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Friday, August 05, 2022

St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs to play 2-game series in June of 2023 in London

Major League Baseball plans to return to London next year for the first time since 2019.

The league announced Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play a two-game series on June 24-25, 2023, at London Stadium. The NL Central rivals were supposed to play in London in 2020, but the games were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Cardinals are excited and honored to be a part of the London Series next year,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a release. “The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports, and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience.”

MLB last played in London in 2019, when the New York Yankees swept a two-game set against the Boston Red Sox in June at London Stadium. Those were also MLB’s first regular-season games played in Europe.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2022 at 05:26 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, cubs, international games, london

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 05, 2022 at 09:59 PM (#6090232)
Get your tickets now for Keegan Thompson vs Jordan Montgomery!! Pommes, this may be your only opportunity to catch superstars such as Patrick Wisdom and Dylan Carlson. We know you don't want the commercial crassness of us offering you a Shohei Ohtani start or to catch one of the greatest players in history ... what's his name ... oh yeah, Mike Trout. This is the sort of fabulous product you have access to now that you've freed yourself from the tyranny of EU regulations.
   2. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 05, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6090235)
I don't see start times mentioned. How cool would it be to attend a night game where the sun doesn't go down until after the final out gets recorded?
   3. Brian C Posted: August 05, 2022 at 11:11 PM (#6090243)
Roughly as cool as going to a day game, I'd imagine.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 06, 2022 at 12:58 AM (#6090264)
Covid will still be a thing in 2023. Half the Cardinals will come down with the Omega B.217 variant and will need to recruit players from the Gloucester cricket club.
Of course one of them will go 4 for 5 with a triple, 2 doubles and a single, drive in 6 runs and Cards will win game 1 by a score of 6-4.

In game 2, the Cardinals starter, the newly recruited current Gloucester opening fast bowler, will be ejected from the game for trying to shine one side of the baseball to get some more swing on it.
   5. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 06, 2022 at 04:35 AM (#6090268)
Roughly as cool as going to a day game, I'd imagine.

This made me laugh out loud.

Anyway, I believe the sun sets in London at about the same local time as it does in Detroit or Seattle.
   6. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 06, 2022 at 08:06 AM (#6090274)
First pitch by John Tudor.
   7. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 06, 2022 at 08:32 AM (#6090275)
Anyway, I believe the sun sets in London at about the same local time as it does in Detroit or Seattle.
Yeah, my bad. Around that time of the year sundown in London is only 10-12 minutes later than Detroit and Seattle. I forgot that the sun sets earlier there than it does in more southernly Paris.
   8. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 06, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6090276)
We know you don't want the commercial crassness of us offering you a Shohei Ohtani start or to catch one of the greatest players in history ... what's his name ... oh yeah, Mike Trout.

How about the Angels against the Mets?
   9. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 06, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6090296)
Anyway, I believe the sun sets in London at about the same local time as it does in Detroit or Seattle.


I guess more because of its relative longitude than its latitude, Detroit sunsets are later than either. Though I imagine you get way more actual sunshine per day in the summer in Seattle. (If not so much London. Because of rain.)
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 06, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6090301)
I've lived all of my life either in England or the Seattle area. The two places have amazingly similar climates.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 06, 2022 at 04:08 PM (#6090316)
“The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports, and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience.”

Why should a new audience care about an existing rivalry? If whoever the EPL champion is were to play a game in the US against whoever their biggest rival is to determine once and for all which nation is the greatest on earth, I still wouldn't be bothered to care about it even if the game were played across the street from me.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: August 06, 2022 at 04:24 PM (#6090319)
There is (was?) a restaurant in Wellington called Latitude 41 and around the wall it lists all of the other cities at 41 degrees (N or S): Rome, Barcelona, Chicago, NY, probably some others. My brain would not naturally think Chicago = Rome. Cannes, Mediterranean glamour spot, is 2 degrees N of Chicago.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6090331)
It's weird that someone seems to think that Ohtani would be a draw to new fans, but a rivalry wouldn't. I imagine neither would matter, nobody new would know the significance of what Ohtani is doing, and they might even wonder why it's a deal?

