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Welcome home, Ichiro; goodbye, Godzilla

Jim Caple is touring Japan with the major-league All-Stars, although he's not getting $120,000 like the players.

Originally Published: November 7, 2002
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

TOKYO -- If David Eckstein wasn't already aware that this has been a very long baseball season for him, he certainly was when the team bus pulled up to the hotel following a Tokyo Dome workout Thursday and the bright lights above the lobby displayed a seasonal welcome:

"Merry Christmas!"

Sure, Japan is on the other side of the international dateline, but is it that far on the other side?

"I saw that and I was like, 'What's the deal?'" Eckstein said. "Christmas is still December ...

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