From the AP:
Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman will head a delegation that travels to Beijing next week for meetings that could lead to Major League Baseball establishing an academy in China.
“Everybody thinks that that is a great place to grow the sport of baseball,” Levine said Thursday. “There’s a real appetite for it. The Chinese want to move forward and expand their talents in the game and really make it a well-known, very active sport.”
The team hopes to establish an agreement in which it would send coaches, scouts and player development staff to China, and have representatives of the Chinese Baseball Association come to New York and the team’s springtraining complex in Tampa, Fla.
Levine said baseball in China is in the “infancy stages,” and that the Yankees had been talking with the CBA for six months and were invited to make the trip.
“We intend to invest some serious man-hours and money in order to make this work,” Levine said. “This is paving the way for all teams.”
“This is paving the way for all teams.”
Major League Baseball International and the China Baseball League (CBL) will take the MLB Road Show on a tour of five cities throughout The People’s Republic of China from March 4 – April 3, it was announced today. The MLB Road Show is an interactive fan experience that enables participants to learn more about baseball by taking swings in a batting cage, testing their throwing skills in a pitching tunnel and learning about the sport through an interactive media pavilion.
The MLB Road Show will be operated in conjunction with the China Baseball League, and CBL players and coaches will appear at Road Show locations to provide instruction to baseball beginners.
Activities such as the MLB Road Show are part of an agreement announced in November 2003 between MLB and the China Baseball Association (CBA) to enhance the development of baseball in China. As part of the agreement, Major League Baseball has been implementing a variety of game development initiatives in China, including national team development, coaching development, umpire development and youth initiatives geared toward helping school-aged children in China learn and play the game of baseball. In addition, a system was established enabling Major League Baseball Clubs to scout and sign Chinese players to professional contracts.
“Road Show are part of an agreement announced in November 2003 between MLB and the China Baseball Association (CBA) to enhance the development of baseball in China.”
So, baseball had a crack at it for three years and now it’s up to the Yankees to make it work “for all teams”? I hope Randy Levine gets some serious chips for this one – to cash in when it’s time for baseball to do something for the Yankees.