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Monday, April 15, 2019

LEADING OFF: MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY

Major League Baseball observes Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks all over the country. Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. All players, managers, coaches, umpires and other on-field personnel will wear Robinson’s retired No. 42. Members of Robinson’s family are expected to be at Dodger Stadium for the opener of a three-game series between the Reds and Dodgers.

Will we all wear #42 today as well?

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie robinson day, mlb

Friday, April 12, 2019

What is going on with Major League Baseball’s video highlights?

Let’s talk about video clips. As in video clips of baseball highlights the sort of which you are used to sites like this and others embedding in posts or sharing on social media. The sort of clips that have been part of the online baseball media and baseball fan landscape for several years now.

Until this year there had been a pattern of increasing availability and sharability of such clips. MLB.com and its various social media arms had, over the years, gotten better and better at putting such clips up quickly and effectively. A couple of years ago they created a dedicated, searchable video page at MLB.com that could get anyone clips of almost any notable highlight going back years. Last year they even added a searchable GIF database to it, which included both great plays and all manner of whimsy. The result of all of this was a super-engaging way to share great baseball moments with friends or readers or anyone who may have an interest in seeing a killer baseball highlight.

And then, this year, something changed.

At the rate it’s going, highlights of recent games might become harder to find than color episodes of The Steve Allen Plymouth Show.

 

QLE Posted: April 12, 2019 at 08:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: highlights, mlb, video

Get used to it, baseball: NBA teams pass MLB in average value for first time ever

It’s been a long time coming, but it might be time to finally make it official: The NBA has surpassed MLB as America’s second-biggest sports league.

That’s the conclusion that rang out with Forbes’ annual team valuations, which attempts to put a number on the dollar value of each team in the four major North American sports leagues. For the first time ever, the average NBA team’s value came in above the average MLB team.

As usual, the NFL reigned supreme while the NHL represented a somewhat distant fourth place.

Isn’t team value a pretty lousy way to measure the popularity of a sport, compared to metrics that actually analyze the audience of a sport?

 

 

QLE Posted: April 12, 2019 at 08:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, nba, popularity, the sky is falling

Saturday, April 06, 2019

David Price blasts MLB for failing to market Red Sox star Mookie Betts

David Price wants to see more of MVP teammate Mookie Betts on TV, beyond the on-field show Betts puts forth daily.

Price told reporters Friday that MLB is wasting an opportunity to attract younger fans, specifically fans of color, by not making an effort to promote one of the sport’s best players.

Mind you, MLB in the current day seems remarkably incompetent at marketing any of its players, so….

 

QLE Posted: April 06, 2019 at 07:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, mlb, mookie betts

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

MLB takes over Dodgertown, renames it for Jackie Robinson

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP)—The former Dodgertown spring training camp will be named the Jackie Robinson Training Complex and be used for Major League Baseball’s amateur development initiatives.

Then based in Brooklyn, the Dodgers started training in Vero Beach in 1948. The franchise moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season but kept spring training at Vero Beach through 2008. The team shifted to Glendale, Arizona, the following year.

Given my professional training, I have a strong interest in adaptive reuse….

QLE Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgertown, jackie robinson, mlb

Field of dreams: Major League Baseball makes pitch for Chinese star

A coach’s voice in an unmistakably American accent rings out across a baseball field: “Attaboy, good job Wayne, nice throw!”

It could easily be California or Florida, but this is a world away in Nanjing and Major League Baseball is hunting for its first star from China.

If—or more likely when—that happens, he will probably come from here.

MLB has three development centres in China and in February, three youngsters from the Nanjing site were signed to the Milwaukee Brewers.

A piece of interest for those curious about the worldwide expansion of the national pastime.

QLE Posted: April 03, 2019 at 03:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: china, development, mlb

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

MLB FoodFest is back for 2019 and it’s expanding to L.A. and London

One of the most delicious new ideas to emerge in Major League Baseball last season was FoodFest — an event that brought the best ballpark foods from all 30 teams into one place for fans to try. For MLB FoodFest’s NYC debut, tickets sold out in 48 hours.

So you know what that means for Year No. 2: FoodFest is expanding. MLB announced Monday the plans for FoodFest 2019, which includes new events in Los Angeles and London, in addition to another in NYC.

Keeping with MLB’s international flair for the 2019 season, there will be three additional items, one from Japan, one from Mexico and one from London, all of which are hosting MLB games this season. The L.A. event is happening April 26-28 at Magic Box. The London and NYC dates will be announced later in the season.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good discussion of ballpark food….

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2019 at 03:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: food, mlb

Thursday, March 28, 2019

MLB continues trying to shed uptight image with second ‘Let the Kids Play’ ad

Baseball’s uptight image might be its biggest barrier toward growing the game with young fans — even more so than pace-of-play or anything else. Baseball has traditionally been a sport that squashes big personalities and polices fun.

Last year, before the postseason, Major League Baseball made waves by releasing a very in-your-face ad titled “Let the Kids Play” that featured many of MLB’s vibrant young personalities and a guest spot by Ken Griffey Jr. The message was clear: The unwritten rules should be a thing of the past.

