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Old 06-18-2019, 09:35 AM
Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Was MLB's scheduling of a London Red Sox-Yankees series stupid?


I can't seem to find the thread, but I commented once on how I thought it was dumb for the NFL to schedule one of their London games at the same time as an important EPL game (I think it was the Manchester derby). The general feedback was that the big bad NFL probably gave no thought to the EPL calendar, and simply planned based on what was best for its own scheduling.

Now MLB wants to gain some traction in the UK, so have planned a showcase 2-game Boston-New York series in London on June 29 and 30. This sounds great, right?

Except, the Cricket World Cup is happening at the same time in England. On Saturday, June 29th, Australia and New Zealand will be playing their match in London starting at right around the same time as the Red Sox-Yankees game. Okay, maybe enough cricket fans in England are only following their home team and won't care as much about the Australia-New Zealand game, and will flock to the baseball game as a diversion from all the cricket. But what about the Sunday game? On Sunday, England will be playing India in the CWC, which is one of the marquis match ups in the whole group stage, and will likely be ending well after the baseball game begins. I can't imagine any English sports fan skipping the cricket match for a baseball game.

So was planning this baseball series on that particular weekend incredibly stupid, or am I missing something?
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:44 AM
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What venues are they using? I don't expect that London has any major stadiums built for use as baseball stadiums. If you're holding a baseball game in London, you'll need to repurpose a stadium built for some other sport. And I'd have expected that the stadium most easily repurposed for baseball would be the same one used for cricket.

In other words, shouldn't someone have at least noticed that the stadium they wanted was already booked for that day?
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:53 AM
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What venues are they using? I don't expect that London has any major stadiums built for use as baseball stadiums. If you're holding a baseball game in London, you'll need to repurpose a stadium built for some other sport. And I'd have expected that the stadium most easily repurposed for baseball would be the same one used for cricket.
I expect you are probably right, but fortunately there are 2 large cricket venues in London (Lord's and The Oval), so this shouldn't be a problem in practice.

I suspect they may have determined that the overlap between the baseball fanbase and cricket fanbase is not especially large. I would pay to go and watch a cricket match at the World Cup (though I'm not going to this time) - I wouldn't pay to watch a baseball match in London (I'd probably go and see one if I was in America, and indeed have done on one occasion, but I'm not a fan of the sport). Admittedly this is only one data point but my suspicion is that this is fairly typical, and most of the target audience of the baseball is expat Americans and hardcore British/European fans.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:00 AM
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What venues are they using? I don't expect that London has any major stadiums built for use as baseball stadiums. If you're holding a baseball game in London, you'll need to repurpose a stadium built for some other sport. And I'd have expected that the stadium most easily repurposed for baseball would be the same one used for cricket.

In other words, shouldn't someone have at least noticed that the stadium they wanted was already booked for that day?
Why would you think cricket grounds would be easier to convert than anything else? Sure, both cricket & baseball use a ball and a bat, but the layout of the fields is completely different. Probably easier to start with a completely sterile field, like soccer, and convert that.

Regardless, the Sox - Yankees games are at the 2012 Olympic stadium, which seats 60,000. According to wikipedia, the 2 London cricket grounds seat 28,000 & 25,000, so the MLB can sell a lot more tickets this way.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:07 AM
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...In other words, shouldn't someone have at least noticed that the stadium they wanted was already booked for that day?
In case it wasn't clear, my issue was not that the venue would be double-booked. Hopefully, no one in MLB is THAT stupid. The concern is that MLB is promoting itself during a period when there is something going on that is far more important to the local sports fans than baseball.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:22 AM
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What's stupid to me is sending the Red Sox and Yankees. And the Red Sox are the home team, so I guess Fenway gets 2 fewer games this year? Why take games away from a stadium that is always packed? Would make more sense to make Tampa Bay or Miami play a couple home games in London. Why do you think the NFL puts Jacksonville over there every year? You'd never see a Cowboys/Giants game in London.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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....And the Red Sox are the home team, so I guess Fenway gets 2 fewer games this year? ....
As a Yankee fan, I certainly don't mind. But yeah, I also wondered why they just didn't just make it one home game for each.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:43 AM
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What's stupid to me is sending the Red Sox and Yankees. And the Red Sox are the home team, so I guess Fenway gets 2 fewer games this year? Why take games away from a stadium that is always packed? Would make more sense to make Tampa Bay or Miami play a couple home games in London. Why do you think the NFL puts Jacksonville over there every year? You'd never see a Cowboys/Giants game in London.
The Sox and Yankees are two of the best travel fan bases in baseball. Their fan bases are well represented in all major cities, so a game like that in London will attract fans above and beyond just the spectacle of having MLB games in England. Yankees caps are everywhere, they're like Manchester United. If Europeans know one baseball teams it's the Yankees.

