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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Yankees and Red Sox will meet twice at London Stadium this weekend in the first Major League Baseball games ever played in Europe.

Why it matters: Since taking office four years ago, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has vowed to increase baseball's international presence, and the London Series is the league's most ambitious effort yet.

  • Previous trips abroad included Japan and Mexico, both of which have robust baseball cultures. By comparison, most people in the U.K. know next to nothing about the sport, something MLB views as both a challenge and an opportunity.

Details: MLB is making baseball education a priority this weekend, while also ensuring that fans get the true "ballpark experience."

  • Education: Explanations of certain plays will appear on the scoreboard, and concession stands will sell portable radios to help confused spectators follow along.
  • Experience: Groundskeepers will dance to "Y.M.C.A." ... Fans will sing "Sweet Caroline" ... "The Freeze" is flying in from Atlanta to chase down some fans ... There will be a mascot race between Freddie Mercury, Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster.

Also, get this: Vendors walking up and down the aisle is a foreign concept to most Londoners, so concession workers have been trained on how to make fans feel comfortable paying from their seats.

"We're going to ask people to hand their money down the row of strangers and then have a bag of peanuts tossed over to them by a hawker. That's not something they're used to."
— Charlie Hill, VP of MLB International (via NYT)

Where they'll be playing:

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

London Stadium is a 60,000 seat stadium in the Stratford district that was built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and is currently home to West Ham United of the English Premier League.

  • "The area on the ground, including the running track, is so vast that it required 141,900 square feet of artificial turf, imported from France, to cover it, plus the infield dirt and clay shipped in from Slippery Rock, Pa," per NYT.
  • "One unique feature is that home plate will be on one side of the oval — not one of the ends — creating vast amounts of foul territory. Most fields in oval-shaped stadiums, like the old Polo Grounds and Olympic Stadium in Montreal, had home plate tucked into one end, or in a corner."

Go deeper: Baseball's season of extremes

Go deeper

Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal court in Missouri has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally-funded facilities in 10 states.

Why it matters: Monday's decision is the first victory for opponents of the rule, which requires health care workers to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The case is one of four lawsuits challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule and argues that the mandate will exacerbate staffing shortages.

Twitter's next act

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is exiting the company he helped build at a time when its future has never been so uncertain.

Why it matters: The person who controls Twitter controls the de facto public square — with implications for politics, media and free speech.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday strengthened its previous recommendation for booster shots, saying that everyone 18 and older "should" receive a booster dose.

Why it matters: Last month, CDC director Rochelle Walensky accepted a key advisory committee's recommendation that adults "may" get the shot. The slight, but strengthened, change in wording comes amid the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.