Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Manfred Eyes 2019 For Regular-Season Games In Europe

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred remains hopeful the sport can play regular-season games in Europe for the first time in 2019.

Major League Baseball had hoped to have European games in 2018, possibly between the Yankees and Red Sox at London’s Olympic Stadium, but decided there was not enough time to get plans in place.

“It’s something we’d really like to do in 2019,” Manfred said Thursday following a quarterly owners’ meeting. “I can’t tell you we are going to do it. I can’t give you a percentage, but we do think it’s time, whether it’s 2019 or shortly thereafter, that we play in Europe.”

In December, Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed to the Boston Herald the franchise is interested in playing the Red Sox in London.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 04:58 PM | 76 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: europe, international, red sox, rob manfred, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Man o' Schwar Posted: May 18, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5458928)
No one knows what it's like, to be the bad Manfred, to be the sad Manfred, behind Manfred Eyes.
   2. Greg K Posted: May 18, 2017 at 05:59 PM (#5458934)
This would be absolutely great!

It's criminal how much I'd be willing to trade for even a marginal development of baseball in Europe. I'm talking starting the 10th inning with a runner on second level heresy.
   3. Man o' Schwar Posted: May 18, 2017 at 06:02 PM (#5458937)

It's criminal how much I'd be willing to trade for even a marginal development of baseball in Europe. I'm talking starting the 10th inning with a runner on second level heresy.


You have to be careful. That level of heresy will get you burned at the stake in Europe.
   4. Batman Posted: May 18, 2017 at 06:17 PM (#5458945)
We've fought several wars to keep that man off second.
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 06:28 PM (#5458954)
Sadly, this isn't even the dumbest thing Manfred has done today much less this week or his entire reign of error.
   6. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 07:41 PM (#5458993)
Amsterdam seems like a better city to host the first games. Not as big as London, or as English-speaking (though close), but a much better baseball background.
   7. eddieot Posted: May 18, 2017 at 07:47 PM (#5458996)
Sadly, this isn't even the dumbest thing Manfred has done today much less this week or his entire reign of error.

I'm not sure why Manfred got such good press when became commissioner. He was essentially Bud Selig's apologist/whipping boy for years. I expected nothing better than Bud and that's what we got...

   8. Greg K Posted: May 18, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5459021)
Amsterdam seems like a better city to host the first games. Not as big as London, or as English-speaking (though close), but a much better baseball background.

I think the most likely place would be Hoofddorp, which has the advantage over the London site in that the stadium's primary purpose is baseball. I read it can be modified to seat 30,000.

The other continental option would probably be the Armin-Wolf Arena (also a specifically baseball venue) in Regensburg, Germany. It fit up to 12,000 or so for a WBC qualifier a couple years back.
   9. Greg K Posted: May 18, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5459024)
I'd also say that on the continent you have much more developed baseball leagues than in Britain. I don't know if MLB fan bases necessarily correlate with that...but if it were up to me I'd vote for MLB games on the continent before London.
   10. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5459046)
This is one of the first things Manfred has suggested that doesn't bother me. Spread the game around. Just don't change how it's played on the field.

But screw the Netherlands/Britain. Give eastern Europe some love for once. Serbia, Belarus, Kosovo... all have high-capacity stadiums just waiting for some MLB.
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:18 PM (#5459054)
If Greg K hadn't wasted so much time at BBTF, he'd be MLB's Vice President for European Affairs by now. Sad.
   12. Greg K Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:24 PM (#5459060)
I'd drop my present stable and lucrative career for such a position in a heart-beat!

For now, I'll just have to continue doing the work pro bono until someone over there notices.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5459069)
Terrific idea. Love it.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5459077)
Sadly, this isn't even the dumbest thing Manfred has done today much less this week or his entire reign of error.

Every time Manfred opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge.

Just what we'd need, teams playing 5 to 9 time zones away.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In December, Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed to the Boston Herald the franchise is interested in playing the Red Sox in London.


That's fine, as long as they play on Boxing Day and leave the regular season alone.
   15. Greg Pope Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:01 PM (#5459078)
You guys are missing the point. The NFL plays regular season games in London, so it's obviously the only possible thing for MLB to do.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:03 PM (#5459079)
If they start them at 7 pm local time, they'll be at 1 pm our time, right? That's all right, I think. There are day games in the regular season.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:14 PM (#5459082)
You guys are missing the point. The NFL plays regular season games in London, so it's obviously the only possible thing for MLB to do.

