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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Should a Neutral-Site World Series Become Baseball’s New Normal?

Even so, the first five games of the 2019 World Series helped Fox to the most-watched week for any network since the Super Bowl eight months earlier. Networks still crave postseason baseball, especially the World Series, and M.L.B. has no plans to alter it by moving future games to a neutral site.

In Boras’s opinion, though, M.L.B. should think bigger. But is it really worth sacrificing home crowds for a neutral-site spectacle, just to revive interest nationally in a sport that now thrives more locally?

“Not nationally, internationally,” Boras said. “You have the ability to attract people to our national pastime worldwide, because they know where it’s going to be, and they can plan.”

Boras emphasized the word pageantry, envisioning a weeklong extravaganza that encompasses an awards ceremony, a home run derby, entertainment and elaborate viewing parties throughout the host city.

“We attract a gala for seven days where people can attend one game out of six or seven and still feel involved,” he said. “They can watch at forums, corporate parties, sponsorship — you can really create a World Series week.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:13 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: world series

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5984507)
No. Next question.
   2. BDC Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5984514)
Well, not unless it's Whitey Herzog's Nashville combination of air-conditioned dome, country music venue, and riverboat casino.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:35 AM (#5984517)
Yes, go on.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5984520)

Well, not unless it's Whitey Herzog's Nashville combination of air-conditioned dome, country music venue, and riverboat casino.


Joe West likes the sound of this.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5984521)
Whatever Boras says, the opposite of that.
   6. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:46 AM (#5984522)
It's a terrible idea for the home fans, but it would probably make them more money. Therefore I fully expect them to do it.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:47 AM (#5984523)
I was in Nashville for Super Bowl weekend (last year and) this year, a month before the world came to an end.

it IS a fun weekend. but nothing can top memories of being in the stands for Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.

so I vote no.
   8. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5984527)
Home crowds at sporting events are always better. I'm sure the Super Bowl or March Madness is a lot of fun but man I don't want to see neutral sites too often. I've watched a fair amount of past sporting events during all of this. It is jarring how electrifying that home crowd can be or how impactful the shutting up of a home crowd can be.

nothing can top memories of being in the stands for Game 7 of the 1986 World Series.


You misspelled "everything."
   9. Lassus Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5984531)
I have an HOMer IRL friend who was in the stands at 16 for game 6, would you have preferred that?
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5984532)
No. Going to watch your team in the World Series is a great experience.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5984534)
I think you guys are just ignoring Scotty B's argument that a neutral site series has the potential to attract international fans. Fox close-ups of Russian oligarchs and Saudi royals. Who doesn't want that?

   12. . Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5984535)
Fox close-ups of Russian oligarchs and Saudi royals. Who doesn't want that?


"His father is the HEAD of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice!!!!!!"
   13. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5984536)
I think the most important takeaway from this year is the lack of postseason days off. Everything about it is awesome. It replicates the regular season where you play every day. As a viewer, I loved knowing there was a game every day. I didn't wonder "Do the Rays play today?" I know its on, and I just need to find out when.

While I dislike the neutral site WS idea, Boras supports my point.

Crucial to the plan, Boras said, would be to play all the games consecutively with no days off, like this year’s league championship series. Doing so would feed viewers’ appetite for binge watching — “This is the best Netflix series you could ever want,” he said — while highlighting the importance of a deep roster, theoretically increasing the likelihood that the best teams would win.

   14. . Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5984537)
They've been talking about a neutral site World Series since the 70s (at least). It's a shitty idea, but (as I wrote when it was first announced) part of the reason they snuck it in this year was to test it for permanence. There's probably money (and in-kind benefits) to be made in getting cities to bid for it, so there's a good chance it will happen.
   15. salvomania Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5984542)
the lack of postseason days off. Everything about it is awesome.

