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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Opening Series leaves a lasting impression

Mainly a puff piece, but I figure we should have some sort of place to discuss it in retrospect and discuss future possibilities for non-WBC MLB international ventures.

...
This trip is over now, but MLB’s international adventures will continue. The details and itineraries of the next excursions have yet to be mapped out. There’s a whole world out there, and much of it is as intrigued by baseball as it is in Taiwan or China or Japan or, as it turns out, Down Under.

So cheers, Australia, and no worries. Major League Baseball will be back.

Gamingboy Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: australia, diamondbacks, dodgers, international

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Joey B. Posted: March 23, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4675920)
I say that MLB should spend some time and effort at "growing the game" in places like Oakland, California and Tampa, Florida before worrying so much about Sydney, Australia.
   2. Bhaakon Posted: March 23, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4675927)

I say that MLB should spend some time and effort at "growing the game" in places like Oakland, California and Tampa, Florida before worrying so much about Sydney, Australia.



New ballparks? Maybe give the locals better jobs so they can afford season tickets?
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: March 23, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4675930)
This Buzzfeed synopsis is pretty funny:
Baseball Explained By An Australian (Who’s Never Seen Baseball)

This ignorant Aussie just watched his first baseball match. MLB Down Under.

Here's one of his observations:
The balls are either super cheap or the MLB is super rich. Balls go into the crowd non-stop and never come back.
   4. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: March 23, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4675931)
I'm very pleased that MLB is paying attention to the rest of the world. Yet another point of disagreement with Joey.
   5. puck Posted: March 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4675954)
The balls themselves are much lighter than cricket balls. Softer some might say.


Wikipedia says a cricket ball weighs "between 155.9 and 163.0 grams" while a baseball's 5 to 5 1?4 ounces would be "142 and 149 g". So about a half an ounce?
   6. puck Posted: March 23, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4675955)
How familiar are Australians with baseball? Have most people never seen it played?
   7. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4675961)
The problem with these games in Australia is that they were virtually ignored by the national media here in the US. The coverage has been virtually nil.

Baseball has been getting killed in terms of media coverage over the last week, first by the NFL free agent signing frenzy and then by March Madness.
   8. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 23, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4675967)
Baseball has been getting killed in terms of media coverage over the last week, first by the NFL free agent signing frenzy and then by March Madness.


Short of holding it on the moon, there isn't anything MLB could have done to get attention during March Madness weekend.
They should have had the games played on the Monday/Tuesday (before or after the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament), but that wouldn't have worked for the Aussies.

I can say that the baseball games still got more coverage on ESPN than any of the hockey games this weekend.
(Frustrated Canuck in Buffalo to watch the NCAA games.)
   9. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4675983)
How familiar are Australians with baseball? Have most people never seen it played?

Actual Aussies would be better to answer but it's reasonable here. There is a pro league with teams in the major cities -- I assume they don't draw all that well -- and there are local club teams, including in this sleepy town.

Thanks to a largely regional split between Aussie Rules and Rugby League, cricket is probably the #1 sport followed by those two but there really isn't a single dominant sport (as opposed to rugby union dominating NZ). Enough Aussies have played MLB that I think most Aussies would have seen it at some point (Aussie success on the international stage is a pretty big deal) and fast-pitch softball has a bit more of a history here (probably moreso in NZ). But it's probably behind basketball and maybe soccer (they call it soccer here!) in popularity. Still ahead of ice hockey! (Field hockey doesn't seem nearly as popular here as in NZ but maybe I'm wrong about that.)

Still, the two games were on a digital free channel and you can usually find MLB on a digital free channel at least once a week (usually at lunchtime which doesn't help us working stiffs much).

Anyway, clearly behind some Latin American and Asian countries but Australia is probably close to the top 10 countries for baseball, top 15 surely (as he quickly counts up how many Latin countries take baseball seriously ....