I get the tongue in cheek, but NFL teams have a week to adjust to the time zone gap, and a week to recover from it.
   18. Brian C Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:56 AM (#5459121)
I get the tongue in cheek, but NFL teams have a week to adjust to the time zone gap, and a week to recover from it.

I don't see the big deal. If MLB can play regular season games in Japan, they can do it in Europe.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:02 AM (#5459125)
Amsterdam seems like a better city to host the first games. Not as big as London, or as English-speaking (though close), but a much better baseball background.


I saw the Dodger games in Sydney and they were great. Baseball is pretty minor over here and both games easily sold out and were huge events.

Red Sox/Yankees in London would be awesome, it doesn't need to be a baseball town. English sport fans would make it a huge event. In Sydney they reconfigured the Sydney Cricket ground, I'm sure they can do a nice job with the Olympic stadium.

I get the tongue in cheek, but NFL teams have a week to adjust to the time zone gap, and a week to recover from it.


Holy smokes mate, it's not like they are taking the titanic over there and back, the flight is like 7 hours and these cats fly under much better conditions then you or I. You are making an issue where there is none.

You guys are way to pedantic about these minor things, it would be a huge success and probably really fun for the players.

   20. Sebastian Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:19 AM (#5459127)
That's fine, as long as they play on Boxing Day and leave the regular season alone.
There’s a 50 percent chance that the Olympic Stadium is occupied that day, so that would be rather difficult. Anyway, I’m all for it. Any excuse to visit London – even if I don’t care for the two teams being mentioned.
   21. manchestermets Posted: May 19, 2017 at 06:24 AM (#5459139)
As a London resident, I'd be delighted for there to be some MLB games in Amsterdam. Not only because the Olympic stadium is a terrible stadium, and totally unsuitable for baseball - one of the cricket grounds, Lords or the Oval would be better but that would be a lot of foul ground - but because any excuse to visit Amsterdam. Not Yankees v Red Sox though, please. Dull.

Edit: I won't hold my breath though - I'm sure at one stage there were plans for games in Amsterdam in 2016.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: May 19, 2017 at 06:29 AM (#5459141)
I think the most likely place would be Hoofddorp


You just made that up, didn't you?
   23. PreservedFish Posted: May 19, 2017 at 06:30 AM (#5459142)
Oh, I see that it is "the main town of the Haarlemmermeer municipality." Population of 73,000. I don't think you're going to get your Vice President for European Affairs job any time soon with recommendations like this.
   24. manchestermets Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:08 AM (#5459154)
It's only a short distance outside Amsterdam though - in Amsterdam the same way the Braves' new stadium is in Atlanta. Look, here's the honkball stadium.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:10 AM (#5459156)
I get the tongue in cheek, but NFL teams have a week to adjust to the time zone gap, and a week to recover from it.

I don't see the big deal. If MLB can play regular season games in Japan, they can do it in Europe.


One inanity doesn't justify the second one. Make it a post-World Series exhibition game and pay the players accordingly, and it'll be fine. It won't be any colder in London in mid-November that it is in late October in New York or Boston.

If they want to play regular season games outside the continental U.S., they should stick to Mexico City or Santo Domingo.
   26. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:33 AM (#5459161)
I did London-NY semi-regular commuting for a while (fly west on a Monday evening, return east 10 days later to arrive London early Friday morning, one week working from London, then back out again). It's just not that big a deal; the Friday arriving back in Europe was pretty much a lost day, but otherwise the impact was minimal, and I was in my mid-30s, flying no-leg-room economy and could barely run a 5k; these are athletes who are used to travel, will get better care, and won't be trying to work on Powerpoint while the school trip behind them is kicking their seats. At least, I hope not.

Something like: Fly them out late Sunday evening from the East Coast after an afternoon game, give players the Monday off, Tuesday do promo events, play a 4-game series Wed-Fri with a double-header on the Thursday. Return Saturday and you should be fine for a late game on the Sunday.