I agree wholeheartedly. It always bugged me when a team with a deep but unspectacular rotation could be beaten by a team with two aces and a bunch of off days. If you want to rely on your aces, make them go on short rest.
   16. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5984544)
Horrible idea. A huge part of the fun of playoff baseball is watching the home crowd lose its mind in joy or pray for a rally or mourn a defeat. Tons of my favorite memories of playoff baseball are of the crowd.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5984547)
“This is the best Netflix series you could ever want,” he said


You mean Quibbi!
   18. base ball chick Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5984551)
HORRIBLE idea

am not seeing how boras would get more money from his stupid idea

the third best experience in my life was going to watch my hometown team play in games 3 and 4 of the WS. it is one of the perks of getting season tix

there is already waaaaay too much stupid stopping the game after the 3rd inning to give out awards or to talk about someone. and it is awful

i know ima gonna be sweeping hoards of kidz offn mah lawn but i HATE all the new ideers and wish they would just enforce the ****ing pitch clock rules ALREADY written
   19. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5984552)
They should all take place in Dodger stadium midweek at noon with juiced balls!

</disgruntled A's fan rant>
   20. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5984553)
I don't see how this would revive national interest in baseball, which is a worthy goal. People in Nashville will be marginally more interested in the WS if it's playing in their backyard, but that's not going to matter to anyone outside of TN.
   21. The Mighty Quintana Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5984555)
Nah, maybe try that for the All-Star game if you need to scratch the itch. New Orleans, Nashville, Orlando, whatever makes ya happy.
   22. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5984559)
At what point did Boras become Mr. Loquacious Idea Dude? He was always kind of the super agent boogeyman for reporters and owners, and he could usually be counted to make some over-the-top case for why any given client should get a contract worth more than the annual GDP of France. But at some point Boras became a go-to guy for wild ideas about the game, and it's sort of odd.
   23. The Duke Posted: October 22, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5984569)
Everything baseball has done in the last few years has been to the detriment of stadium fans. Whether it be ridiculous seat prices, start times which are constantly changing due to TV dictates, metal detectors, increasing focus on not letting you bring food in, replays which ruin the in-person experience, shifting, the movement to three true outcome baseball, etc etc. it’s all bad for the stadium fans. I know I’m an old fogey but I love Paper tickets and if you can get them now, they cost an arm and a leg.

So, losing the playoffs to neutral sites is the obvious next step. I had season tickets to the Braves for several years and a lot of the holders are betting on being able to sell playoff tickets to help defray the cost of a season ticket. I sold all of mine and made a mint. But if that potential revenue stream is gone, its harder to pay the inflated regular season prices. I had pretty good seats and I was surprised how hard it was to get rid of tickets to week night games even though the Braves were good

Now, having said that, I LOVE no days off in the series. Way better. So at least there’s that.

   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5984582)

In addition to requiring a fixed location for the World Series, it would require fixed dates. This would mean planning for all of the prior series to go the maximum number of games, and having lots of days off when they didn't. That's not necessarily a reason *not* to do it, but it's a factor to consider. It's also why this idea works better in sports that don't have multi-game series.
   25. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 22, 2020 at 06:29 PM (#5984633)
As I've said before, look for all US sporting events to eventually be moved to 8am Eastern Time...cuz that's prime time in Beijing, baby!
   26. Astroenteritis Posted: October 22, 2020 at 08:53 PM (#5984659)
Is there some kind of contest to see how many horrible ideas can emerge from this godforsaken season?
   27. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:05 PM (#5984669)
I keep saying if they do this I'll stop watching and if they do that I stop watching, but I don't seem to ever actually stop watching.
   28. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: October 22, 2020 at 10:53 PM (#5984671)
I like shifts in person. It gives you something interesting to notice while the batter is dicking around with his batting gloves. If there are runners on you get to figure out what kind of plays they're anticipating, you get to wonder if the batter's spray chart is really that extreme and why he doesn't just bunt every once in a while. It gives you an excuse to ignore the PA system saying "everybody clap your hands". It's not a big thing or anything, but there's a lot of dead time during games, and something to pay attention to and think about during the dead time is welcome.
   29. winnipegwhip Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:54 PM (#5984676)
I keep saying if they do this I'll stop watching and if they do that I stop watching, but I don't seem to ever actually stop watching.


