Clearly I have a difference of opinion with The Times writer below and I wrote mine before the vendetta against Alex Rodriguez had played out with commissioner in waiting Rob Manfred acting as hatchet man for Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, commissioner of the Major Baseball League (MBL) and former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, including during much of his time as commissioner..
As He Bows Out, Bud Selig Sees Positive Signs OCT. 29, 2014
By TYLER KEPNER The New York Times
Bud Selig has been a disaster as commissioner. Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Tyler Kepner has been in the Selig camp for some time. A couple of my more recent posts:
Selig's Folly: home field and home RULE advantage in game seven. Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Is Kansas City a good baseball town? Thursday, October 23, 2014
Why no World Series games this weekend? Fear of football. Saturday, October 18, 2014
Baseball fans watch their team but not the spectacle of the MBL tournament, not even the MBL finals or World Series as misguided types like Kepner insist on calling it. Football and basketball fans will watch even if their own team has long since been eliminated. Kepner and Selig insist that low TV ratings for national games is not a good way to judge the state of baseball. They point to fat new national TV contracts. And high attendance.
1. Much of prime time on the big three traditional TV networks is bloated with "reality" shows. i.e., mindless junk. Baseball fits in just fine, especially if the demographic objective is old people who actually sit there and actually watch TV commercials instead of channel surfing or performing other mindless junk on their computer devices.
2. Attendance is bloated with people who have little or no interest in or understanding of baseball. Try taking a ten year old kid to a game and NOT bribing the kid with outrageously overpriced food, merchandise and distractions from the game in all corners of the ball park. Better yet, wait for the kid to ask to be taken to a game with no giveaways or manufactured event.
Gambling is a major factor in the massive viewership of sports on TV. Both football and basketball have point spreads to make gambling on their games competitive. Baseball by its nature does not lend itself to gambling.
On TV football has long since driven baseball from the prime TV viewing times. The most recent daytime World Series game was in 1987 and that was indoors. The most recent daytime World Series game outdoors was in 1984. It's over. Football has won. And Selig and Kepner are arguing the opposite? The late comedian Richard Pryor had a punchline: who you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
So this morning Selig and his apologists are enjoying the fact that their "World Series" was bottoms up, a battle between bottom seed and survivor San Francisco Giants and second from the bottom seed Kansas City Royals. It' finally over and, outside of those two towns, who cares?