Friday, October 20, 2006

I am teh sad.

I'm sad for the Mets. It was a good NLCS series, and game 7 was a really good game. Once again, Oliver Perez stepped it up and did a great job. It looked like disaster in the sixth inning when Willie Randolph let Perez pitch to Scott Rolen with Edmonds on first. Rolen drilled one to left field but Met Endy Chavez leapt and pulled the ball back over the wall with an ice-cream cone catch, and then sweetened the treat by doubling Edmonds off of first. In the bottom of that inning, Rolen made a horrible throwing error and the Mets loaded the bases but just couldn't score and the game stayed tied at 1-1.

The Mets had a great year, tying the Yanks for the best record in baseball. And in the end, it wasn't the injuries to their starting pitching that did them in this series. Ironic to the rest of the season, their awesome bullpen gave up the runs, and their stacked lineup fell silent in key opportunities. After Cards catcher Molina hit a two run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Cards on top 3-1, the Mets had their chance again in the bottom of the inning, loading up the bases against Adam Wainwright. The Mets had the right guy at the plate in Carlos Beltran, who's racked up quite the impressive stats against the Cards. But rookie Wainwright clearly has confidence in his curve -- and he should. I can't fault the Met hitters for freezing in the box when he'd throw it, especially as a follow up to his live fastball, because even as a viewer watching the pitch, it's momentarily confusing. And freeze Beltran is exactly what Wainwright did, ending the game on a called third strike with the bases loaded.

As heartbreakers go, this game really was about an 8.75 on a 1-10 scale. I'm not mad at the Mets. They did good. They did great. I never really expected them to overcome the loss of Martinez and El Duque. But Paul Lo Duca handled the potentially shaky starters extremely well, calling good game after good game. And Maine and Perez kept their shit together and got the job done. Wright struggled at the plate the whole post-season, but Delgado came big a number of times and I really can't fault anyone. The Mets had a nice, classy club this year. It was a great series. The ending just really fucking sucked.

And, frankly, I don't need Tommy LaSorda laying a guilt trip on me about not being stoked for the World Series. I am a fucking baseball fan, okay? But I don't like the Cards; I think they've got a lot of bona-fide assholes on that team. And the DH just REALLY fucking irritates me. So even though I'm familiar with some of the Detroit players and wish them well, I just cannot tolerate or root for an American League team.

It's no big secret that baseball is no longer America's pastime. And it's also no secret that it loses fans every year. I could write a dissertation about why baseball is hemorrhaging and dying faster than Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy. (Okay, I won't write the whole essay, but it might have a little something to do with old fans dying off and the fact that although it's the greatest -- and most original -- sport going, it's also a generational thing that has to be passed on to be appreciated. Not to mention the plethora of problems with the business of baseball that are fairly grotesque.)

Now, no disrespect to LaSorda, cause I love the guy. But suffice to say that the way to woo current viewers and add new ones isn't to have some old guy being crabby and taunting fans in promo spots. You wanna entice people to watch, Tommy? How about replaying that ass-over-tin-cups tumble you took when you got nailed with the line drive while you were coaching third base during the All-Star game a few years ago. Like I said, I love you, man. But that was some funny shit. That might tempt a few people to tune in, hoping that they get to see a macabre scene like that.

I don't blame LaSorda for the spots though. He's doing what he can for the sport, because he's an ambassador. I blame the marketing idiots at Fox who came up with the idea. And since I'm on Fox, it was also a blatantly pandering move to fire Steve Lyons. And pandering to whom, exactly? Lou Piniella? Latinos? I don't fucking know. But it was pandering to someone. Lyons cracked a joke and got canned, that's what I know. And yet they allow Tim McCarver to prattle on endlessly with his asinine, grating commentary, year after year. And oh yeah -- while we're on the Fox broadcasting team? Those Holiday Inn commercials with Joe Buck? Suck.