I just admit that when it comes to MLB (and being a Vikings fan also) I just admit I am in an abusive relationship.
   30. winnipegwhip Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:56 PM (#5984677)
"His father is the HEAD of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice!!!!!!"


I am glad to see Ron Silver reappear on the board.

Ahhh the days of the Fox promos from 20? years ago.
   31. Tin Angel Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:09 AM (#5984679)
How about the same neutral site every year? Maybe Bismarck, SD?
   32. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: October 23, 2020 at 01:28 AM (#5984684)
salvomania Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5984542)
the lack of postseason days off. Everything about it is awesome.


I agree wholeheartedly. It always bugged me when a team with a deep but unspectacular rotation could be beaten by a team with two aces and a bunch of off days. If you want to rely on your aces, make them go on short rest.


Agreed. I get why everyone doesn't like how September pennant-related games were affected by all the call-ups (to say nothing of game-time effects), but the playoff off-days always bothered me more. The most important game are played in a structurally different way.
   33. winnipegwhip Posted: October 23, 2020 at 09:11 AM (#5984695)
How about the same neutral site every year? Maybe Bismarck, SD?


or Pierre, ND?
   34. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 23, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5984698)
I keep saying if they do this I'll stop watching and if they do that I stop watching, but I don't seem to ever actually stop watching.

I did starting this year, and the more that both gambling and Rob Manfred's idiocy (the former basically being an offshoot of the latter) permeate the game presentation, the easier it will be for me to stay away.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5984703)
I keep saying if they do this I'll stop watching and if they do that I stop watching, but I don't seem to ever actually stop watching.


I didn't watch until the playoffs.

But when other types of baseball (independent minors, college, even HS) come back, I don't think I'll need MLB for my baseball fix.
   36. Zach Posted: October 23, 2020 at 07:19 PM (#5984813)
And miss out on things like Mets fans responding to Hosmer's mad dash? No thank you.

One of the best things about the Royals finally going to the World Series was seeing all my friends who never thought it would happen posting pictures of themselves at the game.

The Super Bowl is nice, but you can't exactly say that the crowd is living or dying with every pitch.
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 24, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5984904)
Nah, maybe try that for the All-Star game if you need to scratch the itch. New Orleans, Nashville, Orlando, whatever makes ya happy.

Or have Spring training break up early and then pair teams up for barnstorming tours headed towards their home cities. This used to be a common practice.

----------------------------------

the lack of postseason days off. Everything about it is awesome.

Screw neutral sites, but I'd love to see days off eliminated entirely. The World Series used to be played straight through except when there were great distances between the two cities, but then in the early 60's they just kept the day off no matter what, even for the Bay Bridge and Subway Series. High speed jet travel eliminates that excuse, as teams routinely fly coast to coast during the regular season without any off days in between. And playing straight through allows for a much better test of roster depth.
   38. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 24, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5984906)
oh I see Andy is back. Thought you were boycotting the playoffs cause this years format was such a disaster?
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 24, 2020 at 05:42 PM (#5984909)
High speed jet travel eliminates that excuse, as teams routinely fly coast to coast during the regular season without any off days in between.
“Routinely” isn’t the same as “occasionally”. Most cross country road trips have a travel day, and even those that don’t normally have a day-game get-away game followed by a night game.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5984912)
“Routinely” isn’t the same as “occasionally”. Most cross country road trips have a travel day, and even those that don’t normally have a day-game get-away game followed by a night game.


Keep in mind, teams that are traveling cross country are typically doing so to play teams that aren't traveling cross country. In this case, both teams would be operating under the same set of circumstances.

Obviously, they wouldn't like it. But it wouldn't be an inherent competitive advantage for one side over the other.
   41. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: October 24, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5984915)
Obviously, they wouldn't like [cross-country travel]. But it wouldn't be an inherent competitive advantage for one side over the other.


And we know teams would fly the starters out a day ahead. There are times they already do that.

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