Honestly it probably doesn't matter which team other than maybe the Yankees or Dodgers were playing in this thing as far as the fans over there are concerned.
   14. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 07, 2022 at 02:52 PM (#6090409)
I imagine neither would matter, nobody new would know the significance of what Ohtani is doing, and they might even wonder why it's a deal?


Baseball is just a hard sport to showcase to a new audience. There are few opportunities for shocking displays of raw athleticism, for one. Plus offensive opportunities are equalized, so you could easily have a two-game set where Goldschmidt doesn't get a hit but the backup SS goes bananas. That makes it hard to hype the arrival of a star like Goldschmidt, whereas if the Bucks played a game in London you could reasonably expect him to get 20 points and a couple of awesome plays.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2022 at 03:29 PM (#6090423)
Plus offensive opportunities are equalized, so you could easily have a two-game set where Goldschmidt doesn't get a hit but the backup SS goes bananas. That makes it hard to hype the arrival of a star like Goldschmidt, whereas if the Bucks played a game in London you could reasonably expect him to get 20 points and a couple of awesome plays.'


I don't know. He seems like a good athlete, but I don't know if Goldy would be able to drop 20 in an NBA game. At least not easily.

   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 07, 2022 at 04:01 PM (#6090432)
Baseball is just a hard sport to showcase to a new audience.
Isn’t MLB marketing to ex-pats, and their British friends? Along with a few American tourists?
   17. Brian C Posted: August 07, 2022 at 04:39 PM (#6090457)
I guess more because of its relative longitude than its latitude, Detroit sunsets are later than either.

Yeah exactly, Detroit is way at the western end of its time zone, so for example, its sunset is 48 minutes later on June 24 than Boston despite being similar latitude and same time zone.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2022 at 05:36 PM (#6090478)
Yeah exactly, Detroit is way at the western end of its time zone, so for example, its sunset is 48 minutes later on June 24 than Boston despite being similar latitude and same time zone.


That's the same issue with Paris/London above.
   19. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 07, 2022 at 09:38 PM (#6090561)
I don't know. He seems like a good athlete, but I don't know if Goldy would be able to drop 20 in an NBA game. At least not easily.

Lol, somehow "Giannis" disappeared from that sentence.
   20. Jay Seaver Posted: August 07, 2022 at 11:30 PM (#6090572)
My brain would not naturally think Chicago = Rome. Cannes, Mediterranean glamour spot, is 2 degrees N of Chicago.


Answering an internet prompt about the furthest N/S/E/W you've ever been, I was kind of shocked to learn that my answer for "north" was London and not Montreal. I've not been to London in the deep winter, but from my understanding it doesn't get cold the way Montreal does.

Isn’t MLB marketing to ex-pats, and their British friends? Along with a few American tourists?


I got the impression that they're trying to market to Europe but will happily use the expats and tourists to make sure the stadium fills and the enterprise breaks even. I went to the previous London series as a tourist and it didn't feel like I was particularly surrounded by other Americans.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: August 08, 2022 at 01:02 AM (#6090579)
While even QE2 isn't old enough to remember him playing, the name Babe Ruth is still recognized in the English-speaking world even if nobody outside America quite knows why. In terms of expanding the game to the baseball-curious non-American audience, I would think "Ohtani is doing things not seen since Babe Ruth" is easily the best (non-Yankees) marketing angle they've got. And you can almost guarantee they will see Ohtani pitch assuming the Angels would play along.

While Cubs-Cards is a classic rivalry in the Midwest, I don't imagine baseball fans outside the Midwest pay any real attention to when they match up. Althought neither has been relevant since the Reagan administration, Redskins-Cowboys probably still generates more buzz than Cubs-Cards. Most of London probably thinks St Louis is somewhere in France. I've been surprised that almost none of the Kiwis, Aussies and Brits I've met over here have made it to Chicago when they go to the US.

Don't get me wrong, I think baseball in London is a silly idea and the notion that it will ever catch on anywhere it hasn't already caught on I suspect is fanciful. I don't see how they could make expansion to Japan/Korea work, Mexico doesn't seem feasible anytime soon. But sure, if you can make an extra million playing a couple games in London a year, who am I to complain? I'm already used to watching baseball at 7 in the morning.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: August 08, 2022 at 01:18 AM (#6090581)
I don't think any of that matters, the only marketing for this is speaking the simple concept. "Come see Baseball played by the highest league, in a non-exhibition game that counts". If a travelling cricket team came to America, that would be the selling point, not come see 'london royals face their historic rivalry Paris mimes' or 'come see lord flatulent, the only player to hit seven wickets in a game since the great Charles turncoat in 1920'.