Fenway is pretty well attended, for sure, but the current owners have found lots of ways to fill the park with other events/concerts, so the hit isn't as bad as it could be.

Jacksonville's owner wants to play in London, IIRC. He volunteers his team and they have the most overseas games (6). The next 4 teams are the Raiders and Dolphins (4 games) and the Rams and Patriots (3 games).
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:44 AM
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As a Yankee fan, I certainly don't mind. But yeah, I also wondered why they just didn't just make it one home game for each.
I suspect if this goes well and they schedule another series over there next year they'll just reverse the home team.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Quoth muldoonthief:

Why would you think cricket grounds would be easier to convert than anything else? Sure, both cricket & baseball use a ball and a bat, but the layout of the fields is completely different. Probably easier to start with a completely sterile field, like soccer, and convert that.
Obviously, because I know very little about cricket beyond that it's somewhat similar to baseball. In particular, I don't know how a cricket stadium is shaped, so I guessed based on what little I know. Apparently I guessed wrong.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:22 AM
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The Red Sox are compensated for loss of gate receipts at Fenway for the two games. So it's probably easier to just do that with one team, plus more in line with rest of the season.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:15 PM
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Sorry to be "that guy" but this is bothering me:

marquis
noun
(in some European countries) a nobleman ranking above a count and below a duke.

marquee
noun
a canopy projecting over the entrance to a theater, hotel, or other building.
adjective
superlative; headlining.

I'm certain OP meant to use the latter.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:31 PM
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...I'm certain OP meant to use the latter.
I must admit that the difference slipped by me all these years. I've obviously seen both used in the correct context, but never noticed. So thanks!
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:12 PM
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The Sox and Yankees are two of the best travel fan bases in baseball. Their fan bases are well represented in all major cities, so a game like that in London will attract fans above and beyond just the spectacle of having MLB games in England. Yankees caps are everywhere, they're like Manchester United. If Europeans know one baseball teams it's the Yankees.
OK, so let the Yankees play the Rays or Marlins over there. It's strange to me to take your best rivalry game away from hometown fans.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:27 PM
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London is a big city. I've no doubt there'll be enough curious people to get a decent size crowd despite the cricket being on. The bigger problem might be the rain. It's been the wettest cricket world cup ever.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:45 PM
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I donít know how big cricket is in England, but it seems to me like an apt comparison might be if two popular rugby teams from whatever country has the best rugby teams came to play in the US on Super Bowl Sunday. Would that be a fair comparison, or is cricket not quite that popular in the UK?
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:50 PM
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I do know that, a couple years back, the Indians were playing in Cleveland in the World Series on the same day that the Cavs had their home opener. Traffic downtown was a royal mess. Though of course, that couldn't have been anticipated, since the Cav game had to be scheduled long before anyone knew who was going to be in the Series, and the home opener had to be some time around then anyway.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:54 PM
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They've already announced a two game Cubs/Cardinals game over there next year. This Cubs fan isn't excited about that. I agree with Barkis - I don't get taking big rivalry games out of the country like that. Much better played in the teams' home parks. If they want to try to expose the game to British fans, maybe send them a couple of good teams that aren't natural rivals like CHI/STL or NYY/BOS. Maybe something like a PHI/LAD series?
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:30 PM
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They've been pitching (ha!) travel packages for NY/BOS fans to go to London for the series. Those expensive packages are easier to sell for an actual rivalry game, rather than seeing the Red Sox play Detroit. I don't know how many of those travel packages MLB expects to sell or how important that is to the success of the series.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:34 PM
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.

