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Study: MLB broadcast booths lack diversity

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At SB Nation’s Phillies blog The Good Phight, David S. Cohen compiled the demographics of the broadcast booths across baseball and found that it does not reflect the population of baseball nor of the United States.

Of 164 announcers in 30 teams’ booths, 148 (90.2 percent) are white men. Only nine are African-American men (5.5 percent), five are Latino men (3.0 percent), one is an Asian man (0.6 percent), and one is a white woman (0.6 percent).

There are only two broadcast teams with multiple persons of color: the Twins (Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins) and Angels (Victor Rojas and Jose Mota). 17 broadcast teams are comprised of only white people.

The broadcast booths do, however, reflect viewership. Cohen, citing Nielsen stats, notes that 83 percent of those who watch baseball on television are white and 70 percent are men.

While Craig has debunked the “baseball is dying” myth countless times here, I am pessimistic about baseball’s future with its reluctance to cater to a younger, more diverse audience. MLB was, until only very recently, behind the times in technology and social media and still is in some ways. It has made no effort to curb culture policing by white players past and present.

If MLB wants to remain a mainstay in the sporting realm, it will have to bridge the demographic divide as much as it has recently bridged the technological divide.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.