The MLB Draft Pales in Comparison To Other Sports

Last night was the beginning of the 2012 MLB Draft.  How many people knew?  How many people cared?  How many people watched?  I think those questions are asked in order of how many people said “yes” to them.  I watched long enough to get to the Cubs first pick, a high school outfielder from Florida.  Then I had to turn it off because I couldn’t take it anymore.

That’s right.  I work in MLB.  I am a life long fan of MLB.  I watch the NFL Draft.  I watch the NBA Draft even though I don’t watch the NBA.  Yet, I couldn’t watch more than 6 picks of the MLB Draft last night.  There are several reasons why and many of them don’t have a way to be fixed but there has to be something that MLB can do in order to make their draft more watchable.  Let’s dive in to the reasons why the MLB Draft sucks so badly.

First of all, Bud Selig should not be leading the show.  I’ve seen dead people with more charisma than what Bud Selig was showing during the telecast.  He was speaking in a monotone voice.  He was slow.  Hell, I just fell asleep again typing about it and thus thinking about it again.  I thought that Chris Berman was my most hated entity involved with a sports draft in the world.  Bud Selig made Chris Berman seem like the greatest broadcaster of all time  with his horrid performance.  A couple of times, I wondered if he was even still alive or if he was a robot just acting like Bud Selig.  No one would ever know if a switch was made.  The draft needs a host that has a commanding presence, exudes confidence and makes the league look good on television.  They should get Morgan Freeman to host the event.  Everyone likes hearing Morgan Freeman narrate a documentary so get him to host this event in order to save us from listening to Bud Selig trying to pronounce Hispanic names while waiting for applause to stop when he can’t hear!


Another problem with the MLB Draft is that NO ONE knows who in the hell these kids are that are getting drafted.  College football and basketball have billion dollar TV deals.  Games are on all the time.  Everyone knows who the players are that are being drafted for the most part.  People have a vested interest in where these players get drafted and a rooting interest.  This year, you got to see dozens of awkward hugs that went WAY too long between Roger Goodell and the players getting drafted.


People started tuning into the broadcast just to see if the Commish was going to start making out with the next player drafted!  Being an NFL draft guru has made Mel Kiper, Jr a household name to sports fans.  We know what he looks like.  We know who he thinks will be the first five players drafted a month before the draft even begins.  People read his articles and watch his appearances on Sportscenter in anticipation of the NFL Draft.  Hell he’s even already got a list of top draft picks for next year’s draft and not one down of football has been played for THIS season!


The NFL Draft has gotten so popular that it has been spread out into a primetime affair covering three days.  And people tune in every year to watch.  ESPN AND the NFL Network televise it live the entire time that it is going.  The NFL Draft is the king of the drafts.

Even the NBA beats the MLB draft.  I have only watched three full NBA games since Michael Jordan quit the Bulls for the last time.  Three games in like 15 years!  Yet, I watch the NBA draft every year.  I want to see who drafts the Kentucky Wildcats players.  I want to see where other players that I might have liked to watch during March Madness and see where they end up playing pro ball.  I like to listen to Charles Barkley say insane stuff.  The draft is only two rounds so it’s over quickly.  Most importantly, I want to see what crazy ass outfit some of the players are going to be wearing when they get to tower over David Stern:

Joakim Noah, David Stern

But back to the MLB draft and the problems with it.  Only the first night of the draft is televised and it involves players that no one knows before hand and most likely won’t see in the majors for another 4 to 5 years if at all.  The vast majority of these picks will never see more than a cup of coffee in MLB.  Only the diehard fans have any clue about the players, their scouting reports or where in the hell the minor league teams are even located.  I’d be willing to say that over half the “fans” of a MLB team couldn’t name two or more of their minor league affiliates.  It’s very hard to get excited to see a mummy slowly stumble through pronouncing the name of someone we don’t know and likely will never see play.  Part of the blame for this lies on the NCAA.  I have never been excited for NCAA baseball.  However, this year, UK had a good team.  They were playing in the tournament and trying to qualify for the College World Series.  Two of the three games they just played in tournament action were not available in televised form in any way.  Can you imagine tournament games being played with no television in 2012?  ESPN.  ESPN2.  ESPNU.  MLB Network.  Fox Sports.  Comcast Sportsnet.  ESPN3 online.  Big Ten Network.  There are dozens of sports channels that the NCAA SHOULD get some kind of a deal with to televise these games.  If the fans can’t see the games, why should they care or even bother trying to follow it?  Instead of hours of reruns during the day, the MLB Network could be showing these games and selling it as “see future MLB stars…today!”  While on that subject, why doesn’t the MLB Network show some minor league games?  Maybe two or three games a week even if late at night on tape delay where fans have a chance to either stay up or DVR it to watch later and be able to follow the top “prospects” in the game.

Baseball will continue to be far behind the NFL and NBA in fan interest and popularity as long as Bud Selig and his cronies are calling the shots and providing a subpar product.  Unfortunately, the powers that be aren’t in any hurry to change that.  Maybe baseball really is America’s PAST time.



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