I'd be interested in seeing how much MLBAM income is from Europe. I bet it's quite a bit; they certainly get plenty from me. And as a Londoner, Amsterdam would be much better - local fandom, far more accessible for other European nations, etc.
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:44 AM (#5459164)
Something like: Fly them out late Sunday evening from the East Coast after an afternoon game, give players the Monday off, Tuesday do promo events, play a 4-game series Wed-Fri with a double-header on the Thursday. Return Saturday and you should be fine for a late game on the Sunday.

Yes, and if it's the Yankees and the Red Sox I'm sure their fans would just love the idea of giving up 4 home games for this silly little experiment. Make it the Reds and the Brewers and it might be different.
   28. Greg Pope Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5459165)
My point on the NFL wasn't really the schedule, it was MLB's blind following of the NFL. I don't think that Manfred (or whoever floated the idea) said, "Let's play in Europe! Now, where's the best place to do that?". They most likely said, "The NFL plays some regular season games in London. We should look into doing that."
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5459167)
My point on the NFL wasn't really the schedule, it was MLB's blind following of the NFL. I don't think that Manfred (or whoever floated the idea) said, "Let's play in Europe! Now, where's the best place to do that?". They most likely said, "The NFL plays some regular season games in London. We should look into doing that."

I got that the first time, which was why I mentioned your likely tongue-in-cheek.
   30. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5459168)
Yes, and if it's the Yankees and the Red Sox I'm sure their fans would just love the idea of giving up 4 home games for this silly little experiment. Make it the Reds and the Brewers and it might be different.


Their fans who live in Europe might love the idea. I mean, they exist too, right? Their money's just as good as anyone else's, even if it is funny colours.

My (British) brother would be rooting for the Mariners to come over, while my college friend will be holding out hope for the Braves. I haven't been able to see the Yankees play in person for 9 years now, though, so I guess I'd be OK with asking for a fraction of 1% of the Yankees' home games over the last few decades to be someone other than the Bronx.
   31. Sebastian Posted: May 19, 2017 at 09:03 AM (#5459172)
I mean, they exist too, right?
Looking at the number of Yankee caps you see on an average day …
   32. Greg Pope Posted: May 19, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5459182)
I got that the first time, which was why I mentioned your likely tongue-in-cheek.

No problem.

To address your point, I agree it would be much harder on MLB players than NFL players. The proposed schedule in post 26 doesn't really work. I mean, I suppose you could arrange to start the following series on a Sunday, but that involves pulling 2 other teams in to start a series on a Sunday, which throws off the teams they just played, etc. Unless it's being suggested that the teams that played in Europe will finish their 5-game series on Sunday. Most likely you'd have just the 4 game series in a week which means that you've taken 3 days off which have to be made up at some point.

However, if they handled it like they did the Japan series (and I think the Australian series) where they just played it a week before the season started and counted the games, there's no issue. It just means that it can't be 4 or 5 series in the middle of the season like the NFL does. So, it's limited.
   33. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 19, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5459185)
However, if they handled it like they did the Japan series (and I think the Australian series) where they just played it a week before the season started and counted the games, there's no issue. It just means that it can't be 4 or 5 series in the middle of the season like the NFL does. So, it's limited.


I'd obviously be more than happy with this too, but weather in Amsterdam/London in late March is pretty middling at best. You could go further south, but I would bet that the majority of fans for this kind of undertaking would be UK/German/Dutch, with maybe some of the Nordics. And covered stadia are fairly rare in Europe. I saw an indoor cricket game in the Cardiff Millenium Stadium, which does have a roof - this was before Twenty20 came along, and they were still trying to work out usable rules for the format.

Do the NHL play much in Europe? I've been to a few German ice hockey games, and had a blast - the home team fans spend a lot of the game singing and waving flags. (Though Dusseldorf EG could do with a better song than 'Dusseldorf ay gay, Dusseldorf ay gay, Dusseldorfffff . . . ayyyyyy . . . gaaaaay.') 20,000 in Berlin for the Icebaeren just after New Year's last year, that was great.
   34. Brian C Posted: May 19, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5459199)
Do the NHL play much in Europe?

From time to time they do the season-opener thing. Some years ago (2009 maybe?) the Blackhawks opened with two games in Helsinki, IIRC.
   35. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5459202)
If they want to play regular season games outside the continental U.S., they should stick to Mexico City or Santo Domingo.