On Wednesday, MLB unveiled its 2019 hype ad, a sort of “Let the Kids Play 2.0” that starts with players doing a very cliche press conference-style interview, saying the usual tired stuff. Until Alex Bregman jumps in with some personality.

This is going to age as badly as all that “EXTREME!” advertising of the 1990s, isn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ads, mlb

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The 2019 MLB Poll | The Athletic (paywall)

As​ we did last season, this​ spring​ The​ Athletic​ had our beat writers ask as many​ players​ as​​ they could — about a third of the league overall, including players from all 30 teams — about a wide range of topics. We covered the best players in the game, managers they would and would not want to play for, their feelings on the current labor situation, and more, from the silly to the serious.

Of particular interest were the following two poll questions:

11. Do you think there has been collusion among teams that has affected free agency?
Yes: 40%
No: 17%
Don’t know: 43%

12. Do you think there will be a work stoppage when the current CBA expires?
Yes: 28.6%
No: 25%
Don’t know: 46.4%

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 26, 2019 at 01:39 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, players poll

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MLB concerned at number of strikeouts, says Torre

TOKYO (Reuters) - Major League Baseball is concerned at strikeouts surpassing the number of hits and needs more balls in play to arrest the dip in popularity, the league’s chief baseball officer Joe Torre said on Wednesday.

Last season was the first in the league’s history to feature more strikeouts than hits, leading to calls for changes to increase interest.

Average attendance for regular season games in 2018 fell four percent from the previous year to 28,830 per game, according to MLB, while the total number of fans who showed up at the ballpark fell below 70 million for the first time since 2003.

So, do you have a solution for fixing this, Joe, or are you like Manfred?

 

QLE Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:42 AM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: joe torre, mlb, strikeouts

Friday, March 01, 2019

Potential MLB, MLBPA rule changes could impact Giants at some point

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For weeks there have been rumors that MLB and the MLB Players Association could come to an agreement on new rules, but that hasn’t been at the forefront of conversations in the Giants clubhouse.

When asked about the possibility of changes, several veteran players have pointed out that the real issue right now is the slowdown in free agency and service time manipulation, not a universal DH or a pitch clock.

“Some of these rules seem pretty insignificant to me considering the bigger picture,” Buster Posey said earlier this month.

A discussion of rule changes being considered- of note as a summary of those apparently under active consideration.


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

MLB to blame for Seattle fire sale

Ah, yes. Exactly what the American League needed: Another team that isn’t going to be competitive.

It’s a shame to see the Mariners hitting the self-destruct button.

Seattle’s fire sale has sent Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets, James Paxton to the Yankees, Alex Colome to the White Sox, Mike Zunino to the Rays, and now, Jean Segura to the Phillies.

Talk about a total teardown. In a little over a month, they’ve gone from an 89-win team to one that looks like the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

On the one hand, I get why so many teams are trying this approach. On the other, it’s hard not to cynically note that a lot of the people who shout about the glories of this sort of thing follow teams that don’t have to do it, and that, by cutting the number of competitive teams, this helps certain high-spending teams that MLB might want to have win the World Series more often than, say, the Royals.

QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: fire sale, mariners, mlb, the process

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Why MLB buying Fox regional sports networks would make sense

Ever since Disney got provisional approval in June from the U.S. Department of Justice to acquire most of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $71.3 billion, the fate of 22 regional sports networks has been up in the air.

The DOJ told Disney it could not keep the RSNs, and would have to sell them off within 90 days of the Disney-Fox deal closing. That restriction launched a parlor game for sports media folks: Who will buy the RSNs?

Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Discovery all looked like potential bidders. There were also reports that Fox could end up buying them back. Then, last week, CNBC reported that Amazon was bidding in the first round, along with less surprising names including Sinclair, Apollo Global Management, Blackstone, and KKR.

A discussion of the competition for control of Fox’s regional sports networks.

QLE Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fox sports, mlb, regional sports networks, television

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

MLB officially gets into the gambling business and now thinks its slow pace is a selling point

The biggest revelation in baseball Tuesday wasn’t that Major League Baseball was partnering with MGM to officially get into the gambling business — that was only a matter of time since the Supreme Court decision in May that opened the doors to legalize sports betting.

The biggest revelation in baseball came during the announcement of the MLB-MGM deal and it was this: Pace-of-play isn’t that bad after all.

Yes, you read that right. Baseball’s slow pace is being propped up as a good thing after years of hearing about how it’s ruining baseball and years of developing new rules aimed at fixing it. It goes to show, when sports gambling becomes legal, anything can change.

It isn’t every day when MLB runs with two different bad ideas at the same time….

QLE Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:13 AM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, mgm, mlb, pace of play

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ben Zobrist, start designing your customized cleats. MLB grants players more shoe freedom.

ATLANTA—Baseball’s shoe police can go home.

Major League Baseball and its owners approved an amendment to the basic agreement that finally loosens restrictions on the design and colors of players’ footwear in games.

Players, such as Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs and Mike Clevinger of the Cleveland Indians, were furious last season that they were being warned and fined by Major League Baseball if their footwear did not adhere to league-mandated rules.

Beats actually doing something about the pace of play, I guess….

QLE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:40 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ben zobrist, footwear, mike clevinger, mlb

 

 

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