The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies will play a two-game series in London next season as MLB takes another rivalry abroad.
League commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed the June 8-9 games at London Stadium on Friday, ahead of this weekend’s series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.
“We think our game is at its best when we have traditional rivals playing and we want to show the fans here in London the very best form of baseball,” Manfred said.
The first MLB series in the British capital — and in Europe — featured the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in 2019.
“We want to show our best when we come someplace special like London. We do regard London to be special — of strategic importance to us,” Manfred said.
The Mets-Phillies series had been widely reported earlier, though league officials held off on an announcement until the eve of the Cardinals-Cubs series.
“It’s great for baseball,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said prior to Friday night’s game against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Manfred spoke at a news conference Friday before Cardinals and Cubs players worked out on the artificial turf at the home of Premier League soccer club West Ham.
The Yankees are lobbying to play in Paris in 2025. The league hasn’t confirmed the French capital yet, but the players’ association signed off on MLB holding a game in Paris in 2025 as part of last year’s collective bargaining agreement.
“We are in the process of working on Paris in 2025,” Manfred said in response to a question from a French journalist. “We’re not at the point where we’re going to make a commitment or make a formal announcement but it is in the planning stages and was part of the general program that was laid out in the basic agreement.”
Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, who was born in Landes de Bussac, was asked about the possibility of his team participating.
“I’d love to be managing that game. I love Paris. Sign me up for that one,” he said before his team’s game at Yankee Stadium. “I’d be pretty cool.”