to see that high school invitational tournament.
The high school tourneys in August and March actually take precedence over the Tigers and any scheduling conflicts force the Hanshin team to be the ones looking for a place to play.
Anyhow, hopefully you get a sense of the atmosphere from these videos. I will be filing more stuff throughout tonight’s game and posting on my @gbakermariners Twitter account as well if you want to follow.