Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play.
The impression that I get is that pretty much every European MLB fan is an insomniac. I don’t have a problem with that.
Shouldn’t Pittsburgh have played in the London Series? Because then the crowd could all sing “Nine Pirates came to London Town, Yo ho! Yo ho!”
- The wild and wacky London Series between the Yankees and Red Sox is now over and the Yankees won both game. Eric Stephen has eight important fact and moments from the two game slugfest.
- The players talked about what it was like playing in London Stadium. To a man, none of them blamed the stadium for the offense. The only problems in the stadium were the artificial turf (which players thought was “soft”) and the white seats, which gave fielders some trouble in picking up fly balls.
- Bob Nightengale thinks the games were very strange but that the entire trip was a success. Nightengale reports that the Red Sox and Yankees players have a message for their friends on the Cubs and the Cardinals: You’re going to have a blast next year. (Although J.A. Happ said that starting pitchers might want to skip their turn.)
- Nick Miller, writing from an English point of view in The Guardian, was less enthusiastic about how the London Series went. He did say that the stadium wasn’t a problem and that the London Stadium probably works better for baseball than it does for soccer. (West Ham United fans have been complaining about the London Stadium since the day the team moved there from Upton Park in 2016)
- Here’s a taste of what the game sounded on the British telecast. They’re much more colorful than the US broadcasters.
- Most baseball fans in the UK can trace their fandom to one event: the show “Baseball on Five” that ran on Channel 5 from 1997 to 2008. Rustin Dodd explains what this show was about and how it became a late-night cult hit for over a decade. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Sam Borden managed to take in the Cricket World Cup and the London Series in the same day and was struck by how similar the games are at heart.
- Also, while baseball is pretty unknown in the United Kingdom, you can’t walk five minutes on the street without seeing someone wearing a Yankees cap. Sam Borden also explains how the Yankees cap became a worldwide phenomenon. Aaron Judge said he went up to two people wearing Yankees caps and introduced himself as a member of the team whose hat they were wearing. They had no idea what he was talking about.
- Coley Harvey has the highlights and lowlights from the London Series.
- Reggie Jackson went to London with the Yankees and he said that no one held the time he tried to kill the Queen against him. Jackson remembers filming “The Naked Gun.”
- Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s looking to play games in other European cities. Manfred refuses to name the cities that they’re looking at, but I’ll tell you that Amsterdam and Rome are almost certainly on the list. Probably one city in Germany as well.
- Manfred also said that MLB will not open next season in Asia, saying that their international staff is stretched too far at the moment. I do think that eventually, MLB is going to have to play a game in Seoul.
- Manfred also confirmed that the 2021 World Baseball Classic will happen, which is great news because the WBC is about as much fun as a baseball tournament can be. (The MLB playoffs are far more “nerve-wracking” than “fun.”) Also, you can trace a lot of the recent rise in the popularity of baseball in South Korea to that country’s third-place finish in the 2006 WBC.
- Jeff Passan notes that the MLB Players’ Association is fighting a bill in Delaware that would regulate “brand agreements,” which are those deals in which investors give a player a lump sum in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings. The MLBPA (and MLB, reportedly) both believe these deals need to be regulated but that the proposed law in Delaware is badly flawed.
- The rest of the All-Star lineups were announced on Sunday and and David Adler and Matt Kelly have a breakdown of all the fun facts about the rosters.
- Bradford Doolittle evaluates how the new All-Star voting system worked. He’s generally in favor of how it all worked, even if he doesn’t think the system changed the results much or at all.
- Eddie Matz celebrates the fact that Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is finally an All-Star.
- The first five participants in the Home Run Derby were announced. No Shohei Ohtani, but there are still three spots to fill.
- The Rays called up two-way player Brendan McKay and in his first start as a pitcher, McKay took a perfect game into the sixth inning.
- Police in the Dominican Republic released more details about the shooting of Red Sox great David Ortiz.
- The Yankees have shut down pitcher Luis Severino until at least August, after a setback in his rehab program. This puts his entire season in jeopardy. Severino hasn’t pitched yet this year, so he’d probably need at least six weeks of Spring Training-like work to be ready to pitch in a game. So a mid-September return is probably the best-case scenario and if the Yankees have a big lead in the division at that point, I can’t imagine the team risking pitching him then.
- Charlotte Gibson has a piece on the problems faced by women who want to play baseball. French under-18 star Melissa Mayeux, who got a lot of attention when MLB put her on the international registry that made her eligible to be signed by a team, has had to switch to softball because of economics and entrenched sexism. (Sarah Hudek, who was the first woman to get a baseball scholarship, has also switched to softball. Mayeux and Hudek will be teammates on the Louisiana-Lafayette softball team.)
- A lot of people still resent that Bryce Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated when he was still in high school. But Harper wasn’t the first high school player to be on the cover of SI. In 1989, the magazine put Texas high school pitcher Jon Peters on the cover with the headline “Superkid.” Tim Layden explains what happened to Peters after that moment. Obviously, he didn’t make it to the majors. He didn’t even make it to the minors. He barely even survived.
- The Mets held a ceremony to honor the members of the 1969 World Series champions on the 50th anniversary. In another move that will make you say “only the Mets,” the team included two former players on their “In Memoriam” tribute who are still very much alive.
- In what had to be the most delicious minor league baseball game of all time, the Fresno Tacos took on the El Paso Margaritas on Sunday.
- And finally, if you watched ESPN anytime from about 1994 to about 2009, you know about the Tom Emanski baseball instructional videos that had Fred McGriff’s full endorsement. McGriff told the tale of how he ended up in that commercial and how he’s taken a ribbing his entire career over them.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.