Hmmm ... am I missing anybody? (not in any order)

US, Canada, DR, PR, Mexico, Venez, Cuba, Korea, Japan, Taiwan ... OK, possibly in a tussle for #11 with Curacao. :-)

OK, I forgot Panama. And apparently I wasn't kidding about Curacao -- 7 active ML players from there in 2013. Oz in a tie for 12th with Nicaragua and Taiwan with 4 players, ahead of Korea. I didn't realize Colombia has 5 players.
   10. Greg K Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4675987)
Whatever happened to Scott Campbell? He had a promising year in AA New Hampshire and I was all prepared for MLBs first Kiwi player...but then I guess he got hurt.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4675995)
From The Guardian: story
   12. Greg K Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4675996)
From The Guardian: story

That was a fun read! Really glad to see some people enjoyed it.
   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:24 AM (#4675997)
After doing some research, I've learned the Dodgers won both games. Despite living in LA, I had no idea. Another job well done by MLB.
   14. akrasian Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:49 AM (#4676000)
From Walt's link:

Christ, look at this bloke, it’s Ned Kelly morphed with Hulk Hogan. His name’s Brian Wilson. He should be lifting barrels of beer off a truck, not throwing speed balls on the SCG. But that he can do, Big Ned, his pitches are hot white rocks from a cannon.

I'd love to see reporting like that in the LA Times.
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:54 AM (#4676003)
After doing some research, I've learned the Dodgers won both games. Despite living in LA, I had no idea. Another job well done by MLB.


The game Saturday night started at 7pm Los Angeles time. The research to find out the result if that unusual start time must have been brutal.
   16. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 24, 2014 at 07:33 AM (#4676006)
Australia is the only country that's considered world-class in both baseball and cricket. It's hard to imagine any other country having that distinction any time soon. (India, maybe?)
   17. OsunaSakata Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:42 AM (#4676019)
What's the largest seating capacity in Australia for a baseball-specific field? (The reason they had to put a diamond on Sydney Cricket Ground to accomodate 35,000 spectators.)

Of course the Australians call it soccer. Isn't Australian Rules Football what they call football or footy?
   18. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4676023)
Geelong Baseball Park seats 5,000 (with 1,500 seated and 3,500 on berms and in standing areas). As far as I know, that's the largest baseball-only facility in Australia.
   19. depletion Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4676024)
"Short of holding it on the moon, ..."
No curve to the pitches in a vacuum, 1/6 gravity. Could be fun.
I can see Australia as part of a long term growth strategy, given that Taiwan, Japan and Korea have pro leagues. What about the Philippines? Benny Agbayani and Shane Victorino are ethnicly "from there". I don't recall them being soccer crazed in the Philippines.
   20. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4676026)
Isn't Australian Rules Football what they call football or footy?
Yep. Although I've heard Australians refer to rugby league, rugby union, and soccer as "football" too.

They're often referred to - in my experience - as four "codes" of football.
   21. SoCalDemon Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4676059)
Re 8: They didn't have any games on at The Thirsty Buffalo?
   22. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4676091)
The problem with these games in Australia is that they were virtually ignored by the national media here in the US. The coverage has been virtually nil.

Baseball has been getting killed in terms of media coverage over the last week, first by the NFL free agent signing frenzy and then by March Madness.


I think there are a few things going on here. While I'm sure that MLB would have loved more coverage for these games back home, I think they are pretty pleased that 70,000ish Australian fans (plus TV right?) might have caught the baseball bug.

The whole Dodgers channel thing not being on any carrier other than Time Warner right now also has something to do with it.
   23. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4676138)
the money quote Down we go to a spot directly behind the umpire/catcher, and several rows of people who’ve paid $850 for a seat – they should not be trusted with money. It's a world-class event and very interesting, but you wouldn’t pay $850. You can fly to Thailand for $850. I once bought a car for $850. It was a crap car, granted. But you wouldn’t pay $850 for a seat here with money you found on the body of a long-dead pimp
   24. villageidiom Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4676159)
"Short of holding it on the moon, ..."
No curve to the pitches in a vacuum, 1/6 gravity. Could be fun.
Escape velocity is just under 5400 MPH on the moon. It would be more entertaining to play where escape velocity is around 100 MPH. You won't need a catcher; if it isn't hit, just let the pitch orbit until it comes around again.
   25. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4676173)
Short of holding it on the moon, there isn't anything MLB could have done to get attention during March Madness weekend.


