Saturday, May 11, 2013

Does EVERYTHING in the MLB have to revolve around money?

“And this pitching change is brought to you by…”

As you no doubt know if you’ve been around Late Innings for awhile, I prefer to listen to baseball on the radio. You might think I’m being old-fashioned or clinging to ancient habits, but let me assure you, that’s not the case. I like using my mind to imagine what’s going on. I find camera work in games often gets in the way of how the game is actually going. If the radio broadcasting crew is a good one (and for Jays games, it is very good), you don’t need no stinking camera to know what’s happening.

Since I’m often at my computer when games are on, I subscribe to the MLB radio channel. (Forget about their TV channel. If it’s a home game, you’re blacked out. What good is that for around 100 big ones per season?)

I’ve been a subscriber to the MLB radio service since its first year, but starting last year, the amount of advertising I’m subjected to if I happen to look in at their Gameday screen while listening has gotten absolutely ridiculous. It’s at the point where it’s impinging on the actual screen view with ads bracketing the “scoreboard” that change every minute much like the ads you now see behind home plate at the ball park. There’s currently one particular one in a look-at-me shade of hot pink that actually hurts my eyes. There are ads between innings, ads before you’re allowed to watch a video highlight clip once the game is over. It’s just ridiculous.

Last night, I had enough and just flipped off the whole thing (it didn’t help that the Jays were busy imploding yet again). I may just go back to my radio broadcasts and forget game day.

Out at the old ball yard, I feel as if I’m in the middle of a pinball machine. This is not me being an old fart, either. I like cutting edge advertising. What we have now are pixel board technology run rampant. From my seat at a recent ball game at the Rogers Centre, I counted over 50 ads on these boards and on “static” ads, and I obviously couldn’t see all of them (those behind me and below me). If you want your birthday mentioned, you pay. Everything is sponsored from the broadcast booths to the on-deck circles. Stadiums have naming rights that bring in huge amounts of money. is no different.

My question is this: do they really need advertising dollars that much? We pay a lot of bucks to come to the ball yard, and while I expect there to be a fair bit of advertising, it’s just gotten completely out of hand, to my mind. The Gameday feature on all major league sites is free, but I doubt there are many who watch it without paying for the radio broadcast.

How about giving ball fans a little break from the constant bombardment of (repetitive) advertising?

“And that grounder to short is brought to you by…”

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