Geez, I know they've had a rough first 7 weeks but let's not kick the Blue Jays out of MLB just yet.
   36. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5459205)
Getaway day Wednesday; Thursday off; 7:00 BST/1:00 EDT starts Friday-Sunday; Monday off; Tuesday night games. They can stay on their regular schedule for typical weekend afternoon starts, meaning basically no need to acclimate. And the travel is barely more onerous than cross-country trips each team makes multiple times per year.
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5459215)
Yes, and if it's the Yankees and the Red Sox I'm sure their fans would just love the idea of giving up 4 home games for this silly little experiment. Make it the Reds and the Brewers and it might be different.

Their fans who live in Europe might love the idea. I mean, they exist too, right? Their money's just as good as anyone else's, even if it is funny colours.

My (British) brother would be rooting for the Mariners to come over, while my college friend will be holding out hope for the Braves. I haven't been able to see the Yankees play in person for 9 years now, though, so I guess I'd be OK with asking for a fraction of 1% of the Yankees' home games over the last few decades to be someone other than the Bronx.


I know that Trump's made people somewhat gunshy about visiting the U.S., but what's stopping you from simply flying over here and rooting for America's Team in their own stadium? It has been done.

And if there are really as many baseball fans in Europe as you seem to imply, you could probably get enough of them together for a package tour and center your vacation around your favorite teams' schedules. As a bonus you won't have to eat fish 'n' chips wrapped in one of Murdoch's tabloids while you're enjoying the games.

   38. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5459218)
I am like a fine wine--I don't travel well--but Ben B Ramjet is probably right: these guys are young, healthy, used to traveling, and will have great accommodations. They're not doing the cattle-car red eye, so it won't take them 2 days to recover. And if it does, if it's Yanks - Sawx, so much the better!
   39. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5459219)
If there is actually any travel issue, they could maybe put in a taxi squad rule and give them some extra players to share the load for the weekend.

Do European teams ever come (edit) to the States? I know the Can-Am League does some kind of thing where the Cuban National Team and an Asian team come over and play for several weeks.

   40. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:08 PM (#5459313)
Manfred aspires to be Roger Goodell.
   41. McCoy Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5459350)
The solution to any travel woes is to have teams play each other back to back. Sunday game in the states. Travel day on Monday. Play Tuesday and Wednesday in Europe. Travel day on Thursday. The two teams in Europe then play a weekend series against each other. That way both teams have been exposed to the same rigors and thus neither has a unique advantage.
   42. GGC for Sale Posted: May 19, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5459353)
I won't RTFA but games in Italy sound logical to me. IIRC, that's the 2nd biggest baseball hotbed in Europe after Holland. Do people still call it Holland?
   43. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5459364)
I won't RTFA but games in Italy sound logical to me. IIRC, that's the 2nd biggest baseball hotbed in Europe after Holland. Do people still call it Holland?

I think it depends...if you're talking to someone from outside the Netherlands, or from Holland it's probably fine. If you're talking to a Dutch person who's not from Holland I imagine it's a bit like calling someone from South Carolina a Yankee.
   44. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5459368)
Do people still call it Holland?


In baseball circles it's pronounced "Aruba."

A trip from the East Coast to Western Europe is 6-7 hours, not that different from LA to Boston. I don't think it's that outrageous. Getting the teams on board might be tricky.
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 19, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5459391)
Wait, I thought London wasn't in Europe anymore.
   46. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5459474)
I know that Trump's made people somewhat gunshy about visiting the U.S., but what's stopping you from simply flying over here and rooting for America's Team in their own stadium? It has been done.


I have done so several times (1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008), but for the last few years I've either been in the US in winter (family visits, work in CT) or tapped out monetarily from obligations in other countries - Singapore for a wedding, most recently. At the moment, I'm recovering from a rogue DVT, and I'm not at all happy to travel to the US under your current administration. I'm hoping things will change soon enough there, but for the moment Toronto looks like my next ballpark to visit. Maybe next year when my anti-coagulation meds are no longer needed.

