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.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.