- Title: JAPAN: BASEBALL - New York Yankees' World Series trophy lands in Japan
- Date: 2nd February 2010
- Summary: OPENING OF EVENT SCREEN
- Embargoed: 17th February 2010 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAAFAFO4QGOVUEARSH12F5IA46L
- Story Text: The Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series trophy, which was won by the New York Yankees last season, was put on display in Japan on Monday (February 1) as the U.S. champions kicked off a tour of Asia, home to a growing pool of talent and revenues.
The franchise that helped to launch pro baseball in Japan over 70 years ago is now without a marquee star from Asia's baseball-mad nation, after the off-season departure of World Series Most Valuable Player Hideki Matsui to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
General Manager Brian Cashman says the Yankees recognise how hard it will be to replace Matsui.
"The Yankees will continue to move forward. We will have future players from Japan on our roster, there's no doubt, and hopefully, those players will do... I know they'll do everything in their power to help us try to win, but I doubt we'll find another Hideki Matsui," Cashman told Reuters Television.
The Yankees next stop is China, where Chairman Mao banned the sport over 40 years ago, but now teams are searching for baseball's version of Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets NBA basketball star.
New York Yankees President Randy Levine says his team is committed to turning the nation of 1.3 billion people into baseball fans and players.
"Well, what we've done is working with Major League Baseball, we've done a lot, we signed an agreement with the Chinese Baseball Association several years ago. Since then, we've done a lot, we've sent delegations over to China to do clinics on two occasions, we signed two young Chinese players for our minor leagues, we've sent a lot of equipment," Levine said.
Asia revenues are estimated to make up about half of MLB's international business, and the multi-billion dollar sport is intent on swinging even more for the fences in years ahead.
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