April 22, 2013

Talkin' Baseball: Free Game Of the Day, The Rockies, & Mattingly

49er16: I know this is a weird topic to start this post off with, but do you ever notice what the "free game" is on MLB.tv? It's always either a game that is being shown nationally on ESPN or TBS or a game that no one wants to watch like Miami vs Minnesota. You're not going to sell a lot of subscriptions that way.

The Colonel: I noticed that in the days when I wasn't a subscriber. I like their thought process in this, "Let's gin up interest by showing Minnesota vs Miami!". MLB sure knows how to sell their products to customers.

49er16: I believe it's one of the reasons why baseball has struggled in ratings. The league doesn't do a good enough job selling their product. For one they barely market the players and as we've seen in the NFL, it doesn't matter where players play, people will watch them. Now a lot of that has to do with talent but also a lot of that has to do with how the NFL markets their teams and players. Every NFL team (including the Jaguars) play a national game during the year. MLB doesn't do this and I believe this has hurt the league in the long term.

The Colonel: Sure. You're not going to sell Andrew McCutchen if people can't see him but can see the old, crappy Phillies on Sunday night. I know the MLB Network will air Pirates games or Royals games but they're usually day games in the middle of the week. I doubt people are going to take time off work to watch any team play in the middle of the day on TV.

49er16: And of course MLB when they sold their TV rights to ESPN, allowed ESPN to carry more Yankee and Red Sox games! Nice work fellas. Enjoy lagging behind not only the NFL but the NBA as well.

The Colonel: Do we take the Rockies as serious contenders right now or do we wait until the weather warms up and then see what the Rockies pitchers do in that ballpark?

49er16: Well I've always said that as long as Tulowitzki stays healthy they should be at least competitive. Him along with Carlos Gonzalez and the improvement of Dexter Fowler makes that a decent lineup. Right now though I'm not taking them seriously until the weather in Denver warms up. They've played freezing games at Coors so far and their road record isn't exactly great.

The Colonel: I do love how out of the Rockies 5 loses, 3 of them came against the Giants. I'm with you though I want to see how well those pitchers play in warm weather at Coors Field. I'm also waiting for Gonzalez to come back down to Earth on the road. He's the biggest example of the Coors Factor that you can find.

49er16: I know the Dodgers have been devastated by injuries but I'm more convinced than ever that Mattingly doesn't make it through this season. His contract runs out after this season so they can fire him and not have to pay him a ton of money not that it matters to the Dodgers. I'll give him till the All-Star break when everyone should be back and if they don't improve they'll fire him.

The Colonel: I was always surprised the Dodgers spent all this money on players and didn't just fire Mattingly before the season started and made a run at Terry Francona. I mean why not? Mattingly only had a year left on his deal? Why save the money to keep a bad manager? Why put together this super team and not go after a great manager like Francona? It's never made sense why they kept Mattingly? When the news ownership of the Warriors got the team they immediately fired Keith Smart. The Dodgers ownership should have done that to Mattingly this year.

49er16: My theory is that they bought all this talent and said to themselves, "anyone could manage this team". That's the only reason why they didn't go after a real manager. Hubris. And who will they go after after Mattingly is eventually canned? Francona is off the market. Buck Showalter is off the market. I guess they can try and go after Mike Scioscia?

The Colonel: I want to see them hire Bobby Valentine. That would be great. His ego in Los Angeles. One thing's for sure I doubt they hire another unproven manager again.

49er16: Man what happened to the A's this weekend? Their offense was completely shut down and their pitching didn't exactly look great on Friday and Sunday. I guess beating up on the Astros will make any team look good.

The Colonel: It's early but Josh Reddick has crashed back down to Earth and left a smoldering crater. I've also have never really trusted that pitching staff and so far the numbers show they are a middle of the pack pitching group. And you can't blame BABIP because it's around the average right now.

49er16: Has the AL West been overrated by everyone? Yes the Rangers appear fine until you see they've played Seattle a bunch of time and Houston and the Cubs. Or is this just another small sample size?

The Colonel: Everything is at small sample size theater right now, but I still believe in the long run the AL West is overrated. The Angels rotation and bullpen are mediocre. The A's are still starting Eric Sogard and Josh Donaldson in the infield. The Rangers rotation has two converted relievers in their rotation. I'm sure all three of those teams will be in contention at the end of the year they're just not as good as everyone else thinks they are.

49er16: I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that Lincecum pitched his best game in a while with Posey behind the plate?

The Colonel: Nope. Just like how it wasn't a coincidence that it was 4/20 that day. LET TIMMY SMOKE!


  1. I've bought Extra Innings instead because I don't like watching games on a computer. Also when you're a league ran by an almost 80-year old commissioner with no clear "young" up-and-comer waiting in the wings, you're always going to lag behind in marketing. MLB needs their version of Adam Silver and right now it doesn't appear they have one. Going to be interesting to see who replaces Selig in two years.

  2. I'm surprised everyone jumped to connect LaRussa to the Angels, when the Dodgers job makes much more sense for him.

    And those TV deals are only going to get worse once Fox Sports 1 deal goes into effect. I can only imagine how Keith will react when a Giants/Padres game gets blacked out on CSN, and you have to watch on FS1 with the Padres announcers. Or when people who don't realize what's going to happen until next year. But, Selig only cares about total dollars and not presentation.

    1. Oh God. How does this new TV deal work?

    2. Fox now has the rights to show additional games of teams that have a Fox owned RSN. So let's take a Giants/Reds game. Fox would use the local Fox RSN Reds production & commentators, televise the game nationally, and then black out the games on the local channel (FOX or otherwise). Honestly, I can't wait to see the outrage from Boston or Baltimore when they have to watch a game with the Yankees & have Michael Kay on their TV.

      From Fangs Bites: "In 2014, Fox’s new contract with Major League Baseball kicks in. Fox Sports 1 will air a full schedule of 26 regular season games which will include games from its Fox Sports Net affiliates. Expect to see plenty of the New York Yankees from YES, the Anaheim Angels from Fox Sports West and the Texas Rangers from Fox Sports Southwest. In addition, Fox Sports 1 will carry two League Division Series and a number of League Championship Series. The LCS was the latest development. Fox’s broadcast schedule will reduce from 24 regular season games this year to 12 in 2014. Fox will still carry the All-Star Game, most of the LCS and the entire World Series."

    3. http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2013/01/07/Media/Fox-Yankees.aspx

    4. That's just for Saturday games, right? No different than how it is now.

  3. Yeah it's for Saturday games which means it's no different than it is now. Just turn on Miller, Flemming, Kuiper, and Krukow on the radio.

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