MLB has been trying to move the start of the season back into March in order to expand the playoffs without going into the depths of winter.

MLB knows that to do this, they will have to play opening week games in competition with "March Madness."

MLB has begun shifting those opening week games out of country, to grow the sport internationally, rather than lose to the NCAA domestically.

That seems rational, actually.
   26. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4676193)
MLB has been trying to move the start of the season back into March in order to expand the playoffs without going into the depths of winter.

MLB knows that to do this, they will have to play opening week games in competition with "March Madness."

MLB has begun shifting those opening week games out of country, to grow the sport internationally, rather than lose to the NCAA domestically.

That seems rational, actually.


Not really following. This was two teams, two games.

MLB now overlaps with March Madness, whereas BITD, it didn't. It should obviously open the season in the US the Tuesday afternoon after the NCAA final, but then it wouldn't be able to pull off its silly "playoffs."

On the merits, American sports other than basketball have proven to be pretty poor exports and there's no reason to believe baseball is or will be any better. These are nothing more than bloated marketing departments pretending that they're "doing something." They might sell a few more hats and jerseys in Australia now, but nothing more.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4676198)
Not really following. This was two teams, two games.


Exactly. Two, of 162 games. No one will remember the fact that they happened in Oz come October, except baseball fans in Oz. The only people upset about it are folks who think "Opening Day" is something that happens once, and not 30 distinct times.

It should obviously open the season in the US the Tuesday afternoon after the NCAA final, but then it wouldn't be able to pull off its silly "playoffs."


MLB makes more money off of those silly "playoffs" than they do off of the first few games in March. They will not lose a single gate receipt from any of their Opening Day events, not a single ticket sale, because of two games already in the books from mid-March in Oz.

These are nothing more than bloated marketing departments pretending that they're "doing something." They might sell a few more hats and jerseys in Australia now, but nothing more.


You are welcome to your opinion. Merch sales are valuable to MLB, as is the general expansion of the game into friendly markets. If you think sports markets are still local or national, you clearly haven't marked the trend of EPL games on Fox and NBC.
   28. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4676204)
The game Saturday night started at 7pm Los Angeles time. The research to find out the result if that unusual start time must have been brutal.

Yeah, it's NCAA opening weekend. Sports bliss. Willingly opening against that is a recipe for being ignored. Which they rightfully were.
   29. base ball chick Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4676207)
Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: March 23, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4675920)

I say that MLB should spend some time and effort at "growing the game" in places like Oakland, California and Tampa, Florida before worrying so much about Sydney, Australia


- well, whaddaya know, he!! has done gone and froze over because i actually agree with joey which i didn't think was any more posssible than him getting his own self preggo

but both of us is just doing a whole lot of BITGODing because bud selig and his gang of billionaires do not care about oakland/tampa fans let alone me n joey and they are much more interested in getting a whole country full of internet provided citizens to buy mlb.tv and merchandise

no one cares about Opening Day any more because it interferes with the march gambling on whatevs thingy and gambling is more important/interesting to a lot more people than Opening Day

buddy boy is sending the houston suckstros to mexico city to play opening day or something and not that the astros fans (if there are any left) will notice or care, but it is the same thing - get the people who can afford intarnets to buy mlb.tv and baseball caps.

people/writers are more interested in screeching at "those greedy players" than those greedy billionaires who have no interest in actual teams' FANS
   30. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4676211)
The only people upset about it are folks who think "Opening Day" is something that happens once, and not 30 distinct times.


31, this year. But yeah, they will still have a parade in Cincinnati, bundle up in Minnesota and raise a banner in Boston. And Az. and LA will still get their traditional openers back in the states as well. I don't get the angst over these games.

   31. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4676222)
but both of us is just doing a whole lot of BITGODing because bud selig and his gang of billionaires do not care about oakland/tampa fans


Well, not to be Buddy S's bestie or anything, but Tampa and Oakland fans haven't really poured out the unconditional love for baseball either.
   32. base ball chick Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4676236)
too true about tampa/oakland

although it has been explained to me that actually getting to the ballpark in tampa is beyond unpleasant and you know bad traffic as well as i do and there is traffic in houston i wouldn't do even if i had free tix and we had an actual baseball game to watch

oakland i don't get - i guess the team doesn't have real too many fans

i still don't get why carriers/buddy boy won't let people buy a baseball game on the local carrier as a pay per view
   33. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4676242)
Well, not to be Buddy S's bestie or anything, but Tampa and Oakland fans haven't really poured out the unconditional love for baseball either.