Jacksonville's owner wants to play in London, IIRC. He volunteers his team and they have the most overseas games (6). The next 4 teams are the Raiders and Dolphins (4 games) and the Rams and Patriots (3 games).
Jacksonville owner also owns the Fulham soccer team in London , they were in premier league this season but got relegated down to the 2nd level for next year.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:34 AM
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Sorry to be "that guy" but this is bothering me:

marquis
noun
(in some European countries) a nobleman ranking above a count and below a duke.

marquee
noun
a canopy projecting over the entrance to a theater, hotel, or other building.
adjective
superlative; headlining.

I'm certain OP meant to use the latter.
Unless they meant:

marky
noun
leader of the Funky Bunch.

(He is after all from Boston and is a big Red Sox fan.)

Last edited by Atamasama; 06-19-2019 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:26 AM
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Obviously, because I know very little about cricket beyond that it's somewhat similar to baseball. In particular, I don't know how a cricket stadium is shaped, so I guessed based on what little I know. Apparently I guessed wrong.
I'm not so sure you did. The Oval cricket ground is, as its name suggests, roughly oval in shape - although actually the playing surface is almost circular, like most cricket grounds, with a diameter of around 140m (450 feet or so). So it seems to me you could put home plate quite near the edge of the cricket outfield, and still have room for second base to be constructed short of the cricket square (which is the bit of the cricket pitch you want to avoid too many people running on). You'd probably also want to avoid having a dirt infield and just leave it as grass. But maybe even that would cause too much damage to the cricket pitch, which is why they are not being used. I suspect the Olympic Stadium, being built much more recently, has turf that is more easily removable.

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I donít know how big cricket is in England, but it seems to me like an apt comparison might be if two popular rugby teams from whatever country has the best rugby teams came to play in the US on Super Bowl Sunday. Would that be a fair comparison, or is cricket not quite that popular in the UK?
Cricket in England has nowhere near the cultural reach of the Superbowl in the US (it may be comparable in India and Pakistan). I don't know what the viewing figures for the Cricket World Cup Final will be in England, but it will be far lower (as a percentage of population) than the Superbowl in the US. Obviously that has something to do with most English households not having access to the channel on which it will be broadcast, but still. Again though, I'm not sure how many NFL fans would be likely to attend a rugby match whether it was on Superbowl Sunday or not - I would have thought the target audience for such a hypothetical match would be mostly British and Antipodean expats.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:09 AM
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London is a big city. I've no doubt there'll be enough curious people to get a decent size crowd despite the cricket being on. The bigger problem might be the rain. It's been the wettest cricket world cup ever.
The games sold out in under an hour.

This strikes me as being a smart move. Take two famous teams, play in a city where you'll sell sixty thousand seats a game and make a ton of money and get exposure in a new market. The North American market seems pretty exhausted right now.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
I donít know how big cricket is in England, but it seems to me like an apt comparison might be if two popular rugby teams from whatever country has the best rugby teams came to play in the US on Super Bowl Sunday. Would that be a fair comparison, or is cricket not quite that popular in the UK?
From what Iíve been told by some British people is that in Britain itís very common for sports fans to be single-sport followers. So if youíre a soccer fan you basically ignore cricket and rugby, etc.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:49 AM
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The American Superbowl is as much a cultural event as it is a football one. A lot of people who never watch any other football game will still watch the Superbowl, because it's a good excuse for a party, and the commercials are often amusing. Even a British ex-pat living in America is likely to get invited to a Superbowl party, if they have any American friends.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:50 AM
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Isn't the main target audience for this the large expat American community in Britain?
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:39 AM
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Isn't the main target audience for this the large expat American community in Britain?
https://www.thereandbackagain.com/to...london-stadium - Sold out
https://www.mlv.com/2019-red-sox-vs-...ravel-package/
https://www.thompsontours.com/london...es-tour-1.html
http://www.sportstravelandtours.com/...?PackID=19GBAL