The selling point is this is the highest level of the sport and they are not watching an exhibition game, but a game that actually counts for something. (they probably won't know, but it's better than some random exhibition crap where you know you aren't going to get the best)
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 08, 2022 at 10:28 AM (#6090599)
The existence of the London games is a good trial balloon to gauge if the ubiquity of sports gambling can make a bunch of randos pay attention to a sport they otherwise wouldn't, as Bally's/Manfred think it will.
   24. . Posted: August 08, 2022 at 10:44 AM (#6090601)
I'd absolutely go see a good regular season Premier League game if they played in Red Bull Arena. Zero question. I went to a Premiership Rugby match there a few years ago (London Irish v. Saracens), and went to the French Trophee de Champions game there about ten years ago (Lyon v. Montpellier).

If I lived in London, I wouldn't go see Cubs/Cards though. Baseball's a relatively provincial game and without the necessary context, extremely boring. Others have touched on it above, but a baseball game isn't an appealing self-contained sporting vessel in the way most of the other big sports are. It's more a chapter in a long, running story. You can't really even watch a couple baseball games and tell who the good players are.
   25. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 08, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6090605)
If I lived in London, I wouldn't go see Cubs/Cards though. Baseball's a relatively provincial game and without the necessary context, extremely boring. Others have touched on it above, but a baseball game isn't an appealing self-contained sporting vessel in the way most of the other big sports are. It's more a chapter in a long, running story. You can't really even watch a couple baseball games and tell who the good players are.
Do we have any evidence that the vast majority of those who bought seats know nothing about the game? The bigger challenge with going to a game in a football/soccer/Olympic stadium seems to be that many seats offer sub-prime views and/or most are situated too far from the action.
   26. . Posted: August 08, 2022 at 11:11 AM (#6090610)
Do we have any evidence that the vast majority of those who bought seats know nothing about the game?


The main papers in England don't cover the running story of baseball, box scores, stats and the like.(*) I'm sure there are pockets of exceptions. It's obviously possible to be a baseball and MLB fan in London and the rest of the UK. I'd be curious as to the number of visits from England MLB.com gets, number of MLB.tv/MLB at bat subscriptions. Not sure if Sirius/XM is there and/or how many people listen to games through that (assuming they even can).

I doubt the numbers are high; in fact, I'd guess they're very low. But those are the places one would go for answers.

(*) With the start of the (big league) soccer season, I re-opened my Times of London and Independent subscriptions a couple days ago. There isn't really even a mention of baseball in them anywhere.
   27. Karl from NY Posted: August 08, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6090660)
That's the same issue with Paris/London above.


Sort of. The sun sets "later" in Paris because Paris sets their clocks a time zone to the east. Sunset is close to physically simultaneous in London and Paris (within ~20 minutes), but Paris's clocks are an hour ahead.

Late sunset in Paris is the same basis as in Detroit, yes - the city's physical location really should be a time zone later, but it clings to the earlier one for geopolitical reasons.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: August 08, 2022 at 04:36 PM (#6090672)
Sort of. The sun sets "later" in Paris because Paris sets their clocks a time zone to the east. Sunset is close to physically simultaneous in London and Paris (within ~20 minutes), but Paris's clocks are an hour ahead.


How is that sort of? Both examples are due to their relative positions in their time zones, not their relative latitudes.
   29. Karl from NY Posted: August 08, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6090676)
Yeah, we're agreeing. I meant "sort of" in that sunset in Paris isn't really later than London physically, it only appears to be because of their choice of time zone. And yes, it's all because of longitude with no significant difference in latitude.
   30. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 09, 2022 at 07:02 AM (#6090786)
Yeah exactly, Detroit is way at the western end of its time zone

Not quite. Almost the entire state of Michigan is in the Eastern time zone, and Detroit's on the eastern side of the state, so there are even later sunsets just about everywhere else in Michigan.

The sun sets at 9:55 p.m. in the summer in Ontonagon (which is also quite far north).

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