Can't really be measured without taking the lack of mallpark into account. The mallparks are replete with people who have little to no interest in the game on the field.
   34. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4676248)
On the merits, American sports other than basketball have proven to be pretty poor exports and there's no reason to believe baseball is or will be any better. These are nothing more than bloated marketing departments pretending that they're "doing something." They might sell a few more hats and jerseys in Australia now, but nothing more.


I don't know. Baseball seems to be pretty diverse. Like maybe more than any sport in North America. On the Dodgers there is a Korean, Cubans, African Americans, Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Dominicans, Dutch, Circus Freaks (Wilson), sons of Major Leaguers (Gordon, Van Slyke, Buetera), etc.

Most importantly, did it really hurt you to have baseball have a couple of real games in another country? Australia is kind of an emerging market and giving folks down there (or even ex-pats) the full on MLB experience isn't a bad thing.
   35. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4676249)
Can't really be measured without taking the lack of mallpark into account. The mallparks are replete with people who have little to no interest in the game on the field.


Define mallpark, SB.
   36. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4676256)
Can't really be measured without taking the lack of mallpark into account. The mallparks are replete with people who have little to no interest in the game on the field.


Well, call me when a franchise manages to be successful and competitive in any market while marketing only to Fans The Id Of SugarBear Blanks Approves Of, won't you?
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4676257)
Define mallpark, SB.

A ballpark with retail malls and food courts and bars and simlar mallish diversions appended thereto.

Most importantly, did it really hurt you to have baseball have a couple of real games in another country?

I enjoyed the games. Saw almost all the first one.
   38. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4676262)
although it has been explained to me that actually getting to the ballpark in tampa is beyond unpleasant and you know bad traffic as well as i do and there is traffic in houston i wouldn't do even if i had free tix and we had an actual baseball game to watch


Tampa could solve this problem the same way Atlanta solved it. I think they're locked into that lease, which is a problem, but there's not anything to suggest that Tampa is in love with the Rays. That franchise puts a great team out there more often than not, and people simply don't come. Not sure what sort of fan outreach is going to change the stadium lease or location, so back to the original point, how exactly should MLB be approaching this problem instead of sending the LA teams to Oz for a two-game goodwill series? Should they send the Dodgers and Angels to play two games in a better stadium location in Tampa-St Pete?

oakland i don't get - i guess the team doesn't have real too many fans


Bad stadium, bad location, a team roster with virtually no history or ties to the area. "Come see if Brett Anderson can stay healthy before we trade him for three minor leaguers with better cost to value returns!" isn't a great tag line.
   39. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4676264)
A ballpark with retail malls and food courts and bars and simlar mallish diversions appended thereto.


That is to say, any Major League park since the 1940s or so.
   40. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4676265)
Well, call me when a franchise manages to be successful and competitive in any market while marketing only to Fans The Id Of SugarBear Blanks Approves Of, won't you?

The A's have been successful. They drew over 1.8 million fans last year, which would have been near the top of MLB attendance in, say, 1985.

I suppose they can't compete with teams who have a mall, and a bunch of food courts, and a bunch of bars included on the footprint of their business complex, and who count mall-only attendance as baseball attendance, but that isn't how I'd define "compete." The baseball game and the ballpark is only one part of the mini-conglomerate the other teams operate and I wouldn't expect a one-division operation to compete with multi-division businesses. There's literally no question that a whole bunch of teams wouldn't have drawn 1.8M to the baseball divisions of their conglomerates, but for the synergies with the malls -- as they regularly didn't in the pre-conglomerate days.
   41. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4676270)
A ballpark with retail malls and food courts and bars and simlar mallish diversions appended thereto.


