It looks as though America's pastime could be heading across the Atlantic to England. In comments delivered to the Associated Press on the first anniversary as baseball's commissioner, Rob Manfred indicated that baseball was "very interested" in playing in London in 2017. While the sport has immense popularity in the Caribbean and South East Asia, London is a relatively new frontier.
Among the other details gleaned from the interview was that the game would take place later in the season to avoid weather conflicts and would most likely be located at the Olympic Stadium, future home of West Ham for my fellow Premier League watchers.
It is an interesting push for the league. Manfred has undoubtedly seen the success the NBA has enjoyed in globalizing basketball and the relative buzz created by the NFL's trips. Whether the U.K. and Europe will take to a sport similar to cricket and with little footprint is a big question mark. But the league likely sees little downside in additional exposure.
Detroit fans would be familiar with the early morning games, with a "thrilling" victory in 2014 anddd a game that I think got cancelled? So could the Tigers make their way across the pond? Manfred indicated that it wouldn't have to be a high profile match up (see Yankees - Red Sox), so it seems that anyone could be picked.
I don't necessarily have an opinion on the League's push overseas. It makes logical business sense to try to expand the #brand in a new market. But I hope the Tigers are not chosen. Disrupting a teams already condensed schedule with two 7 hour flights, time change, and general hullabaloo doesn't seem like a positive. So go crazy MLB, just take the White Sox and Royals with you.
Your usual offseason Tigers buzz
The offseason is long and boring and that's how you end up with articles about James McCann being excited about playing baseball and Ian Kinsler trying to still be fast. Also highlighted are Dixon Machado's improvements in winter ball and Wynton Bernard's general readiness. And before you tweet me for calling out beat writers, please note that I wrote blogs about eliminating an entire position and fictional player-based Proverbs, so I'm clearly familiar with the lack of new topics.
Grant is good at writing
If you don't read a lot of Grant Brisbee, get familiar, guy has writing skills for days. Anyway, take a look at his assignment of the remaining free agents and his profile on the sad, sad, Nationals offseason.
The 2005 draft was a doozy
A bit of a misleading headline, unless you count the trade for Miguel Cabrera as the gift, but there was a whole lot of talent in the 2005 draft. Also it turns out the Tigers' first choice was Mike Pelfrey. Glad we finally got the gang together.
Pitch framing, still controversial
Jeff Sullivan takes a look at the possible backlash against pitch framing as umpires become more familiar with the skill. I wouldn't call it the beginning of the end, but the effectiveness will probably lessen over time.