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NY Yankees, Yomiuri Giants Form Alliance - 2002-11-19


Two of the world's most famous baseball teams, the New York Yankees and the Yomiuri Giants of Japan, have formed a trans-Pacific alliance. The teams are combining their scouting efforts to help each other find talented young ball players around the world.

The two teams are legendary in their home countries. The Yankees have long shaped American baseball and the Giants are the most popular team in Japan. The Yankees have won a record 26 World Series championships, while the Giants have a record 20 Japan Series titles.

The Yankees' President Randy Levine spoke at a recent news conference in Tokyo. "The Giants have such a fundamentally solid organization that there is so many things that we can learn from them in all aspects that we can get better, that we can move forward," he says. "So from the Yankees' point of view, we welcome the association with an organization that does so many things so well."

The alliance, however, raises questions about a star Giants player joining the Yankees. Japan's slugger Hideki Matsui, nicknamed "Godzilla", is now a free agent after 10 seasons with Yomiuri. He has expressed interest in playing in the U.S. major leagues.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says the alliance is not connected to Mr. Matsui's future.

Yomiuri Giants' President Yoshinori Horikawa says the two teams began discussing an alliance after the Yankees' president wrote a letter to the Japanese baseball team this year. In August, Yankees' officials came to Japan to discuss further arrangement.

In addition to scouting for talent, the two teams will share information about rule changes and trends in both U.S. Major League Baseball and the Japanese Professional Baseball league.