Here it is, the moment you’ve eagerly anticipated… PART THREE! Calm your bones, kemosabe. The conclusion to my epic rant can also be seen here [ECBS], at the Emerson College Sports Business Society Blog. Tell your friends about this blog! I’d love to see double digit views…. once…. ever…. though, to be fair, if you are reading this blog, you must be AWFULLY bored. Enjoy.
The growing trend in baseball and all of sports is a focus on the mathematics and science behind it. From medicine, to recording, to broadcasting the technological advances of our lifetimes are revolutionizing the way we play and consume sports. Metrics and measurements are quantifying things as mundane as a receiver’s overall reach (Calvin Johnson allegedly has the reach the same cubic measurement of a 2-car garage. It is the ironies of ironies that baseball is currently riding the wave of interest caused by Brad Pitt aka Billy Beane, sabermetrics, and Moneyball. While baseball has readily welcomed the math and science to study the game, the game has stubbornly refused to accept the incredible technological power before them. Replay has been integrated beautifully into football and basketball. Hockey has used advanced cameras for years. Baseball, if they cooperated, funded and guided science, could have solutions to everything from strike zones to out and safe calls. I am not calling for a erasing of the human element, just an integration of the relevant technologies to make the game more interesting. The key to successfully remaking, reimagining or re-branding is acknowledging the past while incorporating the future.
Redesigning the league as I described relates to an overarching, re-branding strategy. Upon closer inspection, some redesigning could go on in the parks themselves too. Infusing the competitive landscape with a dash of creativity makes sense for the brand of MLB. Infusing the individual competitive landscapes (i.e. the stadiums) with some of that same creativity is a logical extension. That technology I spoke of before? It’s everywhere. Including architechture. Baseball teams used to have weird stadiums catered towards the build of their team. I want more odd dimensions (Polo Grounds), more hills in centerfield (Houston), and more 37 foot walls in odd places. Stadiums give the teams themselves personality, not to mention advantages if done right. Some of the new stadiums do a great job of creating an engaging atmosphere (Baltimore’s Camden Yards comes to mind). Others waste serious potential (The Nationals’ stadium has a slew of design oversights, not the least of which is it misses an obvious opportunity for an amazing view of our capitol city- same stadium, different orientation means same dimensions with a different view. Not rocket science.). Where is all the money going into the new ballparks if not into a little creative, competitive advantage? Astroturf is one of those technological ‘innovations’ making baseball wary of change. I’m not suggesting odd field surfaces, but the oddities of the teams’ cities and stadiums used to give the teams character.
Baseball could use more characters. A rogues gallery. From the front office to the utility men, some oddballs and amusing characters could spice up the MLB landscape. Baseball needs to let its creative juices flow. As the media seems to be telling us at every turn, from fashion to film, sometimes old is new, which is cool. In the interest of making money and reigniting interest, I suggest baseball gets on board with the rebooting trend.
Thank you to any brave soul who read through all my musings. I appreciate it. We here at DotP cherish each and every one of our readers, or some BS Lifetime channel crap. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell the people trying to do work int he library.
As always, FOLLOW ME! FOLLOW ME TO FREEDOM!