Jason Giambi joins the 2,000 hit club

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Indians DH Jason Giambi had been sitting on 1,999 career hits since August 31 and finally joined the elusive 2,000 hit club in the ninth inning this afternoon against Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins. With Giambi leading off the ninth inning, Hawkins tossed a 94 MPH fastball belt-high but inside. Giambi fought it off and blooped it down the left field line for a single.

Giambi, now 42 years old, is the 245th player in baseball history in the 2,000 hit club. He is one of 19 active players currently with membership.

On the season, Giambi has a .650 OPS, following up last year’s .675 OPS when he was with the Rockies.

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.