Shitcan the condescending, accusatory promo spots, bring back Lyons, and tell McCarver to take a fucking breath once in a while, Fox. That might be a start to retaining some viewers.

9 comments:

Justin said...

"It's no big secret that baseball is no longer America's pastime. And it's also no secret that it loses fans every year. I could write a dissertation about why baseball is hemorrhaging and dying faster than Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy. (Okay, I won't write the whole essay, but it might have a little something to do with old fans dying off and the fact that although it's the greatest -- and most original -- sport going, it's also a generational thing that has to be passed on to be appreciated. Not to mention the plethora of problems with the business of baseball that are fairly grotesque.)"

I think this sounds like what the critics of baseball want to make us think moreso than what is reality.

Attendance figures across baseball have never been higher. I think they broke the 60 million mark this year. Online ticket sales alone were over 20 million sold. Baseball ratings were up across the board, and this year's World Series is a representation of the resurrgence in baseball history rich cities like Detroit. Baseball wasn't burried by the steroid bullshit as much as the media and NFL fanatics tried (and oh by the way NFL fans, your sport has had just as many steroid suspensions this year as MLB).

Baseball is still America, and the only American sport that is completely fan friendly. What other sport can you lay down $10 on the major league level and get a good seat, or any seat for that matter? Hell, the expensive seats are on par with the cheapest seats for any NFL, NBA, or NHL game.

And on top of that, for as much "baseball needs a salary cap, and parody, and the NFL is so much better, and more fair, and blah, blah, blah" bullshit, Major League Baseball is going to crown its seventh different champion in the last seven seasons. If that's not parody, or fairness, I don't know what is.

Death to taxes, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove regime, and talk of Major League Baseball's demise. And yes, as of last night, the Mets World Series chances. Phew. The only thing worse than the Yankees not winning the World Series, besides the Red Sux winning it, is the Mets pulling through. And now that that's out of the way, GO TIGERS!

SusanD said...

First, it's parity, not parody.

Baseball is still America? Dude. I think you might want to scale back on your "Field of Dreams" viewings per week.

Listen. Attendance records broke 75 million this year. They were 2% higher than last year, and over 1/3 of that increase was on the backs of the Mets you just dissed. When big market teams have contending teams, more people go to the park. The Mets put nearly 600,000 more asses in the seats this year. And Detroit upped their attendance by 571,000. The other increases were the Yanks, Dodgers, and Red Sox -- all big market teams, all contenders this year. Baseball saw a huge overall spike in attendance in the 2005 season after Montreal was history and Washington opened for business. But their attendance dipped this year, along with several other non-contending teams. As for the claim that TV ratings are up, that's false. That's WHY Tommy is on the TV begging people to watch, because ratings are down.

Sure you can get a $10 ticket -- if you consider the nosebleed seats in Tampa Bay a "good seat." To compare ticket prices for baseball to football doesn't correlate, considering there are 162 baseball games and what, 16 football games played? And NBA and NHL venues hold far fewer seats than a baseball stadium.

I'm not trying to piss on baseball. But sticking my head in the sand and saying it's as glorious -- and popular -- as ever won't ever help improve the situation. I'm not a critic of baseball, I LOVE baseball, which is why it's distressing to see the business of baseball hurting the game. To think that we can't change some things to draw in new fans is absurd. And to think that some things aren't hurting its reputation and popularity is even more dangerous.

laura petrie said...

""Sure you can get a $10 ticket -- if you consider the nosebleed seats in Tampa Bay a "good seat."" Hey! I've bought those seats before. And they're not bad. Because you can just go down and sit in $25 seats since no one is in those either. But I digress...

My heart broke for you, lovely, last night, when I watched that ball sail over the back fence. An abrupt, disappointing end to a great season.

Justin said...

75 million is a HUGE number however you arrive at it.

