200 Miles From the Citi

June 13, 2010 7:30 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XXIV)


I gave the MLB Draft a minute or two of my time last Monday night.

They did a good job on the MLB Network of setting it up to replicate the NFL Draft, which as we all know is a tremendous television success.

It looked the same, the in-between-picks analysis was the same, even the way the commissioner read the picks was the same.

But there was one significant difference - even though I love baseball more than football - I had no idea who any of the people were.

This is the problem with the Major League Baseball Draft.

There's a huge disconnect between the college game and the pro game - and it extends beyond the aluminum versus wooden bat discussion.

I love baseball.  But if you asked me to explain the College World Series format to you....I couldn't.  I watch an inning or two at most of the college championships each spring when ESPN shows them, but I don't stick around very long.  And I'm not alone.

And that's a problem for baseball.

I don't know what can be done to fix it...all I know is, until it is fixed, and until baseball fans like me start knowing who the players available in the Major League Baseball Draft are before the draft...I don't know that the draft on the MLB Network will ever take off the way MLB will want it to.

*I think it's a nice touch by Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel in their selection of All-Star coaches.  With the All Star Game in Los Angeles (American League), they both selected California coaches for the game - Mike Scoscia and Bob Geren for the AL and Bud Black and Bruce Bochy for the NL.  Of course, this was after Cito Gaston and Bobby Cox declined bids, but still...

*I heard this week (perhaps it's been known for longer...I don't know if it was new news or not...but now that I'm on summer vacation, I'll be more on top of those types of things) that the first episode of 'Hard Knocks' with the Jets will air on August 11th.

*I always forget how weird watching an entire soccer game is.  One thing I like about it is that with a 2:30 start time, you can pretty much assure that it will be over by about 4:15 - two 45 minute halves, plus halftime.  But all that exactness then goes out the window with stoppage time.  It's so weird to me watching on TV.  It makes me wonder if they have a better idea on the field of when the game is going to end - but I suspect they don't really.  You get 3 minutes of stoppage time, then after about 2:45 or 2:50, the game ends with a whistle out of nowhere - it sometimes seems anticlimactic.  Post a comment if you can shed more light on this for me.  

*I was really starting to feel good about my knowledge of which college football teams play in which conferences, and now everything is turned on its head.  This is a weird moment in college football history.  Not just the fact that so many schools are changing conferences, but they're all so high profile.  I wonder what real college football fans think about it.  I might have to bring in a pinch-writer - my Michigan alum friend - to write about these events.

*I depend on ESPN for one thing - ESPNEWS and their crawl for my baseball scores.  I hope it's a weekend glitch and not a permanent change, but instead of the multiple scores at once that ESPNEWS scrolls, it now has the same ESPN Bottom Line as regular ESPN.  If I wanted that.....I would just watch ESPN.  So I might have to make the total switch to MLB Network.  Also, ESPNEWS was much different on High Definition TV - I wonder if this change in graphics affects that, too.

*Can't-miss Sunday Paper next week - my wife will be stepping in on Father's Day for her Real Clear Sports writing debut.  If you haven't been with me since the old days, and you've never read her stuff, you're in for a real treat.  If you want to do some background reading until next week, here are some samples:  Her reaction to the Patriots losing the Super Bowl to the Giants, following her thoughts leading up to that game, or when she covered for me when I was on a school camping trip - making fun of my spelling prowess, naming her "fantasy" team, and taking the reins the day Lastings Milledge made his major league debut.  I can't wait to see what she writes.

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