MLB scraps 2020 Asia opener; Manfred eyes more Europe games

Major League Baseball has scrapped plans to open its 2020 season in Asia and hopes to play more games in Europe.

MLB started its 2019 season in Tokyo with a two-game series between the A’s and Mariners, and its labor contract with the players’ union called for a 2020 opener in Asia.

“We just decided it probably wasn’t the right time to try to do it,” Manfred said Saturday in London.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox play MLB’s first games in Europe this weekend at London’s Olympic Stadium, the home of the Premier League soccer club West Ham. The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are to play at the same venue next June.

“I would like to have sustained play in Europe,” Manfred said. “I’m glad we’re coming back next year. I’d like to be back after that. But I am interested in having play in other cities in Europe.”

Mets celebrate: Fifty years later, it all felt fresh for the 1969 New York Mets.

The World Series champions were honored at Citi Field for their lasting legacy. Fifteen members of the Miracle Mets paraded down Seaver Way in classic cars, received keys to New York from Mayor Bill de Blasio and told the same stories for what felt like the millionth time.

First baseman Ed Kranepool recalled learning of the moon landing while in Montreal. Catcher Jerry Grote boasted about predicting the club’s championship during spring training. Pitcher Jerry Koosman chuckled about having “too many chicken dinners.”

“When you see the guys, you don’t realize it’s been 50 years,” Kranepool said.

Among the missing was 74-year-old pitcher Tom Seaver, who has dementia and could not attend. The club announced Thursday it would erect a statue of Seaver outside Citi Field.

Briefly: The Tigers announced they are signing former Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to a minor-league deal. The right-hander pitched in 12 games this season with the Washington Nationals, posting a 22.74 ERA. He missed the entire 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery. … Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson was put on the 10-day injured list because of a medical matter not related to baseball. The team did not say what was wrong but the problem was discovered during routine testing by the medical staff. … Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna is headed to the IL because of a finger injury suffered Friday. … Cubs outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was designated for assignment.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/MLB-scraps-2020-Asia-opener-Manfred-eyes-more-14061520.php.

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