I don't know how many seats are being sold via these packages, but MLB is certainly taking advantage of the Sports Vacation idea.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:57 AM
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Isn't the main target audience for this the large expat American community in Britain?
Well, no. There's no way you could get 120,000 tickets over two days sold to just - or even mostly - expats. Selling some sports vacations is going to amp up the demand, price and hype but it's not going to fill an Olympic stadium. Americans don't go to England to watch baseball. Americans IN AMERICA like watching baseball so why move the games to sell it to Americans in England?

This is legitimately an effort to get more attention and fans in Europe. Why not? If you limit it to a couple of games you'll sell out and make a fortune and gain a few fans.

And it will be a fortune. The tickets are very expensive. You can get tickets on the secondary market for $50 or so, but it's in a section that is, I would guess, 450-500 feet from home plate.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:48 PM
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Of course, the question is, how much of that is the novelty and "Sure, I'll go see a pro baseball game to see what all the fuss is, and cross that off my bucket list", and how much is "Man, I love baseball, and it's about time I can finally see pro games without spending a fortune on travel!"? If the latter, then the league has a real market they can continue making money on for a long time, but if the former, you'd expect to see a few successful games, but for interest to then drop off.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:55 PM
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Maybe this is just me, but if I actually want to watch the game, I watch it on TV, either at home or at a bar. If I go to the game, I'm primarily there just to hang out with my friends.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:13 PM
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I just realized that the day game I'm going to on June 26th at Fenway is the last game before the Sox head to London.

Last edited by Telemark; 06-21-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:52 AM
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I just realized that the day game I'm going to on June 26th at Fenway is the last game before the Sox head to London.
Yeah, when I saw the Yankees schedule when it first came out, I wasnít aware of the London series and noticed the 2-day break. I didnít recall a 2-day break in any season, except at the All-Star break, so I assumed it was something new for all teams.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:47 PM
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Lots of heat from baseball purists after a 17-13 softball match that was the third longest 9 inning game in history. The 385 ft centerfield line and artificial turf is being blamed though “only” six home runs were hit.

I’m holding final judgement until the second game. My question is why have it in a Olympic stadium and not a cricket field? I know it’s the Cricket World Cup.......so have it a different time of the year, and set up home run fences if it’s too big.


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Old 06-29-2019, 09:57 PM
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The park did not make it a 17-13 game. It was just a fluke that the pitching was that shitty.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:12 PM
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https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb...mOn?li=BBnbfcL

the actual natives liked it
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:35 PM
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The park did not make it a 17-13 game. It was just a fluke that the pitching was that shitty.
Actually Vegas had the over/under at 11.5, or at least 3 full runs higher than you would expect with these starting pitchers. That told me which way to bet, and the over was covered in the first inning. When the score was 12-6, the in-game total was at 26.5. Another easy cover on the over. In the post-game show, the field was described as having “no air movement”. Pitchers that rely on high spin rotation were getting rocked because the ball wouldn’t break in the air. Watching the game, it definitely appeared that breaking balls just hung for batters to smash. Vegas hasn’t even put up a line yet for tomorrow.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:54 PM
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I’m sure they had fun but if the same thing happens tomorrow and it appears that it was the ballpark, it will give the British that aren’t familiar with the game an unrealistic expectation. Then, when they see a 3-2 game or 2-1 pitchers duel, they could quickly tune out because their baseline is the farce we saw today.


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Old 06-29-2019, 11:00 PM
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Calling it a farce it is a bit silly. Like all games, they played on the same field and in the same conditions. Center field was short, but as they pointed out in the broadcast, there are four MLB stadiums with less square footage. Foul territory on the other hand...
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:27 AM
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The park did not make it a 17-13 game. It was just a fluke that the pitching was that shitty.
Factors: (Though they really seemed to have little effect)

385 to center
Insane foul ground
No batters eye? And at one point that high fence seemed to be reflecting the sun...again little effect obviously
A really bad sky to start the game
I don't know what that astroturf is like, but OFers were running at 80% speed when tracking down all those doubles.