And if there are really as many baseball fans in Europe as you seem to imply, you could probably get enough of them together for a package tour and center your vacation around your favorite teams' schedules. As a bonus you won't have to eat fish 'n' chips wrapped in one of Murdoch's tabloids while you're enjoying the games.


It happens, but it doesn't help generate many new fans for MLB; it only works for the die-hards. Looking at Yankees games, I see plenty of tickets sold, but also a lot of empty seats. The reaction when MLB was Down Under suggests that there's huge potential to get actual enthusiastic fans attending games, some for the first time, and some of whom could become fans for life.

My nephew will turn 6 this year; I'd love to take him to a game some day. His parents won't, and I doubt very much they'll sign on to me flying him out to the States for the purpose. I'm sure even naturally superior and more dedicated fans such as yourself could put up with a 1pm ET televised start for a couple of mid-week games against the Rays from a neutral ground somewhere once a decade, even if it seems like an unbearable burden in the abstract.

It's meat pies at football and cucumber sandwiches at cricket, by the way. The Germans have them beat with currywurst at the hockey.
   47. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5459480)
It happens, but it doesn't help generate many new fans for MLB; it only works for the die-hards.

More than a couple of the British baseball fans I know became fans by going to games (mostly Yankee games in New York)*. As noted, the goal isn't just to serve European baseball fans, but to create European baseball fans, by giving curious sports fans an opportunity to see the real deal.

*It can happen the other way of course. A good friend of mine had a love-at-first-sight relationship with baseball a few years ago (via mlb.tv I think he's seen every Washington Nationals game over the past five years). But he'd never seen a game live until a couple years ago when he visited Toronto. It was a pretty tremendous experience to see.

   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5459575)
I know that Trump's made people somewhat gunshy about visiting the U.S., but what's stopping you from simply flying over here and rooting for America's Team in their own stadium? It has been done.

I have done so several times (1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008), but for the last few years I've either been in the US in winter (family visits, work in CT) or tapped out monetarily from obligations in other countries - Singapore for a wedding, most recently. At the moment, I'm recovering from a rogue DVT, and I'm not at all happy to travel to the US under your current administration. I'm hoping things will change soon enough there, but for the moment Toronto looks like my next ballpark to visit. Maybe next year when my anti-coagulation meds are no longer needed.


I sympathize on all those levels, but if you're in the UK with the current state of British politics, you might not be worse off by braving the trip over here.

And if there are really as many baseball fans in Europe as you seem to imply, you could probably get enough of them together for a package tour and center your vacation around your favorite teams' schedules. As a bonus you won't have to eat fish 'n' chips wrapped in one of Murdoch's tabloids while you're enjoying the games.

It happens, but it doesn't help generate many new fans for MLB; it only works for the die-hards. Looking at Yankees games, I see plenty of tickets sold, but also a lot of empty seats. The reaction when MLB was Down Under suggests that there's huge potential to get actual enthusiastic fans attending games, some for the first time, and some of whom could become fans for life.


Maybe and maybe not. The Japanese were baseball crazy long before the Yankees opened their 2004 regular season over there. It's going to take a lot more than a 4 game series to convert Europeans or Aussies into baseball fans. Hell, the baseball guides of 100 years ago were predicting that little fantasy after the GIs had introduced the game over there during World War I. About the only real benefit for MLB from this will be an upsurge in licensed memorabilia sales.

It's meat pies at football and cucumber sandwiches at cricket, by the way. The Germans have them beat with currywurst at the hockey.

Much better than fish 'n' chips, no question. I got introduced to cucumber and liverwurst sandwiches on french rolls by some Vietnamese way back in 1963 after an anti-Diem demonstration in front of the White House, and I've been a big fan of that concoction ever since, though I like them even better on sourdough.
   49. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 19, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5459619)
Much better than fish 'n' chips, no question.


There are very few things I like to eat more than good fish and chips. Bangers and mash, maybe. :-)
   50. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5459669)
It's going to take a lot more than a 4 game series to convert Europeans or Aussies into baseball fans.

I agree. The new format of someone playing inter-league ball at all times is a good template. At any given time two MLB teams will be playing in Europe at all times during the regular season.

Glad we could reach a compromise!
   51. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 05:43 PM (#5459679)
Yeah, a good fish and chips are pretty great. How can anyone be against frying stuff in batter?

