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The New York Yankees-Manchester City partnership could mean Yankees games in England

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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The New York Yankees proved Tuesday they won't be confined — not to baseball and maybe not to New York City either.

A $100 million partnership was announced Tuesday between the Yankees and Premier League club Manchester City to create a Major League Soccer team called New York City FC. Yahoo! Sports soccer blog, Dirty Tackle, has more of the particulars. But here's one interesting tidbit that's emerged on the baseball side: This could open the door for the Yankees to play in England.

From London newspaper The Telegraph:

With London playing host to American football and NBA basketball fixtures in recent years, Yankees president Randy Levine admitted his interest in taking his baseball team to Manchester for a Major League Baseball game.

“The idea has come up through Major League Baseball about us maybe coming over to play,” Levine said. “I don’t think they have actually said it yet, but we’d love to come over to play at the Etihad Stadium.

Such a move — if nobody beats the Yankees to it — would be the first MLB game in England, and in Europe as a whole. Games have been played in Tokyo in recent years, as part of expanded efforts by Major League Baseball to market the game outside the United States. There also have been games in Puerto Rico, both neutral-site games in 2010 and about 20 games in 2004 games when the Montreal Expos used it as an alternate home site.

MLB has been eyeing expanding into Europe in recent years, with England and the Netherlands among the possible destinations. Netherlands and Italy both having better-than-expected runs in the 2013 World Baseball Classic might help the MLB-in-Europe idea move forward. But having the Yankees — baseball's most prestigious and valuable brand — on board with a business partner that has its own facilities might just kickstart the idea better than anything.

Important question: Is it too late to get a Manchester date booked for Mo Rivera's farewell tour?

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