The Fall Classic – Does Anyone Really Care?

The World Series is set to begin Tuesday night in Kansas City, as the Royals host the San Francisco Giants.  Both of the teams in the Series got here by way of the wild card and this is only the 2nd time that 2 teams in the Series were both wild card teams.  The question that has to be asked is…..Does anyone really care?  It has been almost a full week since either team has played due to the NLCS ending in 5 games while the Royals were able to sweep the Orioles and end the ALCS in 4 games.  I understand that due to all the scheduling, it would have been difficult with MLB to move up the Series, and I also understand that they don’t want to compete at all with NFL games, but the layoff was way to long, even for avid sports fans.  Baseball has never done a good job of promoting itself and it seems that it is actually getting worse instead of better.  Here are some major problems with MLB and the interest that is quickly diminishing in this great sport:

  1. Everyone has a problem with the length of the games.  Baseball has to enforce rules that get the batter back in the box quicker and the pitcher onto the next pitch.  I don’t want to see it, but maybe a pitch clock to help speed the action up.  Getting rid of the DH would also help, but we know that the Player’s Union is not going to go for that.  I have to admit, I cringe when I here Michael Kay, the Yankee announcer, go on about how “unmanageable” the length of games are, because anyone would love to have his job, but he does have a point sometimes.
  2. The games start way to late.  The game is scheduled to start tonight at 8:07 PM and I understand the problem with the West Coast time difference but there is no way that kids or adults are going to stay up to midnight watching these games.
  3. The Playoffs were on all different stations.  How can you make it hard for fans to figure out what channel a playoff game is on.  I didn’t think you could, but MLB found a way to do it.  It took me too Game 3 to figure out that the Giants-Cardinals series was on Fox Sports 1.  I have a couple TV’s in my house that don’t even get that channel.
  4. MLB continues to be run by guys that are frankly too old to bring it up to speed with today’s youth.  This year Commissioner Selig consulted guys like Joe Garagiola and Frank Robinson on issues that pertained to the sport.  I am taking nothing away from both men, but they are 88 and 79 years old.  They may not be able to use email but they are going to help lead MLB into the future.  Come on!
  5. I have always said that baseball was my favorite sport and I would say that to this day, but I have to admit that I watch all the other sports more now than I do baseball.  It can’t be all about $ for MLB, they need to bring back some more day games and understand that most fans don’t want to see their team playing on ESPN at 8 PM on a Sunday Night.

The sad truth is that I feel this could be a very interesting World Series, but I don’t see it getting much attention.  The Royals are on a historic run and Yankee fans and the Yankee organization especially, should take note on how young and exciting this team is.  The Giants, on the other hand, are a class organization and this could be their 3rd Championship since 2010.  All that needs to be said about the state of baseball right now is the fact that the Notre Dame-Florida State game this Saturday pulled a rating that MLB and the World Series could only dream about.