Mariners to hang absent Ichiro's jersey

Mariners to hang absent Ichiro's jersey

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Mariners will begin the regular season on Monday night without eight-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki in the lineup, but his jersey will be in the visiting dugout at the Metrodome.

"We talked about Ichiro in the meeting we had [on Sunday] and decided that we will have his jersey [No. 51] hanging in the dugout," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He's a special part of this club and it is unfortunate he's not with us.

"But in honor of him, his jersey will be hanging in the dugout."

What about his bats?

"No one is allowed to touch his bats," Wakamatsu joked.

Ichiro, who will miss his first Opening Day since joining the Mariners prior to the 2001 season, remains in Arizona recovering from the severe fatigue caused by a bleeding ulcer. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, retroactive to March 31.

He would be eligible to be activated prior to the Mariners' home game against the Angels on April 15.

"Everything seems to be going good," Wakamatsu said. "All the reports out of Arizona are that he will meet us in Oakland, take batting practice and travel with the team to Seattle. There is talk about setting up a simulated game either Wednesday or Thursday [in Arizona]."

Jim Street is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.