I mentioned :Make the EPL play a meaningful game at Coors, and make them drive a bus for three hours to get there.

Im just carping, like i said, all those factors i mentioned seem to have little effect on the game. Cora should have left Wright out there for 100 pitches. At least it gave the Yanks something weird to look at rather than that ****ing scrub they threw out there.
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:34 AM
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As a Yankee fan, I certainly don't mind. But yeah, I also wondered why they just didn't just make it one home game for each.
London is nearer to Boston. Also, Boston was founded by the English.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:55 AM
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By the way, today’s over/under ended up at 16.5. That’s higher than you would see with 2 bad pitchers in Colorado. Also looks to go over that easily after 1.5 innings.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:00 AM
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It just isn't the usual gameplay, and I'm not sure why.

But it's been worth it just to see tall bearskin B hats. :thumbs up:
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:49 AM
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To answer the OP:

No, it was not a mistake. If there are baseball fans in England, they won't be coming from the ranks of the cricket fans. While both sports use a hard ball that is thrown and a bat to hit it, the comparison pretty much ends there. And a cricket oval is nothing like a baseball stadium, and would have much too much extra room. Not sure how they decided to use West Ham's stadium instead of the usual go-to of Wembley, but I'm not sure it would matter.

I see that a real pitching duel has finally emerged today, after an early 4-2 scoreline. Hope the English love that.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:56 PM
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[QUOTE=DSYoungEsq;21725374]To answer the OP:

Quote:
No, it was not a mistake.
Yes, if the intent was simply to market to current fans and create a money-grab, then it was. My premise that the purpose of the series was to attract a new fan base was incorrect.

Quote:
If there are baseball fans in England, they won't be coming from the ranks of the cricket fans. While both sports use a hard ball that is thrown and a bat to hit it, the comparison pretty much ends there. And a cricket oval is nothing like a baseball stadium, and would have much too much extra room. Not sure how they decided to use West Ham's stadium instead of the usual go-to of Wembley, but I'm not sure it would matter.
I donít agree with this. Generally, sports fans are more open to following new sports. In the case of baseball and cricket, anyone with a sufficiently deep understanding of both will find many many similarities, above the bat and ball aspect. The shape of the grounds differ, but the skills required, gamesmanship, pitching/bowling strategies, batting styles, etc. are very similar.

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I see that a real pitching duel has finally emerged today, after an early 4-2 scoreline. Hope the English love that.
I think the offenses shut down for a stretch, maybe just due to fatigue, but a 12-8 final at the end. Canít wait for the Cubs-Cardinals series same time next year.... with no cricket World Cup to get in the way!
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:01 PM
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50 runs over two games likely promoted more interest in baseball then, say, a couple 12 or 13 inning 1-0 games. I can't believe MLB would somehow rig a game, but they certainly got a couple exciting games.
  #46  
Old 06-30-2019, 06:44 PM
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While I'm happy at the outcome, I don't find high scoring baseball games exciting. But I know I'm in the minority in that I prefer a game with under 7 total runs.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:55 AM
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I have the same concern as Robin Lopez: If we keep introducing MLB to the rest of the world, eventually most people will know who won the World Series and we'll have lost our most effective means of rooting out spies.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:39 AM
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Don't worry; we'll still be able to pick them out with the second and third verses of the Star Spangled Banner.

And aren't cricket and soccer (the most popular sports in the UK) typically even lower-scoring than baseball?
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:42 AM
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Soccer, yes. Cricket, no. For example, in the cricket match currently taking place at the World Cup, Sri Lanka have scored 338 in one innings - roughly what a devoted baseball fan might see their team score in a whole season . Admittedly, we do count every dash up or down the pitch as a run, rather than having to do four sprints to score, but even so, cricket is probably one of the highest-scoring games around.
  #50  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Don't worry; we'll still be able to pick them out with the second and third verses of the Star Spangled Banner.
Because a spy would have learned them and an American would have no idea.
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