For 117 consecutive seasons, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have had one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
As soon as 2018, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports, they might be taking their AL East rivalry even further east.
As in, over the Atlantic Ocean.
“The idea of playing a series between the historic franchises in Greenwich Mean Time has been under discussion for the last two years by Red Sox owner John Henry and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. Now, with the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement that spells out a commitment from MLB and the players to competing in multiple international destinations, and only one named city — London — talk of a Red Sox-Yankees matchup is turning more serious,” Silverman wrote.
The MLB’s most iconic franchises will almost certainly square off in London, according to the report.
“What does appear to be a done deal is that the Red Sox, as well as the Yankees and probably the Mets, are going to wind up playing in London at least once over the five-year span of the new CBA.”
Both sides seem eager to make the neutral-site contest happen at London Stadium, a former 2012 Olympics venue.
A meeting would mark the first European game in MLB history.
“It would be great” to play the Yankees in London, said Red Sox president Sam Kennedy recently. “We would really like to do it.”
Randy Levine, president of the Yankees, expressed similar enthusiasm.
"The Yankees have been at the forefront of suggesting that we bring the great game of baseball to London," Yankees team president Randy Levine said in an email to ESPN. "There have been some meaningful attempts to do so, and we are hopeful and confident that we can play there soon. Playing the Red Sox in London would be a unique and special event.”
It seems as though MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is interested in expanding his sport into international territory, like other major sports leagues like the NFL have recently done.
"I think we would be popular in London. I think we could sell the games. I think we could make money with the undertaking. So it's something that we'll continue to discuss with the players' association,” he commented to ESPN.
The NFL is playing a record four regular-season games in London next season, so it appears as though the market for American sports is expanding in the UK.
It seems like the MLB will get in on the action sooner rather than later, and there’s no two better teams to lead off with.
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