Oh, my.. a ballpark with stores, concessions stands, and places to drink.. Holy hell, that can be applied to most of the minor league parks I have been too..
   42. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4676271)
I suppose they can't compete with teams who have a mall, and a bunch of food courts, and a bunch of bars included on the footprint of their business complex, and who count mall-only attendance as baseball attendance, but that isn't how I'd define "compete.


And yet, the team with the best attendance in baseball last year has none of that crap.
   43. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4676272)
WTF happened to the historical attendance figures on BB-Ref?
   44. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4676276)
That is to say, any Major League park since the 1940s or so.

CitizensBank is in the middle of a huge parking lot. So is the Ballpark at Arlington and Angels Stadium. There is no reason to be at those places other than to watch a baseball game (well in the Phillies' case another sporting event or concert - but those things generally aren't going on when there is a baseball game going on). Those are among the three highest revenue-generating teams. Sure a lot of that is TV money but they all have good gate numbers.
   45. Baldrick Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4676278)
Oakland has a decent fanbase. Their problem is that their stadium is terrible and they're sharing a metro area with the Giants. The Bay has a lot of people, but it's not THAT many. For the many folks who aren't originally from the area (like me) but still want to go see a game, SF is a much MUCH nicer experience.
   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4676282)
CitizensBank is in the middle of a huge parking lot. So is the Ballpark at Arlington and Angels Stadium. There is no reason to be at those places other than to watch a baseball game

Yeah, there is -- CBP has great bars and good food and great people-watching, hitting on dudes/chicks.

I've quoted a story from SI a couple times in which they compare CBP to adding the Jersey Shore to the Vet. Very well put.

People who can't get their heads around this almost certainly never went to games at places like Tiger Stadium where being in your seat was more comfortable than going to the concession stands (a/k/a/ dungeons) under the seats. There weren't big, wide open concourses with tens of thousands of square feet of retail space and bars and private "clubs" and a big huge open food plaza in centerfield where you can stand up and watch the game. It's not remotely comparable to Comerica Park and the other mallparks.
   47. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4676288)
The A's have been successful. They drew over 1.8 million fans last year, which would have been near the top of MLB attendance in, say, 1985.

I suppose they can't compete with teams who have a mall, and a bunch of food courts, and a bunch of bars included on the footprint of their business complex, and who count mall-only attendance as baseball attendance, but that isn't how I'd define "compete."


Well, call me when MLB calls you and asks you to define "compete" for them.
   48. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4676289)
For the many folks who aren't originally from the area (like me) but still want to go see a game, SF is a much MUCH nicer experience.

I went to a day game on a perfect day in Oakland in August 2004 and it was an excellent time. It's a perfectly fine place to watch a major league baseball game, if that's what you're in the market for.

Mount Davis was still under construction (if memory serves) and was something of an eyesore, but so what? It certainly didn't take away from the action on the field. If you grew up on Rust Belt baseball in places like Tiger Stadium, you were in your element. If you need stores and private "clubs" and picnic tables, and a bunch of foofoo diversions, you probably weren't.

   49. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4676290)
WTF happened to the historical attendance figures on BB-Ref?


If your plan is to compare bad attendance franchises in 2014 with attendance averages from 1985, just save the time. 30 years ago doesn't matter.
   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4676291)
If your plan is to compare bad attendance franchises in 2014 with attendance averages from 1985, just save the time. 30 years ago doesn't matter.

It does if you want valid comparisons. If you want invalid ones, you're right -- it doesn't.
   51. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4676295)
People who can't get their heads around this almost certainly never went to games at places like Tiger Stadium where being in your seat was more comfortable than going to the concession stands (a/k/a/ dungeons) under the seats. There weren't big, wide open concourses with tens of thousands of square feet of retail space and bars and private "clubs" and a big huge open food plaza in centerfield where you can stand up and watch the game. It's not remotely comparable to Comerica Park and the other mallparks.


I'm confused as to your point. Are you complaining that MLB has made the general experience of going to a baseball game less uncomfortable? Are you longing for the days where the only people at baseball games were cigar chomping bookies or something? MLB, like every other sporting league in America, wants families from the suburbs to come and spend their extra cash at their entertainment venues.
   52. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4676297)
It does if you want valid comparisons. If you want invalid ones, you're right -- it doesn't.


