Major League Fail

October 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

One of this site’s contributors is, in marketing terms, the absolutely ideal consumer for baseball. He loves the game, goes frequently, will travel to stadiums outside of his metropolitan area, and is the gateway to the next generation of baseball fans, seeing as he has three impressionable young’uns.

As he’s a Phillies fan, his children have grown up in the best era ever for that laundry and have taken to the sport in stages. He plays in multiple MLB fantasy games, and if an MLB playoff game is on, that’s where his television is tuned, rather than to the NFL.

(For the record, this person is not me. My girls were raised as A’s Fans, which means they don’t care about baseball at all. Nor should they, since the front office doesn’t. But I digress.)

How have the Lords of Baseball treated his fandom, and the possible future fandom of the next generation? As follows.

1) Schedule Game One of the NLDS during the work day, so that other media markets (Boston, NY, LA) would not be inconvenienced, because it’s very important for young baseball fans to learn early that some teams are more equal than others.

2) Schedule Game Two during the work day as well.

3) Schedule Game Three to start at 10:10 (!) EST on a Sunday, because what the hell, the one game in the series that might be viewed by working people should be kept as far away from a squash Sunday Night Football game as possible.

4) Schedule Game Four for 6 PM (!) EST, so that the game can possibly slide into the time zone before a drab Monday Night Football game (and, for all I know, the WWE, and maybe a very special episode of How I Met Your Mother).

5) Schedule Game Five, if necessary, for 8:07 EST on Tuesday, because you want to make sure that the deciding game in the sole competitive series in the first round is played by two teams that are playing their third game in three nights and fighting jet lag.

Note that every single one of these decisions makes a very small amount of short-term sense. MLB is killed by the NFL in head-to-head matchups, so avoiding it when possible is wise.

But in all of these moves, we more or less murder the notion that the next generation will give a damn about baseball. Last night, my friend’s eldest, a nine year old, wanted to stay up and watch the game with his dad.

Treating the playoffs as the rare and wonderful thing that they are to a Philadelphia audience, my man let him. And, in all likelihood, scooped up the unconscious child around the fifth inning, and told him who won when he woke up the groggy child for school this morning.

Baseball is a great game. It has to be to overcome the rank incompetents that run it. But no sport can do that forever.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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