Everywhere we go, we see advertisements. On TV, listening to the radio, on billboards or on trucks and even in public bathrooms.
In baseball we now see it coming at us like the invasion at Normandy. When we listen to the broadcasts on the radio, there are breaks in the action between innings where it is justifiable to hear commercials. I get it, they are in business to make money and there is no doubt they are raking in billions. But how much do they need? When is it a distraction? Well it is a distraction to me to have to hear a radio broadcaster give me numerous plugs for sponsors during at bats and for an entire inning. Like: “Judge fouls that one off down the third base line. That foul ball was brought to you by Jackson Buffalo Chicken Wings. The official sponsor of all things foul at Yankee Stadium.” Or: “Next pitch is swung on and missed by Altuve for strike three. And hey fans, just to let you know, that strike three is brought to you by Bozo lightning Rods Inc. They know a thing or two about lightning strikes. Bozo, the official sponsor of all Yankee strikes.” Are you kidding me?
It has become a regular occurrence to miss the first pitch, coming back from a commercial break. That is very annoying. Remember Aaron Boone’s walk-off home run to end the 2003 ALCS? Fox came back from a commercial break as the ball was leaving his bat. They almost missed it. The only thing that saves them in situations like this is the fact that we will see it over and over and over again on the various sports networks.
No matter what is being told to you, the game is slow because of all the commercials in-between innings. It has become like an addicting drug in the sports entertainment business and baseball is the biggest beneficiary to this phenomenon that is getting more and more out of control. With fifteen games per day over a schedule that stretches from early spring to late fall, they are the biggest broadcasting machine for advertisers in the sports world. This baloney about speeding up the game is an insult to the fans who just want to see a game. They will now squeeze numerous 10-second spots and a few 15-second ones at us between innings. So many in a short period of time, that we can’t even remember what we just saw.
When baseball was not a billion dollar greedy business, games were on average a two hour pleasurable experience. Now it has become a blizzard of flashing lights and noise at the Stadium that can make you blind or have your ears bleeding. A nine inning 4-3 game can take four hours. The 1963 World Series was a four game sweep by the LA Dodgers over the Yankees. Here are the times for each game. 2;09 / 2:13 / 2:05 and 1:50. In the famous Bill Mazeroski walk off home run game in the 1960 World Series, a game that saw 77 players come to bat over 9 innings with 24 hits and 19 runs scored and seven calls to the bullpen, the time of game was 2:36. And not one player struck out in the game. Wonder what kind of speed-up rules they used back then?
I understand the reason for all the advertising, just don’t insult us with all the talk of speeding up the game, where they give us stupid attempts like no pitch intentional walks. Something that shaves 36 seconds off the clock. More time is spent when a player hits a double and has to have an equipment change on the field where he removes his arm armor, leg guard and batting gloves, or even sliding gloves. May as well give him a tuna sandwich, chips and soda for his possible journey around the bases. But that we can live with, it is part of the game. No one comes to see a commercial. Ok I vented, I feel better now. By the way, this venting was brought to you by Allied heating and venting, the official sponsor of all things vented on nysportsday.com.