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Saturday, April 25, 2020

What MLB Can Learn From the NFL Draft

Welcome to the era of the virtual draft. The WNBA kicked the sports world off here last week, and, after much agonizing over the question of tech support, the NFL joined on Thursday. So what does it mean for MLB?

The answer might ultimately be nothing: In last month’s joint agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, the league built in the ability to move the draft from its originally scheduled date of June 10 to as late as July 20. Depending on public health guidelines this summer, the event could look more or less normal. (Or, at least, as close to “normal” as you can get with a draft that will be shortened to as few as five rounds, a result of the same agreement that created the flexibility around its date.) But it could just as easily look like what we’ve seen from the drafts this month—appropriately social-distanced, with the accompanying fear of possible tech problems and plentiful opportunities to judge home offices.

Of course, MLB’s draft has never been anything close to a glitzy hype-machine like the NFL’s annual event. (Look no further than the fact that baseball’s original spicy draft move for this year was “Let’s move it from Secaucus to Omaha” while football’s was “Let’s have the players cross by boat to the stage in the fountains of the Bellaggio.”) MLB is used to a world in which first-round picks learn their fate via phone call; a virtual baseball draft wouldn’t have to feel much different from what we’d see under normal circumstances. But if there was ever a time to try to make the format more engaging—to have it feel a little more like an event and a little less like an administrative necessity—this could be it. So based on what we saw Thursday from the NFL, let’s have a little fun with the lessons that could translate for a similar situation in MLB.

Ideally, nothing, but my stance seems to be very much the minority one…..

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft, nfl

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