I always love the end of March/beginning of April as baseball gets underway. The Seattle Mariners kicked off the 2012 Season at the Tokyo Dome in Japan against the Oakland Athetics. Between beer serving Keg Girls, drums and horns in the stands, along with 2am and 3am (locally) first pitches, it was a interesting series to watch to say the least.

The Mariners won Wednesday morning 3-1 in an 11 inning battle where obvious fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki led the team with 4 hits. Felix Hernandez threw a great game, but received a No Decision. The A's took game 2 Thursday morning 4-1 behind Bartolo Colon's 8 inning performance where he struck out 6 and only gave up 3 hits.

For very possibly the only time this season, the Mariners are in 1st place in the AL West!

These two games counted as regular season home games for Oakland. The Mariners will return to Peoria, Arizona and play the final five games of spring training before their next regular season series in Oakland begins on Friday, April 6th.

The Mariners will hold their home opening series beginning the following Friday, once again taking on division rival Oakland A's. You will definitely find my butt planted in a Safeco seat come April 13th for Opening Day. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.

I'll leave you with a little taste of some of the Japanese Baseball fans. These are the supporters for the Hanshin Tigers. It looks and sounds more like a soccer match...and I thought 'The Wave' was annoying! You definitely can't knock them for their enthusiasm!