Very good article by Richard Sandomir of the New York Times explaining some of the ins and outs of last Thursday’s announcement. Summing it up in the simplest possibly way, it essentially will leave thousands of willing-to-pay cable customers out in the dark in their bid to get out-of-town games.
There’s been quite an outcry about this, and understandably so. But what makes me laugh is the argument that “the fans aren’t being taken into consideration.” As if the fans are ever taken into consideration regarding anything a professional sports league does.
The bottom line is this a chance for the owners to gouge more money from it’s sucker public by limiting the options they have to watch games. “Hey, if you don’t have DirecTV, then sign up for MLB.TV” the thinking goes. And before you blame Bud Selig for this, keep in mind that the commissioner doesn’t wield the same power he did 20 or 30 years ago. His job is basically to work for the other owners and to forge a spirit of cooperation between them and the players. This generates more money for both sides, so naturally, it’s in Selig’s best interests for this deal to go through.
Obviously, it’s not in the best interest of, say, Joe from Florida, who wants to keep tab on his hometown Kansas City Royals (hey, anything’s possible, right). But then again, night World Series games, a postseason that ends in late October, and $15 parking aren’t in the best interests of the fans, either.
So please, Mr. and Mrs. Fan, stop operating under the assumption that baseball cares about you. It doesn’t. And until you show you start plunking down your money on other things, it won’t.