Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Pimping the national pastime

Posted on | July 10, 2007 | No Comments

If you’re anywhere near San Franciso these past few days and have a soul you wake up mortified every day at what new marketing horrors Major League Baseball can visit on fans. They called it the DHL Fan Fest but it’s more like the MBL Fan F#$%. Line up for 45 minutes drop $50 and you too can pretend you’re batting against Roger Clemens! Whee! If you’re a parent, you feel guilted into it because “it’s about the kids.” Yeah right. It’s about the money. It’s not about the kids. It’s not even about the game, whose gradual subservience to the events around it was codified this year in San Francisco. (And this game, the mid-season All-Star Game, is an exhibition for gawdsakes!). (The San Francisco Chronicle photo above shows the McCovey Cove flotilla at the Home Run Derby Monday).
A quick check of the MLB standings after the end of the first half shows a disturbing, although not entirely unusual, situation. A third of the league’s 30 teams (including my Giants) are so far behind the first-place teams in their divisions they might as well roll up the tent and go home. That’s how uncompetitive the league has become. It’s had its moments during the past 100 years to be sure and this is one of them. So what to do? Soak the fans.
But that’s not the reason for this post. This New York Times story from today’s editions is.
The game has been sold so much to so many that it’s affecting news. MLB gave the network TBS an embargoed break on airing the All-Star lineups. Big whoop, really, but TBS can raise ad rates during that period. Well, there was a rain delay that delayed their announcement. Hey, at that point it becomes news when they announce it so ESPN had every right to go with the story, embargo or not. Screw MLB.
This is how bad it’s gotten: people are trying to make money off the lineup card.
God help us.

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No Responses to “Pimping the national pastime”

  1. Anonymous
    July 10th, 2007 @ 11:13 am

    What If
    Home Run Derby 2007

    Vlad digs in on a giddy night
    drives it deep into the masses
    ebb tide pulls to the Gate outside
    the mind in kind unravels

  2. Anonymous
    July 10th, 2007 @ 2:49 pm


    Living without networking? Are you mad? No wonder I can’t reach you. Call me.


  3. Anonymous
    July 16th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    Hey Brian,

    You call that pimping. We live in a world where you get American Idol and David Beckham packaged and rammed down your gullet all by the same company.

    And, God help us, the Spice Girls are reforming!

    Yup, I’m weeping… copiously. I just finally got to read the Beckham press pack – and, no, don’t ask. Cleaning up afterwards ain’t fun.


  4. Anonymous
    July 30th, 2007 @ 11:24 am


    Have something interesting to talk to you about. Please get in touch.


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