I’ve been watching baseball closely for the last 10 years. That’s one of the things I regret about the time I spent in New York. All they play is baseball games. They have their own Yankee Network. So, it’s 24 hours Yankees. It’s like B.E.T. in the 90’s when they kept showing Rap City reruns. The Yes Network still plays Mickey Mantle’s opening day game.
Something is happening in baseball. Since the post steroids era, great pitching and “The Athlete” has taken center stage. This is great for baseball. You can market athletes, because people envy what they can’t do, and great pictures make for appointment television. I think that if Major League Baseball markets it’s’ product correctly, it could once again become the number one sport in America once again. Now I know everyone is thinking, “How can they beat the NFL?” Alright just pay attention, grab some coffee, turn off the porn, and if you’re really weird turn off the hockey game.
These are a few of the reason why baseball could be number 1 again. Baseball has clear advantages over football. Baseball players don’t wear as much equipment (Helmet, Shoulder pads, etc.), so it’s easier to identify with the players. Fans can sit at home, and believe they can do it. As crazy as that sounds, we all know Bubba on the couch can’t hit a slider. Also, every individual baseball player has a larger impact on whether your team wins or loses. That’s not even close to being true in football. There’s no individual that can that can change a football game that much just ask Dan Marino. I do think it all comes down to showcasing your athletes, and for all the success of the NFL. They have not had a must see player since Deon Sanders, and even then they didn’t showcase him. Everybody is on Peyton Manning’s jock. People think he’s a great marketer, because pitches everything from Direct TV to condoms. However, he could never out sell Sanders. Manning could never drive a clothing line or sell his own shoes, because he’s not an athlete.
If baseball wants to be great again, they need to take a line out of the NBA’s marketing book. This is what baseball should do.
- Advertise big pitching matchups as head to head battles.
- Start playoffs earlier in the day. Maybe even have late morning/earlier afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday.
- Market your athletes! Everyone should know who Jason Heyward and Carl Crawford are. Baseball should treat them like they treated Ken Griffey jr.
So baseball let’s talk. Don’t stay stuck in the past and tradition. Embrace the world now. Please start using more instant replay. Maybe if you embrace some change, the YES Network will stop playing Mickey Mantle reruns. That’s probably wishful thinking.
Comedian (Maybe a writer)