Tonight, when the clock strikes 6pm, Major League Baseball’s Studio-42 will become abuzz with excitement as the first player selected in the 2011 edition of the amateur draft is announced.
And, for sporadic moments shortly thereafter, some emphasis of attention will re-focus to the MLB epicenter, in Secaucus, New Jersey, as subsequent “high profile” players are awarded to a collection of the worst teams in the game.
Sounds compelling, huh?
Perhaps, you can already assess the problem, or perceived problem of relevance, by simply recollecting what you’ve already read. Indeed, if we’re searching for a way to improve or publicize Major League Baseball’s version of ushering in tomorrow’s superstars, some of the clues can be found in the above text.
Where is Secaucus? It’s located just few miles outside Manhattan, between the Lincoln Tunnel and Meadowlands sports complex. But, don’t think you’ll ever be making a roadtrip to personally observe a draft unfold.
After all, Studio-42 has a measly capacity of 95. That’s right, under ideal circumstances, only 95 patrons, contest winners or special invitees would be able to attend the annual event. So much for fans making a pilgrimage, huh?
By the way, who are those “high profile” players I cited a few paragraphs ago? I know the names of the prime prospects atop the rankings, but I wouldn’t criticize your expertise for not knowing such personas.
Yet, from a public exposure perspective, the reality attached to the sport’s fanbase not knowing, nor really caring about the names of top amateur talents is a fundamental problem, when trying to solve the indifference fans feel toward the draft, or in remedying this non-event.
I understand the challenge and by all means, I concede Major League Baseball will never rival the coverage and celebrations regarding draft-day hype enjoyed by the NFL and NBA communities.
Gerrit Cole cannot claim the intramural stage dominated by Cam Newton, and the same applies to Anthony Rendon and Greg Odon. The same can be said about the nation’s best high school prospect, Dylan Bundy, as nobody outside Oklahoma knew his name just a few months ago.
We know the deal; NCAA football and basketball are much more popular than baseball, as part of the American sports scene. The game of baseball has a genuine appeal that is uniquely limited to the very highest talent, in the big leagues, or if we have a loved one playing at a lesser level.
That’s the truth.
To be blunt, I don’t know if Major League Baseball can transition its draft day festivities into a product most fans and insiders would wanna witness. But, I can think of five distinct ideas that would make the event more appealing.
You can find my five ideas on the next page …..