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Friday, June 29, 2012

Murray Chass: LISTEN TO FANS, NOT FOX

But Major League Baseball has defrauded its players and fans for nine years – this year will make it an even 10 – and it’s time to admit the gimmick hasn’t worked and a new link for homefield advantage for the World Series is needed. ...

The most interesting development stemming from the gimmick is that it hasn’t accomplished the sole reason for its creation. Despite this harder played, better managed game, the Fox ratings for the game have fallen six times in the 10 years of the link’s existence, including the last two years, when the ratings have been the lowest ever for a Fox televised All-Star game, 7.5 in 2010 and 6.9 last year. Viewership has also plunged to its lowest, 12.1 million and 11 million in the last two years, respectively.

These numbers unmask M.L.B. as the fraud that it has been in concocting the All-Star gimmick. Even worse than the gimmick has been the spin – I call it lies – baseball and Fox have used in trying pathetically to explain and defend the All-Star gimmick. ...

Have the outcome of the 252-game interleague series determine homefield advantage for the World Series. The champion of the league whose teams prevailed in the interleague segment of the schedule would get homefield advantage. That benefit would be decided by 252 legitimate games, games that count in the standings, not a single exhibition game that otherwise counts for nothing and has no reason being put in such a critical position. ...

My suggested system wouldn’t do anything for television ratings, but baseball doesn’t have to worry about Fox’s All-Star ratings.

bobm Posted: June 29, 2012 at 05:37 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all star game, interleague, television

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. The Pequod Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4169280)
M.L.B. introduced another new element last year, though not for the game itself. Unlike previous practice, players were permitted to tweet during the home run derby the day before the All-Star game. That idea seemed to be successful that I suggested, not altogether seriously, that M.L.B. allow players to tweet during the game, interacting with fans at the park and elsewhere.


I love this idea
   2. fra paolo Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4169295)
I love this idea

That may be; but it is Murray Chass's idea, and BTF GroupThinkFactory will soon have you tarred and feathered.

Wait for a respectable blogger to think of it.
   3. Lassus Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4169305)
Eh. I disagree it's a good idea, having nothing to do with Chass. I'd prefer Wright worry about hitting and watching the damned pitcher and defense than ####### tweeting during a game.
   4. TerpNats Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4169307)
With the 15-15 format beginning next year, it's possible we might not know which league has home-field advantage entering the final regular-season series, which would feature at least one interleague matchup. And what if it ends tied? Does the league which had the advantage the year before keep it?

OTOH, it could add some impact to an otherwise meaningless San Diego-Seattle game on the final day of the season.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4169310)
Maybe only allow players who have already come out of the game to tweet.
   6. fra paolo Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4169321)
And what if it ends tied? Does the league which had the advantage the year before keep it?

I would say win it or lose it. So the advantage would change hands after a tie. Another alternative is to use the All-Star Game or last year's World Series as a tiebreak.
   7. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4169323)
it's possible we might not know which league has home-field advantage entering the final regular-season series

I don't understand why this would matter. Plenty of teams don't know if they're making the playoffs until the last week of the season.
   8. bachslunch Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4169335)
That may be; but it is Murray Chass's idea, and BTF GroupThinkFactory will soon have you tarred and feathered.

Even a blind pig kicks an apple once in a while.
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4169338)
I would say win it or lose it. So the advantage would change hands after a tie. Another alternative is to use the All-Star Game or last year's World Series as a tiebreak.


I like Best of 3: All-Star game result, interleague play, better record among WS participants. I don't like best record by itself, because a team with a better record in an inferior league can get HFA. With Best of 3, it goes to the team with the best record unless that league has failed to ID itself as superior in the only two on-field ways we have of comparing leagues.

The other upside is it makes interleague play interesting for something , which it currently is not.
   10. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4169359)
LET THEM TWEET, FOX. SCREW YOUR RATINGS AND YOUR PATHETIC ALL STAR LYING GIMMICK. FREEDOM NOW.
   11. Cris E Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4169394)
Before the seasons starts they should blindly choose a game from the entire interleague set and stick it in an envelope on Opening Day. Then, with a month left in the season or so, as football starts to steal baseball's space in the news, they could have a huge event to unseal the envelope and see who won the game that determined home field advantage. And per #4's point, it might be even cooler if the game hadn't been played yet so huge interest could be drummed up to create awkward tension in the dugouts of non-playoff teams. "No thanks, Jim Grey, no need to do an in-game from a Wednesday afternoon game here in San Diego." Can you imagine players from teams that could be in the hunt contacting their buddies on bad teams that might be involved? "bro u gyz sx but pls win ths 1 #illmakeitworthyourwhile"
   12. JE (Jason) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4169413)
I can't blame MLB for trying to inject some life into the All-Star Game, but interleague play has done more than its fair share in destroying its importance to the average fan.
   13. Cris E Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4169418)
Amen.
   14. DA Baracus Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4169423)
All-Star caliber players rarely say anything worth a lick on twitter. Usually it's the grunts that are hilarious.
   15. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4169451)
If you're going to use interleague play to settle HFA, just use the interleague record of the actual teams that are in the World Series. Don't base it on the rest of the damn league.
   16. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4169475)
I liked the idea of the all-star game determining home field. It was even an idea that I'd thought of "wouldn't it be be cool if..." before it happened. That said, with making the leagues uniform and interleague year round, I think it'd be best to have homefield be determined by the overall record of the participants. (possibly giving division winner priority over a wild card with a better record)
   17. JE (Jason) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4169480)
If you're going to use interleague play to settle HFA, just use the interleague record of the actual teams that are in the World Series. Don't base it on the rest of the damn league.

Logistical problems will prevent what is otherwise a very sensible idea.
   18. stanmvp48 Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4169484)
Slightly off subject: It just occurred to me that there will be a 163 game to separate a division winner from a wild card now.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4169487)
I still do not get the blame game on the "this time it counts" issue. We went close to a 100 years with hfa being determined by the last digit of the year being even or odd. At least the all star game made it a little more random.

Given a choice, I like the idea proposed in post 9 the best. But ultimately it really doesn't matter. I personally think the hfa advantage is with the team with the middle three games.
   20. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4169492)
All-Star caliber players rarely say anything worth a lick on twitter. Usually it's the grunts that are hilarious.

Make twitterer a position and have the fans vote. Each league would then have a designated twitterer to keep us up to date on onfield hijinks.
   21. Moeball Posted: June 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4169651)
Each league would then have a designated twitterer


National League fans will never go for that.
   22. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: June 29, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4169664)
Tweeting during the games is a great idea. Until a player gets hit by a foul ball and seriously hurt because he's Tweeting rather than watching the game.
   23. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: June 29, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4169675)
All-Star caliber players rarely say anything worth a lick on twitter. Usually it's the grunts that are hilarious.

Well, that all depends on whether McCarthy gets onto the ASG roster or not.

I like Best of 3: All-Star game result, interleague play, better record among WS participants. I don't like best record by itself, because a team with a better record in an inferior league can get HFA. With Best of 3, it goes to the team with the best record unless that league has failed to ID itself as superior in the only two on-field ways we have of comparing leagues.

This is indeed a terrific idea.

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