Just when you think Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming up with a good idea, he takes it away and replaces it with a horrible one.
Wednesday morning Manfred told the Associated Press that his comments from a few days ago about the possibility of the National League adopting the role of the DH had been overblown, and told ESPN.com, “The most likely result of the designated hitter for the foreseeable future is the status quo.”
But not only did he shoot down that notion, one that got a lot of baseball fans excited for a good that needs to be coming to America’s Pastime, but he then told the AP of an idea that is getting actual consideration from the powers at be in the MLB.
That idea is that Major League Baseball is considering playing its first regular-season games in London in 2017.
Not only is it a bad idea to play games in London, but it’s a horrible idea.
First off, England already has baseball’s very-distant relative cricket. Add in how big soccer is in that part of the world, and baseball isn’t really a big concern.
Also, look at the Little League World Series. Obviously the games played in Williamsport, PA pale in comparison to those played in the 30 MLB stadiums across the United States, but look at the present trends in the LLWS.
On the international scale, teams from Japan and China are the most competitive and most consistently make it to the championship game. Teams from Mexico and Latin America most likely follow the teams from Asia on a competitive scale.
This shows that baseball is alive and well in those areas of the world.
Go there. Go to the countries with baseball background that appreciate the game in a similar way that it is appreciated here in America.
Don’t go to London.
One of the countless bad decisions Roger Goodell and the NFL have made over the last decade or so has been playing games in London.
The games are played at awkward times, the players hate the travel, and the people of London really aren’t that bothered about the American version of football. (Probably because they don’t like that we call it football when they have futbol.)
The same problems will arise if the MLB goes to London. Team will hate the travel and the games will be played at awkward times.
But all of this isn’t even close to the main reason why it’s a bad idea to play games in London.
Manfred said that the games wouldn’t be played at the beginning of the season when the players are fresh and everyone is starting from square one. No, he said, “It would be later in the season,” due to the weather.
Really? Are you joking Commissioner?
You’re telling me that you are going to risk having a division race be decided by a series in LONDON! Not in either of the team’s home stadiums, not in the United States, but in London? In some stadium that most likely no player or manager of either team has ever been in before?
Do you see the problem in that? It’s a terrible idea.
Major League baseball doesn’t need to go to London. If the Commissioner wants to expand baseball’s reach, take it to Canada where there has been a pro team before, or to other countries with burning baseball passion.
Not to London, please.