Suzuki shines; Ack­ley’s bat sends Mariners

Dodgers de­lighted to have Magic aboard

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports -

GLEN­DALE, ARIZ. | Los An­ge­les Dodgers play­ers said they were happy and re­lieved Wed­nes­day about the pend­ing sale of the team to an own­er­ship group in­clud­ing for­mer Lak­ers star Magic John­son.

“Great day for the Dodgers,” said cen­ter fielder Matt Kemp, the run­ner-up for NL MVP last sea­son. “As Magic used to say, the Dodgers were the team that used to run L.A. Def­i­nitely, we were go­ing to have more fans out there this year any­way. Now, there’s an­other rea­son to have the fans turn out.”

The deal to sell the fran­chise for a record $2 bil­lion was re­vealed Tues­day night, just hours af­ter Ma­jor League Base­ball own­ers ap­proved three fi­nal­ists for an in­tended auc­tion. Be­sides John­son, the own­er­ship group in­cludes long­time base­ball ex­ec­u­tive Stan Kas­ten.

Mark Wal­ter, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices firm Guggen­heim Part­ners, would be­come the con­trol­ling owner. Play­ers said they were re­lieved that the search for an Towner had fi­nally been re­solved and that they were hopeful that the fran­chise can move for­ward amid new­found sta­bil­ity.

“If I’m a player, I’m ex­cited,” Dodgers man­ager Don Mat­tingly said. “Magic is com­ing in. They’ve been hav­ing to deal with all the neg­a­tives. As soon as you hear the name Magic John­son, it turns into a pos­i­tive. There’s pos­i­tive en­ergy around the ball club, around the city.”

TOKYO | Ichiro Suzuki gave his fans in Ja­pan a per­for­mance to cheer about.

Suzuki had four hits in his re­turn home, Dustin Ack­ley home­red and sin­gled in the go-ahead run in the 11th in­ning, and the Seat­tle Mariners beat the Oak­land Ath­let­ics 3-1 Wed­nes­day night in base­ball’s sea­son opener.

“It was very spe­cial to open in Ja­pan,” said Suzuki, who spent nine sea­sons in Osaka with the Orix Blue Wave. “I wanted to have fun and give the fans some­thing at this spe­cial time and wanted to share a spe­cial mo­ment with them.”

Felix Her­nan­dez com­bined with two re­liev­ers on a six­hit­ter. The con­ti­nent switch didn’t help the A’s, who be­came the first team to lose eight straight open­ers since Philadel­phia from 1985-92, ac­cord­ing to STATS LLC.

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