What exactly are you comparing to, and why? I really don't have any idea what you're trying to argue here. Oakland and Tampa suffer from having crappy stadiums in difficult to reach locations that aren't family friendly. Thus, they lose out on gate receipts from those monied demographics.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4676303)
Are you longing for the days where the only people at baseball games were cigar chomping bookies or something?

I'm not "longing" for anything. I'm explaining. You should listen and learn.

What exactly are you comparing to, and why? I really don't have any idea what you're trying to argue here.

You criticized Tampa's and Oakland's "love for baseball" and that was silly. So I said so. Oakland draws perfectly fine, if not excellent, for baseball -- properly measured. Tampa, maybe not, but I don't think their stadium could be worse if you tried to make it worse. It doesn't even have the advantage of letting the patrons enjoy the outdoors.

Are you complaining that MLB has made the general experience of going to a baseball game less uncomfortable?

Tiger Stadium was more than just comfortable for baseball, it was sublime. But you're certainly right that MLB has made the experience of doing things at baseball games other than watching the baseball game far less uncomfortable.

I'm not sure what that proves, other than what I'm saying.

   54. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4676305)
Oakland draws perfectly fine, if not excellent, for baseball


Oakland was 23/30 last year. Not sure that is excellent. Was 27th in '12 and 30th in '11. Nothing about that is excellent.
   55. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4676308)
I really don't have any idea what you're trying to argue here.
Apparently, that a city's attendance doesn't reflect its interest in baseball... not for the logical reasons one might say that (quality of the team, stadium issues, they're watching on TV instead, etc.)... but because the product being offered by some Major League Baseball teams is not actually "baseball."

5/5, would troll again
   56. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4676312)
Tiger Stadium was more than just comfortable for baseball, it was sublime. But you're certainly right that MLB has made the experience of doing things at baseball games other than watching the baseball game far less uncomfortable.


So old man BITGODing. Okay. Whatevs. Take your Viagra and watch some porn, granpa.
   57. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4676317)
So old man BITGODing. Okay. Whatevs. Take your Viagra and watch some porn, granpa.

Nope, I don't mind mallparks.(*) I simply don't need them to enjoy a baseball game. A ballpark will suffice.

(And you obviously didn't read if that was your takeaway.)

(*) Indeed, it's my frequent attendance at them that leads to the simple observation of the number of non-fans that typically frequent them.
   58. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4676318)
Yeah, there is -- CBP has great bars and good food and great people-watching, hitting on dudes/chicks.

Is this a happening scene during the winter or when the Phillies are on a road trip? I'm asking - I honestly don't know.
   59. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4676323)
Oakland was 23/30 last year. Not sure that is excellent. Was 27th in '12 and 30th in '11. Nothing about that is excellent.

It is for baseball-only. Look at comparable baseball-only attendance figures (most of which are from the pre-mallpark days).
   60. Sunday silence Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4676324)
On the merits, American sports other than basketball have proven to be pretty poor exports and there's no reason to believe baseball is or will be any bette


can you explain your reasoning here or cite some reference? Basketball is one of the most ubiquitous sports around so that is an extremely successful export. Baseball I would believe is widespread although it has not made inroads in large numbers of countries, still it goes from Japan to Curacao. What about all that snowboarding and tubing stuff you see in the winter olympics? Is that too elitist to qualify?

I am not sure camel racing and mu thai fighting are making great inroads, but maybe you know some foreign sports that are.
   61. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4676334)
The idea that baseball doesn't export well has to be premised on the fallacious notion that only Europe matters as an export zone. Japan, Korea, all of South America and the Carib. China an Europe bought basketball, but baseball exports just fine.
   62. Sunday silence Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4676337)
By most sites I see on the internet there are at least three sports invented by americans that are in the top ten of internationally played sports: basketball, baseball, and volleyball. Basketball is ranked no 2 on many lists. The only nation with a better claim than US would be england with cricket, rugby, field hockey and probably soccer. Tennis actually goes back to France. Golf is Scottish so no credit there.

