It has been a rivalry as fierce as the loyalists versus the patriots. But starting in 2018, the stale bad blood between the Yankees and the Red Sox could be getting a London revival.
The Boston Herald reported Friday that owners of both clubs are interested in giving their old rivalry a new twist, with the teams playing at least two games across the pond as soon as 2018.
It’s something made even more likely by the new collective- bargaining agreement, which included a commitment to playing games in international venues. The five-year CBA means baseball could be seeing a good number of these games in the coming years — an arrangement likely to include the Mets.
“The Yankees have been at the forefront of suggesting that we bring the great game of baseball to London,” Yankees president Randy Levine said in an email to the Herald. “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 special and unique event.”
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy also expressed interest in playing the Yankees in London, though the deal is far from official. The commissioner’s office and the players association need to sign off before a series like that is scheduled.
Support from both Levine and Kennedy means a London calling seems likely for both teams. The issue now becomes how commissioner Rob Manfred will decide to recuperate lost gate sales from the games.
It’s something Manfred plans to work on after the World Baseball Classic, the Herald reported.
London is the only city named specifically in the CBA, meaning baseball most certainly will follow in the steps of the NFL, which played three games in London and one in Mexico City this season and has held International Series games since 2005. (Four games are scheduled for England in 2017.)
The last international MLB series was in Sydney, Australia, in 2014, when the Dodgers played two games against the Diamondbacks.