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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Evil of TV and MLB

It’s an Old Towne theme that is as unpalatable for Bostonians as Manhattan Clam Chowder, but Boston gets screwed again while New York comes up smelling like Fifth Avenue roses.

Major League Baseball (or more accurately ESPN) has decided that Bostonians need not be awake to watch their beloved baseball team in the first game of the American League Division League series. The game will begin at the East Coast sleepy hour of 10pm. In all likelihood, it will not end until sometime in the early morning hours of the next day.

The Sox will then have to play at 1pm the next day (4pm local time) and only have one day off for travel. If the series were to go to five games, the A’s and Sox would have to play on Sunday at 1pm in Boston, then fly cross country to play an evening game the very next day.

The New York Yankees, on the other hand, will have the luxury of starting at an early evening hour and have two days off if the series goes the full five games. It seems every consideration was given to the Bombers when the television schedules were set up.

Of course, it is endemic in the thinking of Boston sports fans that outside forces (in this case television networks) will seize every opportunity to set up unfair obstacles for the local teams while New York is granted every possible concession. While such theories are usually laughable, the case can be made in this situation that Boston was screw-balled.

It is generally acknowledged that the current Red Sox ownership is in the good graces of the powers of Major League Baseball. Yet even MLB bows to a higher authority, the Almighty Dollar. If this means alienated a demographic of the baseball community, then so be it.

This rule does not apply solely to baseball. Major sports leagues in general will show favoritism to teams that have a large television market. Furthermore, if an issue arises that involves two large television market teams, then larger market wins out hands down.

Oakland, however, comes up short as well. They are to be subjected to the same conditions as Boston. Who ever comes up victorious in this playoff series will be at a disadvantage in this next round.

ESPN (and other networks) care little, if at all, for the betterment of the sports they cover. Their prerogative is to make money, period. Major League Baseball is to blame for giving the networks carte blanche when comprising the television schedules.

The series between the Sox and A’s will come down to who pitches better, who comes up with timely hits, and who makes huge defensive plays. However, the TV schedule adds warranted obstacles for these two teams that will affect the play of the team that advances in the next round. Meanwhile, young baseball fans, already alienated by the overall current practices of MLB, will continue to be at a distance from a game cherished by their parents. The future of baseball is done a huge disservice by the suits that care for only one thing: money.