Its probably no surprise that the exportation of sports goes hand in hand with the exportation of culture in general.

Do you wish to argue that american culture is not ubiquitous?
   63. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4676339)
The idea that baseball doesn't export well has to be premised on the fallacious notion that only Europe matters as an export zone. Japan, Korea, all of South America and the Carib. China an Europe bought basketball, but baseball exports just fine.

I should have refined the remark to add "to new markets." Baseball has exported ok/good, but its export markets (*) are pretty saturated and long-established.

(*) And we really shouldn't even use that terminology; baseball grew organically in a bunch of those markets so it really isn't an "export" from America.
   64. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4676340)
Yeah, it's NCAA opening weekend. Sports bliss. Willingly opening against that is a recipe for being ignored. Which they rightfully were.


So baseball should only be played when no other sports are going on? Is the right thing to do to start the season in late June after the NBA and NHL are done and play the World Series in mid-July before the behemoth that is the NFL starts playing its pre-season games?

Man, that June 22 - July 12 season is going to be AWESOME!
   65. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4676342)
   66. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4676344)
there are at least three sports invented by americans that are in the top ten of internationally played sports: basketball, baseball, and volleyball.
Basketball was invented by a North American, anyway. ;)
   67. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4676353)

So baseball should only be played when no other sports are going on? Is the right thing to do to start the season in late June after the NBA and NHL are done and play the World Series in mid-July before the behemoth that is the NFL starts playing its pre-season games?


Opening Day should be the Tuesday after the NCAA final Monday night.
   68. Flynn Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4676361)
Baseball is a lot more built in to the cultures it has exported itself to than basketball. Basketball seems to be the ultimate mile wide, inch deep sport. The NBA's lackluster revenues point that out.
   69. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4676367)
I should have refined the remark to add "to new markets." Baseball has exported ok/good, but its export markets (*) are pretty saturated and long-established.


Basketball's only real growth market is China. Now, granted, China is a gigantic sea of unwashed humanity so it's a big market, but I'm not sure the NBA's prospects in China are any better than MLB's prospects in Brazil. Of course, the big "get" market for baseball would be India, but a cricket mad nation is unlikely to take to baseball any more than Americans are likely to punt the NFL for MLS.
   70. puck Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4676369)
The game-tying run comes into bat in the form of … someone, a man. The accordian gets a workout: Let’s go Arizona Diamondbacks. Let’s go. Crowd getting a little jiggy … might we see something extraordinary? No. We do not. Big Kenley stands atop the Diamondbacks' throats with a series of piss-fast hot-rocks


This could use a Ralph Steadman illustration.
   71. madvillain Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4676370)
Tiger Stadium was more than just comfortable for baseball, it was sublime


Seriously? I guess if you were lucky enough not to be seated below the playing surface in CF or behind one of the numerous pillars in the grandstands. Or managed not to get mugged on the way in. Tiger Stadium was a cool old park, then times changed, it got old and uriney smelly and was replaced.


Now, Comerica, that's an over-rated park. The Cell gets a bad rap, but Comerica is worse IMO.
   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4676384)
Seriously? I guess if you were lucky enough not to be seated below the playing surface in CF or behind one of the numerous pillars in the grandstands. Or managed not to get mugged on the way in. Tiger Stadium was a cool old park, then times changed, it got old and uriney smelly and was replaced.

There's never been a better baseball seat invented than the best seats at Tiger Stadium. The poles make the seats in front of them better -- as anyone who's ever sat in the first couple rows of the upper deck on the infield can attest.

As noted, I like the modern amenities and comforts of today's mallparks -- but I go to baseball games to watch baseball.
   73. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4676389)
Basketball seems to be the ultimate mile wide, inch deep sport. The NBA's lackluster revenues point that out.

Pro basketball's good standing with America is perpetually provisional and very high-maintenance. Some, but by no means all, of this is because of race.
   74. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4676398)
The only nation with a better claim than US would be england with cricket, rugby, field hockey and probably soccer. Tennis actually goes back to France. Golf is Scottish so no credit there.


England and Scotland are the same nation - the United Kingdom.
   75. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4676403)
England and Scotland are the same nation - the United Kingdom.


