4 Reasons MLB Will Play in London
All signs point to Major League Baseball being played in London some time during the 2017 baseball season. Commissioner Rob Manfred wants it, the Mayor of London wants it, the players will be compensated for it. Major League Baseball even began marketing for it in 2016.
Damn the jet lag, full speed ahead!
Four reasons MLB in London will happen:
1) “We are very interested in playing there, and we’re working hard on that one,” Manfred told the AP during an interview on his first anniversary as baseball commissioner. “I don’t think it will be an opener because of the weather issues. It would be later in the season.” From ESPN news article 2016
There have been discussions about MLB going to London for a while now., The deal couldn’t get done in 2016 but because of one change in the Collective Bargaining Agreement this is the year.
2) As part of the new CBA, players will be compensated for taking part in club and/or League-sanctioned games. Depending on where and when they play, the compensation will be between $15,000 and $100,000. (not confirmed)
The commissioner is going to get what he wants. Compensating the players for taking part in “growing the game” internationally along with lengthening the season to allow for four extra “off days.”
A word of caution to the Major League Player’s Association. Please don’t tell us any more about jet lag affecting your play. When you agreed to fly across the ocean on a European Tour to help “grow the game,” you will be affected.”
The average annual MLB salary is now $4.4 million. The major league minimum just got bumped up to $535,000 in ’17 and grows to $555,000 in ’19. Will the common baseball fan want to hear about a player going 0-4 in London because he didn’t have his Comfort Pillow on the plane?
Use the Sports Psychologist your organization is required to provide as an MLB player. Make sure you take the advice from the chef and dietitian they have hired for you. Eat wisely from the post-game spread made available to you, and don’t blow your per diem playing poker.
(Sidebar: as late as December, player’s per diem was going to drop from $105 to $30 in the new CBA. Most players didn’t realize it. Until official agreement is released we will not know what the amount will be but the MLB has to pay for that international travel somehow.)
3) Did you know MLB had a store in downtown London during the 2016 season? Wonder how it did. Probably not as well as the MLB dating service they now offer.
World Baseball Classic, growing the international academies, playing regular season games over seas. Sure appears that MLB is going to look to expand into international cities at some point. Will we some day have a London Fog vs. Rome Centurions “match” on the baseball “pitch”? That will be confusing.
4) Mr. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, threw out the first pitch at a Mets game. He told reporters London is the “Sporting Capital of the World” and they really want MLB to play “matches” there (according to a BBC article).
Let’s see; Mexico, Puerto Rico, Asia, now London, and I’ve heard the Dominican Republic being considered. In 2014 the Dodgers opened their season against the Diamondbacks in Australia. Yep, games internationally are coming and we will see a dozen teams have to take part annually very soon.
Get your passports ready for London.
By Scott Hortness February 13, 2017
Rob Manfred photo by Keith Allison https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/
Sadiq Khan photo by DIUS Corporate https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/
Olympic Stadium by Jon Curnow https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/
Airline photo by Cory Watts https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/