Thursday, January 25, 2007

Yanks to hold news conference Thursday about China trip--NY Times

"The Yankees have scheduled a news briefing today to tell about their plans, but all they said yesterday was that it was about an international venture. With the Yankees, an international venture means international intrigue."
  • Later in the article, Murray Chass says:
"By enhancing their brand in China, the Yankees won’t directly benefit financially because revenue from any merchandise sold in any country goes to baseball’s central fund, whose proceeds are divided among all 30 teams. But chances are that more Yankees merchandise will be sold in China than caps and shirts of the Devil Rays or the Royals. In other words, all teams will benefit from the Yankees’ trip."
  • I'm noting this paragraph earlier, because it changes what the average person will already have thought about an "international" Yankee "venture," and Chass, of course includes a bunch of build-up in that vein which I'm leaving out of this post. It's boilerplate stuff. I'm just focusing on the facts of the Yankee executives' purported trip to China and Japan. Chass continues, saying the team feels China may be a source of new talent.

"Players from Latin American countries, who are collectively the most talented players outside the United States, have dominated the major leagues with increasing frequency. But everyone knows about those countries, and the competition for players has become fiercer. Give the Chinese time and teaching, and their country could become the next baseball outpost. The country certainly has enough people from whom the majors can develop players.

  • That’s the Yankees’ thinking, and they could be the first major league team to open an academy in China, the kind of academies that have proliferated in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.** Somewhere in China there may be a town that some day will turn out shortstops the way San Pedro de Macorís has in the Dominican.

The kids in the Dominican play baseball and ride motorbikes. It can happen in China, too, and the Yankees want to be the first to oversee the project. Marco Polo might have beaten them to China, but he didn’t go home with a shortstop to replace Jeter."

  • **(I wouldn't count on those academies in Venezuela in the near future, but the NY Times probably isn't up to speed about Chavez trying to lock his players inside the country). sm

Best of all, fun-seekers, the whole expenditure of time and labor by the Yankee employees is not under their own supervision, but under that of MLB, Incorporated, ie. Allan H. "Bud" Selig, head of the Union of Soviet Socialist Baseball Owners. (That's my slant--Murray Chass just says it's "with the blessing of and under the supervision of" same.

Items from NY Times article by Murray Chass, 1/25/07, "Yanks Hope to Get a Jump in China."

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