England and Scotland (and Wales and Northern Ireland) are the same state - the United Kingdom. The English, Scots, Welsh and Irish are all distinct nations.
   76. Al Kaline Trio Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4676421)
A's attendance last year - 1,809,302.
A's attendance in 1989 - 2,667,225.

Bringing Rickey! back to be 1B coach could be the answer.
   77. theboyqueen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4676432)
Does the NBA really have lackluster revenues? Based on what? Compared to what?
   78. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4676437)
Back to "footy"

As mentioned, it is regional. AFL is a Victorian, South & Western Australia sport. In NSW it is NRL. So what "footy" means depends on where you're from. 9 of the 18 AFL teams are located in Melbourne and 5 others elsewhere in Vic, SA and WA. Sydney just got its 2nd team. Meanwhile 8 of the 16 NRL teams are in Sydney plus 2 more in NSW with only one in Melbourne and none in SA or WA.
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4676439)
Does the NBA really have lackluster revenues? Based on what? Compared to what?


I wasn't sure about the comment that the person making it was referring to, the NBA makes roughly 5billion a year, and is third. MLB does about 8billion, NFL around 11billion and NHL around 3billion, not sure if that is really lackluster revenue or not for basketball.
   80. Sunday silence Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:39 AM (#4676621)
James Naismith was Canadian-American; I did not know that. Sorry Canada.

Scotland was an independent Kingdom at the time golf was invented so I decided to give them some credit. If in the future, America is conquered by Canada I think baseball should still be considered American.

The Romans apparently played some form of primitive rugby/soccer. The Chinese did too.
   81. Flynn Posted: March 25, 2014 at 04:30 AM (#4676636)
MLB has 60% more revenue than the NBA despite all these Chinese people and Europeans knowing who Kobe and LeBron are. The problem is none of these people actually care about basketball, their engagement with the league consists of watching dunk highlights before they play FIFA 14. They don't actually watch games or buy merch in any significant amount.

Baseball - and the NFL and NHL - have done a much better job of convincing people overseas to be actual fans.
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: March 25, 2014 at 06:58 AM (#4676640)
MLB has 60% more revenue than the NBA despite all these Chinese people and Europeans knowing who Kobe and LeBron are. The problem is none of these people actually care about basketball, their engagement with the league consists of watching dunk highlights before they play FIFA 14. They don't actually watch games or buy merch in any significant amount.

Baseball - and the NFL and NHL - have done a much better job of convincing people overseas to be actual fans.


Baseball is the better game, the fact that the NFL is beating it in revenue is a disappointment, but that it's soundly beating the NBA shouldn't be a surprise. More games per season, less competition(no hockey to suck away revenue), stronger "randomness" (basketball is much more predictable than baseball, meaning local fans can believe in their team for a longer portion of the season) The NHL is the one that should be embarrassed by it's financial disappointment. Even with the factors that you have mentioned, it's getting as soundly beat by basketball as basketball(NBA) is getting by baseball(MLB).

In some ways I agree with your original post about basketball being "mile wide, inch deep." I don't think the fanbases of the NBA is as strong as it is for other sports, at least at the local level(I know your post was about the international level). Of the four major sports, basketball is the one that feels like the fans are most about "what have you done for me lately." At least in regards to team loyalty, but I think NBA is second only to the NFL in regards to "national" following. (Again I'm about to violate my personal taste by using tv ratings as a proxy for popularity----ecch...another few thousand brain cells are dying---) NBA tv ratings do much better on the national stage than any of the other(non-nfl) sports, and aren't propped up massively by the playing teams local ratings, unlike baseball.(the reason for so many Yankee/Red Sox/Cardinal national games is of course ratings being propped up by large or dedicated fanbases)



   83. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 25, 2014 at 09:00 AM (#4676657)
Opening Day should be the Tuesday after the NCAA final Monday night.


MLB should dictate their schedule around that of a college tournament?
   84. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 25, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4676661)
MLB should dictate their schedule around that of a college tournament?


MLB should manage its TV roll out around other known television draws, yes. That "college tournament" is a big TV draw. Only a fool would ignore that simple fact.

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