This has been a tough summer for Japanese baseball. Stadiums have been relatively empty, and televised games have attracted far fewer fans, many of whom prefer to tune in each morning to watch live broadcasts of the Seattle Mariners, featuring Japanese stars Ichiro Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sasaki. In the U.S., Japanese players are the new thing, the "It" boys of baseball. Back home, the national sport has spent summer in the dumps.
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