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Neutral Site Games Newsbeat

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mariners beat A’s 9-7 with help from homers, a bat flip, and endless love for Ichiro

The first pitch of the 2019 MLB season was thrown at 5:36 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, or 6:36 p.m. local time in Tokyo. Ladies and gentlemen, we have baseball.

There were a lot more 2019 firsts on the way to the Seattle Mariners’ 9-7 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday morning. A’s starting pitcher Mike Fiers threw the season’s first strike. Seattle’s Jay Bruce got the season’s first hit. Fiers’ teammate Stephen Piscotty scored the season’s first run and hit 2019’s first home run at the same time.

We’ll have to wait for our first pitcher’s duel, though. The crowd at the Tokyo Dome was treated to a bash fest, with 16 hits and five home runs between both teams. Seattle’s starter Marco Gonzales had a rough start, allowing four runs in his first three innings, but settled down and managed to throw three more scoreless innings.

After all those posts leading up to the game, it would be indecent not to link to an actual account of the game itself.

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, mariners, neutral site games, opening day

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

MLB players revel in Japan’s ‘carnival’ stadium atmosphere

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball aren’t really so different on the field. Everyone is playing the same game and the rules are more or less the same, with some exceptions.

But as the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics found out during their exhibitions against the Yomiuri Giants and Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, respectively, the leagues are worlds apart in the stands, where Japanese fans take an active role in creating an atmosphere that’s a lot different than in MLB.

“That was awesome,” Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon said after facing the Giants. “It was awesome. They care about baseball. It’s an exhibition game, 46,000 people here (actual attendance: 46,315). That’s awesome. You don’t see that very often.”

Hopefully, none of them were disappointed that they didn’t have to actually fight hams….

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:33 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, neutral site games, stadium

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Ichiro arrives in Tokyo, a sure sign baseball only days away

Ichiro Suzuki has arrived in Tokyo, a sure sign the Major League Baseball season is only days away from starting.

Wearing a gray and black hat pulled down to cover most of his head, the 45-year-old Seattle Mariners star slipped quickly through the arrival gate on Friday at Haneda Airport with hundreds of reporters and fans getting only a quick glimpse.

The Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics arrived within hours of each other on Friday on charter flights from the United States. They play on Wednesday and Thursday at the Tokyo Dome in the first two games of the 2019 season.

Ichiro could have ended winter six weeks sooner, if he wanted to….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, japan, neutral site games, opening day

Friday, March 15, 2019

Baseball: Yankees v Red Sox game in London a best-seller: StubHub

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball’s first-ever game in London featuring world champion Boston Red Sox and rival New York Yankees is the best-selling game of the 2019 regular season, ticket seller StubHub said on Thursday.

Following matchups in Mexico and Japan in recent years, the league is making its first foray into Europe with hopes of expanding its international reach with the help of its two most-storied franchises.

“The appeal of MLB to a global audience continues to grow, and the overwhelming response for the rivalry match-up between the Yankees and Red Sox in London certainly proves that the sport has fans worldwide,” said Jill Krimmel, a general manager at StubHub.

Mind you, a test of who the real fans are would have been to have the Marlins and Orioles play against each other….

 

QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: neutral site games, tickets

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Athletics excited about starting season in Japan next week

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Oakland Athletics pitcher Liam Hendriks wants to taste soy sauce ice cream. Teammate Marco Estrada is hoping to spend a day at Tokyo Disneyland. Athletics manager Bob Melvin just needs to pack.

Melvin and the Athletics head to Japan on Thursday for the major league opening series against the Seattle Mariners at the Toyko Dome on March 20-21. The A’s and Mariners also faced each other in the last opening series in Tokyo, splitting two games in 2012. The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets played there in 2000, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2004, and the Boston Red Sox and Oakland in 2008.

Oakland went on to win the AL West seven years ago and reach the Division Series.

Billy Beane, meanwhile, is considering threatening to move the team to Tokyo if Oakland doesn’t have over half of downtown for a stadium.

 

QLE Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, neutral site games, opening day

Saturday, February 09, 2019

AP sources: Mets-Nats or Cubs-Cards for London in 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Major League Baseball is considering one of two matchups for its 2020 series in London: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals.

Two people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press of the potential matchups. They spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because no announcements had been authorized. An announcement is expected after opening day this year.

I thought the point of these games was to encourage baseball in the United Kingdom, not to discourage it….

 

QLE Posted: February 09, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: london, neutral site games

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Orioles-Yanks, Mets-Nats start MLB’s regular opening day

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees host Baltimore and Washington is at home against the New York Mets on March 28, the first games of the earliest regular major league opening day.

The commissioner’s office announced games times Wednesday for the schedule, which was released in August. The previous earliest regular start was March 30 in 2003, 2008 and 2014.

The season opens with a two-game series between Seattle and Oakland in Tokyo on March 20-21, MLB’s fifth opener in Japan after 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. MLB also has opened in Monterrey, Mexico (1999), San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001) and Sydney, Australia (2014).

MLB will be going all-in (in relative terms, at least) with neutral-site games- finally, a decision of theirs I can fully support!

QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: neutral site games, opening day, schedule

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tickets for Yanks-Red Sox in London in June cost $38-$493

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is charging princely prices for its first games in Britain.

Premium seats at London’s Olympic Stadium will cost 385 pounds ($493) for the games between the New York Yankees and World Series champion Boston Red Sox on June 29 and 30. The top non-premium seats near the infield cost 320 pounds ($410).

Seats in the outfield corners go for 270 ($346) and 220 pounds ($282), according to a chart on Ticketmaster’s website. The ones behind the outfield fences go for 120 pounds ($154).

Ever get a feeling that MLB would mug us on the street if they thought we had a few bucks in our wallets?

QLE Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:45 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, greed, london, neutral site games, red sox, yankees tickets

Friday, November 23, 2018

Alex Rodriguez talks MLB coming to London - ‘You’ll see baseballs hit over 550ft that fans will think are golf balls’

People might not know baseball, but they sure know “A-Rod”. Three-time Major League Baseball MVP Alex Rodriguez is in London this week to help promote next year’s London Series, a blockbuster match-up on June 29 and 30 between Rodriguez’s former side, the New York Yankees, and reigning world champions the Boston Red Sox.

While the NFL and, to a lesser extent, the NBA are now regulars on these shores, this is the first time MLB has dipped its toe into the Europe.

Bringing the Red Sox and Yankees, the sport’s two iconic franchises, across the pond should be taken as a statement of intent, with tickets going on sale at the start of December.

In case you’ve ever wanted to read how the Daily Telegraph would try to describe baseball to its audience….

QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, london, neutral site games

 

 

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