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What's up with baseball? Maybe that's a marketing question




The game is too slow. Too many strikes. Too many homeruns. Too much inactivity. Too much repetition. Not enough repetition. Bring the universal designated club. Scratch the DH together. Too much competition imbalance. Ban the shift. Introduction of robotic UPS. Keep the human element.

The game needs more rules. Let the game be.

It's a complex industry, baseball. Too complex for everyone to agree on how it should be regulated. It is much more than just putting the ball in the ring or crossing the goal line. The great subtleties, minimal time constraints, subtle strategies, they are the beauties of baseball, not his downfall.

During the All-Star Game Break, there was a lot to talk about how the sport should be repaired. Not just the media-generated chitchat, but also the players and stewards to whom the product is made available and who are responsible for directing it.


Former A's assistant, Sean Doolittle, who is closer now, says the game does not have to be fixed. As much as his stars have to be celebrated, stars that are not nearly as popular as their counterparts in the game NBA and NFL. ESPN's latest top 1

00 list of the world's most famous athletes – based on referrals, social media followers, and Internet research – contained no one from baseball, but 13 from basketball and 7 from American football.

"They do not promote the boys enough, Doolittle said." They do not put some of those people in the limelight. There is first choice Hall of Famers here. Whether they play in a small market or not, they should be bigger goods, bigger stars than they are. Some of the fixes for our game could be fixed this way, not through changes on the field.

Well, that's in line with a question that Commissioner Rob Manfred met during his meeting with the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who was asked about marketing by Mike Trout, the sport's biggest player Not as popular as MLB, saying that baseball can not fully market a player unless the player is all-in, which puts trout under pressure.


"If he wants to get involved in this area and become more active, I think we can help him make his brand really, really big," Manfred said, "but he has to make that decision It takes time and effort. "

Trout is not conspicuous, outgoing or obtrusive. His team is Medicore. He plays in a secondary market, although the angels pretend to play in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, Manfred's comments triggered a firestorm that led both Angels and Trout to publish their testimony, and the Angels hailed Trout for "prioritizing their personal values ​​over commercial self-promotion." This is rare in today's society and stands out as well.

"His extraordinary talent."

Trout said he was "not a little guy" and encouraged everyone to "just move forward," adding he had no meat with Manfred.

It is not Trout's job to market yourself or try to become more popular. It's up to Baseball to promote players, as Doolittle would suggest, and Trout's job is to play ball, which makes him better than anyone else.

Trout and other players should not be on the list of things in baseball that are supposed to "fix". Many other stars would be open to more marketing, including extravagant Bryce Harper, Doolitte's teammate, who treated his Home Run Derby championship as a walk-off homer in Game 7 of the World Series.

"You watch a baseball game on TV," Doolittle said, "there's a good chance a commentator will talk about how the game was played." In my day it was better, the guys were tougher. "They are angry at the strikes, crazy about the changes, they talk about the game in this negative light. "

Here's Manfred's explanation, which refers not only to the media, but also to fans:

" Commentary on the game is negative, but I think it's negative because people care so much about it.You do not want to see something bad happen to a major American institution, and I think they are those of us who have the privilege To have some responsibility for the game, to constantly want to be alert and protect, what is really a jewel of American culture. "

What's up with baseball? How Doolittle submitted, the better question is: what's up with baseball marketing? The Manfred Trout episode brought the theme to the fore during the All-Star break, and guess what? Baseball got a little more attention, and Trout became a little more popular.


John Shea is the national baseball writer of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @JohnSheaHey


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