Tea time for Yankees and Red Sox as MLB eyes European fans

Aaron Judge is learning the limits of his fame. Walking around London in recent days, the 6-foot-7 face of the Yankees’ franchise would run into people wearing Yankee hats, simply as accessories.

“They had absolutely no idea who I was. So I said, ‘Hey, I am Aaron, great to meet you,’” Judge said with a laugh Friday. “I guess I’ve got to start introducing myself around to people with Yankees hats.”

That, essentially, is why the Yankees and Red Sox are in London this weekend, playing the first regular-season major-league games in Europe. “An old rivalry on new ground,” the tagline for the London Series, is a subtle reminder that this is all about how MLB sees the European market as a fresh ground for growing its fan/customer base.

That is why Aaron Boone took part in a local clinic for kids on Thursday while his family was out sightseeing.

“We want to grow our game,” the Yankee manager said. “I feel like if we can light a few more fires with fans, with kids about our game, that helps. We’re bringing over, obviously, a lot of great players that are easy to attach to and become big-time fans of, and if we can spread that fire just a little bit, then it will have been a good trip for us.”

Pence watch: AL All-Star DH Hunter Pence, out since June 17 with a strained right groin, ran the bases and worked out in the outfield. “Today was a good day,” the former Giants outfielder said. “I was strong, which was the main thing. It responded well. I pushed it, and it’s responding well.” Pence could be back next week.

Brewers’ moves: Milwaukee recalled infielder Keston Hiura and sent infielder Travis Shaw, a key player for them last year who is batting .164 this season, to Triple-A San Antonio. Hiura was hitting .329 with 19 home runs and 46 RBIs for San Antonio.

Two-way player: The Rays added pitcher/designated hitter Brendan McKay to their squad in preparation for his major-league debut, a pitching start Saturday against Texas. Manager Kevin Cash said McKay will pitch at least twice in the coming week. Still to be determined is how many at-bats McKay will get.

Briefly: Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart (strained right oblique), Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario (ankle), White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (ankle) and Astros right-hander Brad Peacock (shoulder) were placed on the injured list. … Former A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso (.178 batting average in 67 games) was designated for assignment by the White Sox, who also promoted former A’s left-hander Ross Detwiler from Triple-A Charlotte.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Tea-time-for-Yankees-and-Red-Sox-as-MLB-eyes-14060402.php.

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