Poor Major League Baseball. Here it is, early August, the time in the season when the pretenders fall by the wayside and the contenders emerge from the Dog Days of Summer unscathed and poised for a postseason run, and America’s former pastime can’t buy any love from anybody.
Instead of the media and its ever-dwindling fan base relishing in the exciting division races that are separated by two or less games in five of the six, including all three in the National League, sports fans instead turn their attention to the mighty NFL and focus on all the interesting tidbits coming out of Training Camp.
So, here you have one sport smack in the middle of what used to be its most exciting part of the schedule and another where its players are working out in shorts and T-shirts doing drills and all we here about is the latter.
Here MLB has stories like Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera battling for the AL Triple Crown and Joey Votto doing likewise in the National League and instead of story about that on Sportscenter, we get another “update” on how Albert Haynesworth isn’t practicing?
We’re smack dab in the middle of one of the best years for pitching in three decades but instead of a closer examination of this interesting trend we get a full day of updates on how Brett Favre may or may not have texted his teammates regarding his status for the upcoming season?
How about a little more pub for the season Josh Johnson is putting together for the Marlins? Here’s a guy with dominating stuff and a microscopic 1.96 ERA and all I hear about on ESPN (not only culprit but the World Wide Leader tends to dictate to the rest) is how Darrell Revis is holding out of Jets camp. C’mon Bristol, let’s focus the “news” on who is actually practicing and leave the non-stories for the crawl at the bottom of the screen.
And what about a little more of the spotlight for Toronto’s Juan Bautista? This guy is leading MLB with 33 home runs and I’m guessing few people outside of Alberta even know who he is. He’s never hit more than 16 home runs in any of his previous six seasons in the big leagues and here he is leading everybody with one-fourth of the season to go. That’s pretty impressive where I come from and I’d like to know more about him. But instead of a story on how it’s all coming together for him, I get “news” on how Ben Roethlisberger was received by fans in Steelers camp after his off-season escapades. What?
I get it, the NFL rules the world and I would actually choose football over baseball as well if I was forced to pick just one. But let’s consider what stage of the season each sport is in before bombarding us with coverage. Baseball is just reached the final turn and is heading for the home stretch while football isn’t even near the starting gate. On an importance level, baseball is at Gulf Oil Spill level while football is hovering just above Lindsay Lohan just got released from jail level.
I’ve been advocating an earlier start to the MLB season for years and tradition be damned, it may have to be changed sooner rather than later just to survive economically. If baseball could start its season earlier it could wrap up its postseason before the mighty NFL kicks off its campaign in early September and fans might actually stay tuned and stay interested. If things continue in the direction they’re heading, the NFL juggernaut will swallow up more and more of the MLB season and eventually make it almost irrelevant. Here’s hoping a change is on the way.
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