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MLB officially announces next year’s Yankees-Red Sox series in London

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This has been the worst-kept secret in the world, but this morning Major League Baseball officially announced that the Yankees will meet the Red Sox in London for a two-game regular season series next year.

The will be played on June 29-30 at London Stadium, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games. The Red Sox will be the home team, not that it really matters. Estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000 mostly confused British people. The press release says the stadium will “take on a baseball configuration for the event,” which, well, I would hope so.

The series next year will not be a one-and-done, either. MLB and the London mayor’s office have agreed to a two-year deal that will include another series in London in 2020, with participating teams to be announced. The release notes that “other initiatives that will aim to establish a footprint in the city” will also be scheduled. Here’s hoping it’s not just another Train or Fall Out Boy concert. MLB has gone to that well too many times.

There were obligatory quotes from Rob Manfred, Tony Clark and the team owners, but you’ve heard them a million times. Here’s The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s comment:

“I am absolutely delighted that we have secured this historic agreement for Major League Baseball to come to London in 2019 and 2020. All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport – the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This is a major coup demonstrating, once again, that London is the sporting capital of the world and I am excited about a new partnership with MLB and the long term future of this sport in our great city.”

No word if, after he called London “the sporting capital of the world,” a bunch of Boston and New York fans clogged up talk radio to say they were being “disrespected.” But yeah, they probably did.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.