It’s finally here…well, almost. The Yankees and the Red Sox have seen the field at the London Stadium for the first time and have been going through their routines over the past few hours in front of a thrilled group of lucky fans.
The field looks incredible. Murray Cook and his team have done an amazing job to get it ready in just 23 days and players and staff alike seem very impressed with the quality of the facility. Didi Gregorius noted that the artificial surface is playing very fast, comparing it to Arizona’s infield as one of the fastest he’s played on.
No-one seems all that sure about how small the park will really play. Plenty of Yankees home runs were hit in their portion of batting practice, although that’s not much of a giveaway, considering that this team broke the major league home run record last season.
Neither Aaron Boone nor Masahiro Tanaka were giving much away in their press conferences about their decision-making or strategy. Boone did suggest that the compact park dimensions were unlikely to affect his lineup.
‘Think the stadium will play a bit like Oakland or some of the Japanese stadiums. But how I’m going to pitch? I’ll keep that to myself!’ – Tanaka @NYYankeesUK 😍
— Bat Flips and Nerds (@batflips_nerds) June 28, 2019
Overall, everyone seems thoroughly impressed with the facility and it very much looks the part.
Alex Rodriguez said he thinks that in 20 years, we could be talking about this London game as significant a step for baseball as the introduction of interleague play in 1997. Let’s all hope A-Rod is right. Early signs couldn’t be much better.