TOKYO (AP) -The Boston Red Sox arrived in Tokyo early Friday after an 18-hour flight and the resolution of a last-minute dispute that threatened their season-opening trip to Japan.
Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka and his teammates were a little weary from the long flight as they made their way to the bus headed for the hotel.
Matsuzaka drew the most attention from a large group of Japanese photographers that greeted the Red Sox at the airport. There were few fans on hand for the early morning landing.
``It was a long flight but we're happy to be here,'' Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said. ``The players are tired but are looking forward to playing some baseball.''
The Red Sox and Athletics each play two exhibition games against Japanese teams on March 22 and 23. Then they face each other in Major League Baseball's regular-season opener on March 25, the earliest start in MLB history, and again on March 26.
For a while, it looked like the World Series champions might not make it.
The players threatened to boycott their final preseason game in Florida on Wednesday and their travel plans for Tokyo unless a dispute over paying coaches for the trip to Japan was resolved. A settlement was reached after talks among players from the Red Sox and Athletics, Major League Baseball, the clubs and the players' association.
``It was just a misunderstanding,'' Lucchino said. ``Everything has been settled now.''
Matsuzaka is scheduled to be the opening-day starter at Tokyo Dome next week against Oakland.
Boston has exhibition games on Saturday against the Hanshin Tigers and Sunday against the Yomiuri Giants.
Ace right-hander Josh Beckett did not make the trip because of a back injury.
Boston and Oakland will be the third set of teams to open the regular season at the Tokyo Dome, following the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs (2000), and the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay (2004). A scheduled 2003 series between Oakland and Seattle at the Tokyo Dome was canceled because of the threat of war in Iraq.
The A's arrived from a few hours earlier at Narita Airport.

Recent MLB Discussions

TRAP GAMES BEWARE on Sat, May 2016 by Timmy1961
MLB PLAYS FOR SAT. THE 28TH on Sat, May 2016 by Timmy1961
MLB Trends Saturday, May 28 on Sat, May 2016 by Blade

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Rangers' Darvish draws first start vs. Pirates How far can the Rangers’ rotation carry them this year? The organization could have a pretty clear idea in just a few hours.
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Mets Prediction Will their Mets pick up their third consecutive win when they host the Dodgers tonight at 7:15PM ET?
Thumbnail Twins vs. Mariners Free Pick The Seattle Mariners hope to slow down a slightly surging Minnesota Twins tonight when they face off at 10:10PM...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Angels Pick With two struggling aces on the mound, who will prevail as the Los Angeles Angels host the Houston Astros tonight at...
Thumbnail Will Yankees' Pineda have Rays' number? The Bronx Bombers are on an absolute tear away from Yankee Stadium, and they’re excited to have Alex Rodriguez back in the saddle.
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages