Friday, October 25, 2013

MLB Fall Classic: Dang those Old folks & Ad Men

MLB FALL CLASSIC: DANG THOSE OLD FOLKSpeople only care about their own team. I believe that sentiment will grow as the years go on.

The juxtaposition is that baseball is actually easier to follow nowadays. While the culture may be moving past the sport in real-time, box scores and stats can be checked immediately after every game has concluded to see how the league is doing. It is much easier to keep up on the sport as a whole without actually tuning into any game play. I...don't know what this means for the future of the sport. Maybe you have some idea.

As for the '13 World Series itself, the Red Sox made an interesting improvement, going from last in their division to first and making the World Series. But last year's team shouldn't have been that bad; it really just came down to injuries. Jonah Keri did a great job of detailing this recently in a piece for Grantland, with stats that --


Let me interrupt you right there, because the stats you were about to lay down are mind blowing. Thanks in advance Jonah for making everything about the Red Sox quite clear. We'll talk injuries in early November. Its a big can of worms and I want to do it justice.

So we have baseball as both an inferior TV product and baseball as an incredible real time app update (iPhone, Android etc). Both are true, but I disagree about this being a problem. Baseball has always been an inferior TV product. The games are long and its completely unpredictable. Hence everyone only wanting to watch their home team. However, this technology boom that we are right in the middle of is huge for baseball and MLB. You are spot on, its so damn easy to check the score inning to inning, or go watch the thirty second recap of the entire game within five minutes of it ending. If videos aren't your thing, then you can read the game summary complete with inning by inning scoring plays and statistics. It goes one step further even. Go read the in game Twitter feed that ESPN posts on its Gamecast. Only one word comes to mind. Brilliant! Its so damn entertaining to read the feed from analysts, fans, etc. And I'm not sure if this is universal, but the Yankees' Twitter feed posts photos of the big plays and video of every run scoring play. So awesome. How is this bad for baseball?

The obvious answer is that its not bad at all. Its actually saving the game. I've never been more into regular season baseball for this reason alone. I just go click, click on my phone for thirty seconds and get all the juicy game details. Or I can read how the new young star you mentioned, Yasiel Puig, had yet another monster afternoon and is now batting over .400 in the postseason. Yes, he did that. This is beyond great for baseball. You get this with football as well, but not nearly as much with the NBA. It translates, just not to this level.

So what's baseball's problem, what is holding back MLB from bridging the generation gap and getting fans excited? Its the old folks I tell you. They are holding back the sport with their memories. They are constantly trying to recreate the "good old days" of when baseball was pure (Note to everybody: It never was). And when I say "they" I'm referring to the folks in charge of the league. I think the MLB Network is great and I love the show where it bounces around the entire league and shows you the big moments of all the games taking place. Brilliant! But does anyone actually know about this? Have you seen a single commercial on ESPN advertising this amazing new way to watch baseball? The answer is a resounding No. Its not that they lack good ideas, they lack the ability to tell anyone about them. Its ridiculous. I think this same idea can be applied to the postseason. Put a show together that combines the weirdness of live Twitter and in game analysis, with only the best parts of the actual game. Maybe you have to air this starting in the fifth inning, so that it will catch up with real time by the end of the game. But then you cut out all the boring filler that turns fans off.

Advertise your stars damn it! And embrace the new wave of technology that is making baseball fun to follow. I'm psyched for this World Series matchup, but I don't care to actually watch it. That's a very fixable problem. Better than with the NHL where I don't even care to begin with. Sorry hockey.


Your delayed telecast idea is rather brilliant. It will never happen because it would mean television networks lose five innings of advertising, but picking up the game late and having it pick and choose the important parts from the first two thirds of the game to show is perfect for baseball. It is an MLB DVR with a brain.

Oh, someone strikes out the side on only 12 pitches in the third? Okay, we'll show you that whole half inning. But there's one long double and nothing else happens in the fourth? We'll just show you the hit and a good defensive play if it occurs. This is so awesome it actually is upsetting me that I can't watch the World Series games like this.

Again, I know this is a TV rights issue and all that business bullshit, but MLB Network would be perfect for this. Let FOX run the whole World Series, all the innings of all the games. I'd rather tune in to the 'Series Shortener' on the other channel. While the live telecasts start at 8 pm EST, this one could chill out and wait until 930 or 10 and catch us all up before reacclimating with the live feed by the later innings. Alas, our brilliance goes to waste in the current world of advertising and network broadcast rights.
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