LONDON (AFP) – As Major League Baseball prepares to make history in London, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Boston Red Sox coach Alex Cora are united in their desire to make the ground-breaking trip memorable on and off the field.
The Yankees are playing two regular-season games against the Red Sox at the London Stadium on Saturday and Sunday as MLB looks to expand its global brand.
The ‘London Series’ marks the first time MLB games have been played in Europe, although the league has previously staged matches in Japan, Australia, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
With the Red Sox controlled by the Fenway Sports Group that owns Premier League club Liverpool, baseball’s powerbrokers have decided the opportunity to cash in on the British public’s seemingly boundless passion for sport is worth a gamble at a pivotal point in the game’s history.
At a time when baseball is enduring a popularity crisis amid falling attendances and criticism of the sport’s slow pace, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred hopes playing showcase games in Europe can open up a lucrative new revenue stream.