Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday 10-25

Not to sound like an old man, but can we please move up the start times for these World Series games? I almost made it to the third inning last night before having to go to bed. Now I get up at 3:30 in the morning--so I may not be the best example--but I don't know how Major League Baseball expects anyone living east of the Mississippi to stay up on a weeknight to catch the end of these games.

I realize MLB needs to have all of the games in prime time due to the huge contract they have with Fox but I can't believe that many fewer people would tune in if the games started earlier. Even with an 8:30 eastern start time the start time on the west coast is 5:30--not in prime time anyway.

Why doesn't the "next generation" care about baseball? Probably because they haven't seen the end of a dramatic playoff game because they were ushered off to bed by the fourth inning. There was some talk about having at least one day game during the Series starting next year--but that's not a done deal yet.

Adding to the problem, the drag-out pace of play employed by the Red Sox and the Yankees. I won't get into the specifics of "Sabre-metrics" but both teams are loaded with hitters that take a lot of pitches and foul off a lot of good pitches--while their pitchers nibble on the corners and take the full 30-seconds between every pitch. So not only are you struggling to stay awake because the game is running so late--but you are also struggling to keep focused on the 28th pitch of every inning. During the ALCS I was able to watch two plays of a college football game BETWEEN TWO PITCHES in the Indians-Bosox game!

I want sports to become more fan-focused again, instead of kowtowing to almighty TV dollars. Earlier start times for big games, Big Ten football games on over-the-air or "regular" cable, hockey on a cable station people have actually heard of. It's the least they can do for a fan base that YAWN, ZZZZZzzzzzzzz.

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