Scott Boras, in addition to messing with the Mets again, hit one of his other favorite topics at the GM meetings yesterday: a neutral site World Series:
“If we continue to do this on a regional scale, we’re going to lose something that baseball deserves, and what it deserves is world attention,” he said. “There is a sacrifice of two, three or four (home) games for a team, but the betterment it brings to baseball on the whole far exceeds the detriment.”
Yeah, I’ve never bought this for a second.
Sure, it may be nice for the kinds of people and corporations who like to plan big boondoggle parties — gee, I wonder if Boras is one of those people? — but it makes zero sense for baseball and baseball fans and will do nothing to give the World Series “world attention” like he claims.
First of all, does he think that 40,000+ fans will fill a neutral site stadium as many as seven times for such an event? How many Royals fans would’ve made the trek to Miami in October on less than a week’s notice? And if it’s not Royals fans going to watch the Royals, who are these people going to World Series games? Contest winners and rich jackwagons like that guy in the Marlins clothes this year who will go to any BIG EVENT because they can afford it? What kind of a crowd would that be? That is, assuming there would be a crowd. Because I sort of doubt MLB could sell nearly 300,000 tickets to a neutral site World Series.
Most people watch on TV, of course. But I can’t see how a neutral site would change that for them. The game would still be on Fox, and Fox would fill the entire hour before the first pitch with the same studio stuff they do now. Great, the background would be some palm trees someplace rather than the local parks now, but it doesn’t change the fact that two teams from two specific cities would be playing each other. If baseball can’t get “the world” to watch that now, I don’t see how the event being at a neutral site changes that.
This is a great idea for corporate sponsorship and people who organize parties. It’s pretty good for the hotel industry too, which can start renting rooms a year or two in advance. But it would mean very little for baseball or for baseball fans.