Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle dedicated a blog post this afternoon to bashing ESPN’s New York-heavy baseball coverage. As Schulman notes, the Mets will appear on “Sunday Night Baseball” tomorrow night for the third consecutive week and they’re on again for a May 23 matchup with the Yankees.
In response to the New York love, Schulman, a writer for most things San Francisco, is boycotting Sunday night’s game. So, check out his post. Support the cause. You know, if you’re a mid-market baseball fan into complaining about the sport’s national coverage.
To be honest, it seems like a tired argument. ESPN wants ratings, and a game between the Giants and Rockies simply won’t bring the same kind of numbers of a Mets or Yankees game. With cable, satellite and MLB.tv, it’s easier than ever to follow your favorite team. Why not just do what us smart baseball fans do and ignore the World Wide Leader altogether? MLB Network at least shows highlights.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.