Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winter Baseball: A Couple of Hunches

by Scott Hall

I've watched a lot of baseball over the last three weeks and I've seen a lot of fans in the stands wearing parkas, stocking caps, and gloves; and covered with blankets. As long as the professional baseball season is going to run right up to November, I've got a hunch someone is going to seriously propose a neutral site for the World Series. No one I've talked to thinks it's a good idea, and for that reason, I don't have a strong conviction that it will happen. On the other hand, you could probably argue that baseball could create a four to seven day celebration the way the NFL packages the Super Bowl.

The weather was cold and wet during the week that the Twins played the Tigers and then the Yankees in the last two games in the Metrodome. It occurred to me that if the Twins are in the playoffs next year, maybe these weren't the last ML baseball games in the Metrodome. I don't know any fans who aren't excited about outdoor baseball returning to Major League baseball in MN, but how many postponements would it take to move back inside just to get the games played. Just a thought.

I think I can safely predict the Twins will start selling some of those very fashionable baseball caps with ear flaps. We'll probably need them. What do you think?


Lake Country Blogger said...

Scott -

I agree on the caps. People will need them because they won't be able to move games inside. A lot of money is being paid for seats in the new stadium that won't translate back to the dome.

The same problem applies to the idea of a neutral site for the World Series. Baseball operates as 30 independent businesses that cooperate only out of necessity. And the value of world series tickets to the teams playing is far greater than it would be at a predetermined neutral site.

By contrast, the NFL is the original reality TV program. It operates as a single business to produce an audience for advertisers. It doesn't really much matter where the games are played or what stadium.

Charles Marohn said...

These are good points LCB contrasting football and baseball. In MLB each owner has incentives to be near-exclusively selfish (see Exhibit A: NY Yankees) where in football, due to the TV contract, there is more incentive to act cooperatively. If baseball could find a way to work more cooperatively, we might get a more competitive sport (upside) but also an off-site playoff (potential downside).

It is hard to imagine commercializing the World Series more than it is right now, with the huge gaps between games stretching now into November.