If I were to make fun of British food I'd go with black pudding (which I actually really like, but I can see not being everyone's cup of tea).
   52. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: May 19, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5459729)
If I were to make fun of British food I'd go with black pudding (which I actually really like, but I can see not being everyone's cup of tea).
I love fish and chips in England but I find the "full english breakfast" repulsive.
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:19 PM (#5459757)
Yes, and if it's the Yankees and the Red Sox I'm sure their fans would just love the idea of giving up 4 home games for this silly little experiment. Make it the Reds and the Brewers and it might be different.

This misses the point. MLB apparently thinks the long term gains from the European market justify sending its A Team(s). They could be wrong, but sending the Reds - Brewers sends a much different message that likely produces a different result.
   54. QLE Posted: May 19, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5459779)
This misses the point. MLB apparently thinks the long term gains from the European market justify sending its A Team(s). They could be wrong, but sending the Reds - Brewers sends a much different message that likely produces a different result.


And it actually shows when we look at the teams sent to play international games:

1996 (Mexico): Padres-Mets. The Mets were sub-.500, but the Padres won the NL West and, as the major-league team closest to the Mexican border, would seem to make a lot of sense for this exercise.

1999 (Mexico): Padres-Rockies. Neither team did well that season, but at least the Padres still made geographic sense.

2000 (Japan): Cubs-Mets. The Mets ultimately won the pennant, and the Cubs are a team that has tended to have a strong fanbase regardless of actual performance.

2004 (Japan): Yankees-Devil Rays. The draw of the Yankees should seem self-evident, regardless of who they're playing.

2008 (Japan): Red Sox-A's. Again, the draw that is one team should negate how weak the other team was.

2012 (Japan): Mariners-A's. The A's won the AL West that year, and the Mariners, given both ownership and most recognizable player, makes sense in other regards.

2014 (Australia): Dodgers-Diamondbacks. The Dodgers won the NL West, and the Diamondbacks....did not.

Overall, looking at this list, there is always one team on it (and, quite often, two) that would make some sense as a draw. Even in the cases of special-event games held in the United States, there's usually been some logic: there have been a couple of times when it seems more random (like the teams sent to Hawaii in 1997 or Puerto Rico in 2001), but the other four times it took place (Disney World in 2007 and 2008, Puerto Rico in 2010, and Fort Bragg in 2016) one of the teams was one that makes logical sense as the home team, even if their record wasn't that impressive.
   55. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 09:19 PM (#5459798)
Yes, and if it's the Yankees and the Red Sox I'm sure their fans would just love the idea of giving up 4 home games for this silly little experiment. Make it the Reds and the Brewers and it might be different.

This misses the point. MLB apparently thinks the long term gains from the European market justify sending its A Team(s). They could be wrong, but sending the Reds - Brewers sends a much different message that likely produces a different result.


What "long term gains from the European market" are you talking about, beyond selling at bit more overpriced merchandise on a continent that's never going to have a Major League franchise?

I get that it'd be a thrill for some American expats to be able to enjoy a touch of home without actually making the trip home themselves, but if MLB doesn't have a worldwide Extra Innings or mlb.tv package by now, that's surely a better long term investment than trotting the Yankees and the Red Sox overseas for 4 games out of 162. And if they're really serious about bringing baseball to Europe on a level beyond Nike and Under Armor, they should be investing in baseball programs on the youth and university levels, building interest from the ground up the way they've done in Latin America. But if all Manfred cares about is selling more Sanchez or Mookie jerseys, then sure, go for it.

MLB marketed itself in Japan in two very good ways: Postseason tours by individual teams that played a series of games against Japanese teams; and signing Japanese stars like Ichiro and Matsui to play on teams in cities with large Asian populations. Of course Japan already had an established baseball culture by the time that those tours and signings took place, but that's the point.
   56. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5459825)
Of course Japan already had an established baseball culture by the time that those tours and signings took place, but that's the point.

Right, that is the point. What can we do to help develop that baseball culture? MLB teams playing in Europe, WBC qualifying tournaments held in Europe (ideally with national players rather than Americans with European ancestry - most nations are good at focusing on development in that way, but some less so - I'm looking at you team GB!), MLB funneling money in for development (more the better!), getting European players in MLB is great too...Max Kepler has no bigger fan than I!

