Since the news that MLB was scheduling a marquee series between the Yankees and Red Sox at the London Stadium on 29-30 June 2019 a couple of key questions have circled.
- How will the league compensate teams for the travel time and schedule disruption?
- Who will play and, importantly, who will pitch?
With today’s announcement of the full 2019 schedules we can definitively answer the first question, and begin to wonder about the second…
How will they do it?
As the image above shows, the teams will be compensated for the travel time with a two day off spell pre London Series and a follow up ‘travel day’. The image is for the Red Sox, but the same setup is there for the Yankees. Their respective trips back to Toronto and New York are as short as possible for Transatlantic flights, so that’s clearly a consideration too.
This aligns with our speculation in our post-announcement podcast, that the teams would be offered a ‘cushion’ to allow for the teams to get over the jet lag and adapt to the environment.
As any of you who have travelled Stateside will know, that can be tough and there’s a genuine question as to whether two days will be enough for the players to acclimate. It’s worth noting that these guys have some from in terms of flying across timezones and working through jetlag from West Coast trips, and it’s arguable that the short ‘trip to the future’ that London equates to might be easier to manage than the travels to Oakland and Seattle that a regular schedule presents.
Who’s Going to Play?
This far out any attempts to define a roster will be idle speculation. The status will be subject to offseason moves, injuries, form and any ill effects from the travel – though we’re obviously all hoping to see Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts, Gleyber Torres and Clay Buchholz in the flesh.
Nevertheless, with two days rest before game one and a day off to recover before heading back home, Chris Sale will definitely pitch in London on his usual schedule.
Away with any notion of protecting a star player, give the UK public The Angry Straw.
Less than a year to go! How exciting!
But Chris Sale will pitch. Too many strikeouts 😉 Unless the Yanks can come up with something…