And you can get $11 (or comperable) tickets at any stadium I've been to. Hell, you can grab a $12 bleacher seat in Yankee Stadium, and this isn't even the Yankee homer in me or anything (my favorite stadium by far is PNC Park) but I would argue that someone would be hard pressed to find more entertainment for their $12 than sitting three hours with the Bleacher Creatures. With all of these new stadiums out there, wherever you sit, there really isn't any bad seat in the house, no matter how much you pay for your ticket.

Sure, I think FOX's coverage of it, and moreover the overall coverage on baseball leaves a lot to be desired. Between the idiots that FOX and ESPN throw out there it's amazing anyone can sit throw three hours of mundane or idiotic commentary. I think that is a MAJOR problem with baseball. Thank GOD Steve Lyons got canned. I couldn't take one more failed attempt at being funny. But can they please can Jennie Zelasko, Kevin Kennedy, and pretty much everyone outside of Josh Lewin while they are at it?

But that's besides the point...

My only real problem with baseball is that a) they should enforce teams to spend every last cent of revenue money they get from the top money teams or b) contract at least two, maybe even four teams (Royals and Devil Rays come to mind first). Increase the talent pool, and the money amounts that go around to other teams. Baseball doesn't need Kansas City or Tampa Bay to succeed. So why have them at all?

I wasn't inferring that you were one of the many baseball haters out there. I know you're passionate about your team, and the sport in general. We need more of that. But I just don't think it's as bad as everyone seems to make it out to be. Not even close. I mean hell, at least they're not relegated to the OLN. Sure baseball isn't what it was, and it will probably never be that big again. So what. Who cares. If the NFL wants to continue being the biggest whore this side of Paris Hilton, and people keep buying into that over baseball, so be it. Who cares. I don't want those kind of casuals to call themselves baseball "fans" anyways. I'll stick with the 75 million people who show up and actually truly care about the game, however they get there, or whoever they show up to see.

SusanD said...

Aw, thanks for thinking of me, Lovey. I just feel sad for them. Bah. It still has me blue.

Justin:
Jeannie Zelasko SUCKS.

a) they should enforce teams to spend every last cent of revenue money they get from the top money teams or b) contract at least two, maybe even four teams (Royals and Devil Rays come to mind first). Increase the talent pool, and the money amounts that go around to other teams. Baseball doesn't need Kansas City or Tampa Bay to succeed. So why have them at all?

I STRONGLY agree with both of these points. There are entirely too many teams, and some cities simply don't support them. I don't blame those cities or the fans, but they need to GO. And I don't mean that they need to be moved to another city. The talent pool is way too diluted, and the cities are often bearing the burden of paying for the teams through taxes.

Designated Blogger said...

Joe Buck is the worst thing to happen to baseball since the Black Sox of 1919. Where is the new Babe Ruth to save us from this asshole?

dennis mahagin said...

Joe Buck in his dreams is one-tenth the broadcaster his father was. Jack Buck ruled.

And Susan, you are so right about McCarver. Ever notice how he'll take a point he's trying to make, and then just drive it into the ground?-- re-phrasing it from about 15 different angles until you wanna say:

OKAY TIMMY, OKAY! THAT REALLY IS AN ASTUTE POINT, AND WE GET IT, SO WHY NOT LET JOE BUCK PONTIFICATE FOR A FEW MINUTES, WHILE I TRY TO FIX THIS LOCKJAW I JUST GOT FROM YAWNING SO HARD. ;)

McCarver has a real hillbilly drawl, too, that is just dying to come out. Sometimes you hear inklings of it. Like, off camera, I bet if someone really pissed him off he would go on a tirade, and sound somewhat like Elvis on Ketamine!


Go Tigers. :)

SusanD said...

I bet if someone really pissed him off he would go on a tirade, and sound somewhat like Elvis on Ketamine!


Oh Dennis! You are so hilarious!

SusanD said...

Wow, DB. Strong words for Joe Buck! I don't disagree. Though I sometimes snicker at his open love for McCarver.

They should hire us.