All of these things help.

A] Asking a couple teams to play a series over there once every 89 years is not an onerous burden on either players or fans
B] Playing some games over there has zero effect on MLB's ability to do those other things to promote the game as well, so why not do both/all? [EDIT: If anything, playing games in Europe likely HELPS those other programs]

It's taken 34 years, but what do you know, the universe has finally presented me with something I'm passionate about. It is an odd sensation.
   57. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:15 PM (#5459832)
but if MLB doesn't have a worldwide Extra Innings or mlb.tv package by now, that's surely a better long term investment than trotting the Yankees and the Red Sox overseas for 4 games out of 162.

This is also an important point. In fact mlb.tv has been available world wide for quite a while (it's actually better outside of the US in that there are zero blackouts, you even get the playoffs included in your package). Anecdotally this has actually done wonders for interest in baseball among the Europeans I know, and is one of the reasons I'm optimistic about there being a market for live MLB baseball in Europe. The choice isn't between mlb.tv or live MLB games...the question is, will some live MLB games complement and expand the fan-base mlb.tv has fostered?

It's also great for teaching people how to play. It can be frustratingly difficult to explain when it is appropriate to tag-up to someone totally unfamiliar with the rules of baseball. But have them watch a game or two on TV and they learn the rules very quickly.
   58. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:46 PM (#5459851)
B] Playing some games over there has zero effect on MLB's ability to do those other things to promote the game as well, so why not do both/all? [EDIT: If anything, playing games in Europe likely HELPS those other programs]....

but if MLB doesn't have a worldwide Extra Innings or mlb.tv package by now, that's surely a better long term investment than trotting the Yankees and the Red Sox overseas for 4 games out of 162.


This is also an important point. In fact mlb.tv has been available world wide for quite a while (it's actually better outside of the US in that there are zero blackouts, you even get the playoffs included in your package). Anecdotally this has actually done wonders for interest in baseball among the Europeans I know, and is one of the reasons I'm optimistic about there being a market for live MLB baseball in Europe. The choice isn't between mlb.tv or live MLB games...the question is, will some live MLB games complement and expand the fan-base mlb.tv has fostered?

It's also great for teaching people how to play. It can be frustratingly difficult to explain when it is appropriate to tag-up to someone totally unfamiliar with the rules of baseball. But have them watch a game or two on TV and they learn the rules very quickly.


Okay, you've softened my opposition with your last few comments, but I'd still rather not stick the Yanks and the Sox over there. If you have to give them a top rivalry, give them the Cubs and the Cardinals or the Dodgers and the Giants.
   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:51 PM (#5459855)
If you have to give them a top rivalry, give them the Cubs and the Cardinals or the Dodgers and the Giants.

More time zones might increase the logistical challenges.
   60. Greg K Posted: May 19, 2017 at 10:58 PM (#5459861)
Okay, you've softened my opposition with your last few comments, but I'd still rather not stick the Yanks and the Sox over there. If you have to give them a top rivalry, give them the Cubs and the Cardinals or the Dodgers and the Giants.

On that we can agree!

More baseball fans in Europe is great. But I'm certainly not for creating more Yankees fans...there is a price that even I wouldn't pay to win over Europe.
   61. BDC Posted: May 20, 2017 at 10:16 AM (#5459977)
If you have to give them a top rivalry

All the marquee NFL franchises have played in London over the years except the Packers, whom I'd guess are too valuable as home or away draws here in the US to "waste" overseas (though maybe it's just been the luck of the draw, so to speak).

But the typical London game isn't Cowboys-Giants or anything like that. In fact, the typical London game is Jacksonville against anybody; Wembley is practically the Jaguars' second home field.

If one of the big draws is in London, they're usually playing a fairly random game. The Steelers played the Vikings. The Giants have played the Dolphins and the Rams. The Patriots have played the Bucs and the Rams.

Interestingly, the Patriots are scheduled to play the Raiders in Mexico City this fall, which seems like a very good matchup. Naturally, the Raiders are the ones losing the home date vs. New England, because #### the Raiders.

