The Yankees consider bringing Nick Johnson back

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The New York Post reports that the Yankees are talking to former Expo Nick Johnson (we must mention the Expos whenever possible lest they slip from our collective consciousness forever) to be their DH.  The thinking is that if he signs on for that gig, Johnny Damon becomes an afterthought, because there won’t be a DH slot to cycle him through in order to give some playing time to Melky and Gardner and that gang.

I don’t think that having Johnson means that the door is closed on Damon — the Yankees haven’t been reported to be thinking that Damon would spend a ton of time DHing, and having both of hem in the fold would make for a very, very nice offense — but bringing him in would bring even more pressure to bear on Damon and Boras.

And while we’re on the subject of Nick Johnson — who could probably be had for sub-Matsui money — allow me to urge the General Manager of my Atlanta Braves to cut this whole conversation short by signing Johnson and his .400 OBP and giving him the first base job. It would be nice to have a guy who could take a walk and be on base for Chipper Jones and Brian McCann once in a while, mmmkay? 

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.