Monday, May 07, 2007

This Televising Drafts Stuff Has Gone A Bit Too Far.

Methinks ESPN has gone a bit off the deep end and figured one draft is as good as another when it comes to deciding whether to televise them or not. Basking in the afterglow of the usual bonanza in NFL Draft ratings, where you had me and every other NFL obsessive watching a six-hour first round a week ago, now the WWL has decided that the Major League Baseball entry draft will make good television for the Deuce.

Let's quickly go over why this won't work AT ALL:

1) 50 rounds. 'Nuff said. It's not like ESPN2 will show all of them, but still...
2) Sometimes, there are #1 picks that wind up flopping in ways we don't get to track. Such is the nature of baseball. Players that look great in high school and college get trapped in the minors. Part of the innate appeal of the NBA and NFL drafts is that you will see the players in the League or Association right away (in the NFL's case, the majority of the first day players fall under this rubric.) So, if someone's a bust in those leagues, we get to see it on a bigger scale. That kind of dynamic is part of the appeal of the draft.
3) Also, a player can be drafted, and opt to go to college, I believe, delaying the gratification further.
4) Drafts for sports with established farm systems aren't as thrilling or interesting to watch. The stakes are lower by nature. Teams aren't filling immediate holes -- the fun of the NBA and NFL drafts lies in the fact that teams have holes they need to fill NOW. Baseball and hockey drafts are about developing talent to fill holes down the line, developing a team strategy.
5) You really want to watch a first round full of Bud Selig?

None of that really makes for the analyst overkill, instant response, and psycho fan attendance that defines the NFL and NBA drafts. Of course, putting MLB's draft on ESPN2 is kind of a tacit admission in itself.


grittysquirrels said...

Unlike the NFL Draft which is fun for the whole first day the MLB draft is only good for 1 round of picks. I love MLB but their draft sucks.

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Zach Landres-Schnur said...

exactly. the thing is, not only do most of these first-rounders never make it to the Show, but you don't know their names coming out of college (or high school).

it's too bad the media hasn't pumped up college baseball more (i think people would watch). but it's for that reason that the draft really is pretty uneventful. i bet most knowledleable sports fans won't be familiar with the top overall pick. whoever that may be.

with that said, i'll probably still watch!

La Rev said...

As much as it pains me to agree with a Husky, I think ZLS is right. College baseball is a niche sport in this country, and just about any college player's going to be a no-name as far as most baseball fans go.
Also, since high school players don't have to enter themselves into the draft pool to get drafted, nobody's going to know who they are either.

Marco said...

Drafts tend not to be exciting when you have no fucking idea who any of the picks are

Sanchez said...

Yeah, what marco said.

This verges on the ridiculous. The MLB kind of has a weird sort of penis envy for the NFL wouldn't you say?

Jordi said...

The worst thing about this is the time slot. 2pm on a Thursday! As I wrote on my blog, even if I wanted to watch it occurs during something called "the middle of the workday". I am sure ESPN really pondered whether to put the MLB draft on over competition billiards, cheerleading, or the world's strongest man of the week.

Jordi said...

By the way ZLS, the 1st overall pick will probably be some pitcher named Price, I think. The only reason I know is because the Devil Rays need pitching and I read it in the Tampa local paper.