Hence, I predict the first London MLB series will feature the Rays vs. the Marlins :)
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 20, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5459989)
With the exception of the Expos in Puerto Rico, haven't all of the regular season games played outside of the US and Canada been season-opening affairs with plenty of extra days allowed for travel and virtually no disruption to the rest of the season? Shouldn't we expect London to be the same?
   63. BDC Posted: May 20, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5459992)
Shouldn't we expect London to be the same?

Theoretically, but as Broussard says in #33, that could lead to spectators freezing their ###es, or perhaps ###es, off. Of course they do that on many an opening weekend in the US, too.
   64. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5460000)
Maybe they could build the BDC dome in London instead of Arlington?
#keepBDCwarm
   65. BDC Posted: May 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5460001)
I'm in!
   66. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: May 20, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5460003)
Not Yankees v Red Sox though, please. Dull.


Heh, you're a United fan, you don't get to complain about exporting the "dull" ...
   67. QLE Posted: May 20, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5460026)
With the exception of the Expos in Puerto Rico, haven't all of the regular season games played outside of the US and Canada been season-opening affairs with plenty of extra days allowed for travel and virtually no disruption to the rest of the season?


Some of the games held in Mexico and Puerto Rico were held in the midst of the regular season- all the games held in Japan and Australia, however, were held in late March, and I suspect they'd do something similar

(As a side-note: the list of all neutral-site games since 1900 is here: http://www.retrosheet.org/neutral.htm )
   68. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: May 20, 2017 at 01:53 PM (#5460040)
Interestingly, the Patriots are scheduled to play the Raiders in Mexico City this fall, which seems like a very good matchup. Naturally, the Raiders are the ones losing the home date vs. New England, because #### the Raiders.
Eh, it would probably be a good idea to schedule as many Raiders games outside of Oakland as possible now that they're definitely leaving.
   69. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 20, 2017 at 04:56 PM (#5460088)
In fact mlb.tv has been available world wide for quite a while (it's actually better outside of the US in that there are zero blackouts, you even get the playoffs included in your package).


If I sign up for mlb.tv while I'm in the UK, will that "address" follow me home when I return? That is, will I still be considered an "out of market" user and not subject to blackouts? I've occasionally thought of signing up for the service, but it galls my kibe that I'd be paying and still not able to see the team I most want to see, because I *could* see them if I chose to pay the $10,000 a month or whatever it is cable tv costs.
   70. Swedish Chef Posted: May 20, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5460092)

If I sign up for mlb.tv while I'm in the UK, will that "address" follow me home when I return? That is, will I still be considered an "out of market" user and not subject to blackouts? I've occasionally thought of signing up for the service, but it galls my kibe that I'd be paying and still not able to see the team I most want to see, because I *could* see them if I chose to pay the $10,000 a month or whatever it is cable tv costs.


It won't work, but I think you can use on out-of-market proxy server to fool the system. But nothing is blacked out in Sweden so I don't really know the details.
   71. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 20, 2017 at 05:09 PM (#5460094)
Blackouts are based on where you are streaming from. You can't get around them by opening your account from a foreign country. You can get around them by being in a foreign country when you are streaming, either actually or virtually.
   72. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 20, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5460095)
Thanks guys. Since I spend roughly 99% of my life in the NYC market, I guess I'm stuck.

Wish I'd been able to convince my wife to get that little place in the west of Ireland when we could've afforded it.
   73. dejarouehg Posted: May 20, 2017 at 09:55 PM (#5460236)
I can't stand this idea. It's just a merchandising ploy.

I do have to admit that even though I have sworn off long plane rides, the thought of the Cubs playing the Mets in Stockholm could change that..........and Sweden is worth the trip.
   74. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 21, 2017 at 04:11 AM (#5460354)
I didn't like when they played regular season games in Japan or Australia and I don't like this idea either. I'd be in favor of a Eurotour in November, though.
   75. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 21, 2017 at 08:39 AM (#5460362)
That'd be the ideal situation, and given the local weather there in November, it'd have the added advantage of providing a genuine Yankee Stadium World Series atmosphere.
   76. manchestermets Posted: May 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5460373)
Heh, you're a United fan, you don't get to complain about exporting the "dull" ...


True. I'm also strenuously against playing Premier League games overseas.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
rr
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Page rendered in 0.7144 seconds
47 querie(s) executed