Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Over the past few years, professional sports player drafts have taken on a life of their own. The NBA Draft is arguably the impetus for this with their draft lottery, which has become a must-watch event simply to see the sad-sack franchises miss out on the number one pick, knowing they will be back for the lottery again next year. The NFL Draft moved into prime time this year and got huge ratings, and is now a three day event starting on Thursday nights. Major League Baseball, known for following trends and not setting them, has jumped on the draft bandwagon, putting the MLB Draft on it's own network, and having Bud Selig come to the podium and now announce which team is on the clock. Unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, the baseball draft occurs while other games are going on, so if you're a fan of the Red Sox, you have to decide whether to watch your team play a game that affects it's season, or watch your team draft a guy who may or may not make it to Fenway Park one day. The question, of course, is how to make the draft coincide with a time when Major League Baseball Games aren't going on. The best way to do this? Put the draft on during the All-Star Break.
Let's face it, the day after the MLB All-Star Game is the single most painful day in sports (especially in sports talk radio). Wouldn't a day when absolutely nothing else is going on sports-wise be PERFECT to showcase future talent? MLB could start coverage at noon, and just let the fur fly for 12 hours. Hell, start it at 9AM and go until midnight. Make it important. Give baseball starved fans something to do. There is a mid-August deadline for signing anyways, maybe it will give some of these self-serving agents less time to posture. The day after the All-Star Break is godawful (unless the game ends in a tie), and MLB needs to maximize the exposure for many of it's drafted players, some of whom might never be seen on national TV again. Maybe put the draft in the city of the All-Star game so that all team execs and the like are in one place, or however you want to do it. Regardless, this should be a no-brainer. If you want to make the MLB Draft must-see TV, put on a night where you aren't competing with your own sport.