Category Archives: Sports

Fire up the Hot Stove – Yankees trade for Hicks

The Yankees jumped right in at the general manager’s meeting trading John Ryan Murphy to the Twins for outfielder Aaron Hicks. With this trade the Yankees youth movement continues, albeit at a glacial pace. This is yet another small but smart move by Brian Cashman. Hicks is a plus defender and immediately becomes the Yankees best defensive outfielder. He was a prime time prospect, a 2008 first round draft pick who has been slow to develop but looks to have turned the corner and at just 26 years of age he’s six years younger than both Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. With Didi Gregorius at short stop and Hicks potentially in center the Yankees have the making of a solid defense up the middle.

Murphy may be a solid catcher down the road but he’s stuck behind Brian McCann and not nearly the talent Gary Sanchez is who had a nice season in AA AND AAA and is just ripping up the Arizona Fall league. This move also allows them to explore moving Gardner and beside the obvious financial flexibility that would afford the Yankees they may be able to get a young starter for him and if last year showed anything you can never have enough starting pitching.

Now if only Cashman could find a taker for Mark Teixeira so they could play Greg Bird everyday and convince Carlos Beltran he best helps the team in a part time role next year so they can see what they have in Arron Judge this team may be on the way to ripping up their AARP card.

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Hell yes I’m a New Yorker – Hell no I’m not rooting for the Mets

I’m a New Yorker born and raised and I proudly carry the banner of the Big Apple. When I’m away from home people ask me where I’m from and I respond the City. They look puzzled and say but you’re in a city now. Yeah I say but I’m from “THE CITY”. I moved to Long Island for a few years, temporary insanity, but I never changed my driver’s license because I always knew, I’d be back,after all the five boroughs are my home even if I temporarily resided in a strange world of monolithic split level homes, driveways, and mediocre Chinese food.

I’m  also a Yankees fan. The Yankees were my first love and even though the New York Giants bring out my greatest passion now there will always be a special place in my heart for my first love. I tell you this today because the other baseball team in town, the New York Mets, stands on the precipice of returning to the World Series for the first time since 2000. You remember 2000 the year the Yankees reminded the Mets who was big brother dismissing them in five games. But I digress, today with the Mets on their run to a possible world championship I am constantly asked if as a New Yorker I’m excited, am I rooting for them, am I going to watch the game tonight. My answer in order is no, no and maybe as long as it doesn’t run up against The Walking Dead. This is of course meets with utter disdain. Eyes roll and accusations are hurled. Well of course you’re not excited because you’re a hateful Yankees fan, you’re just jealous. What kind of New Yorker are you anyway? Well first off I’m an awesome New Yorker.  As a Yankees fan that goes without saying right?  But again I digress. The simple fact of the matter is I am not a Mets fan. I have no emotional attachment to them and to be honest most of the time I view the Mets the same way I view the St. Louis Cardinals or Milwaukee Brewers just another team that plays Major League Baseball. The Mets barely register on my radar I’m not the Yankees fan who is worried about the Mets taking over the town, because the town is after all New York, eight million plus people, so I’m pretty confident it’s big enough for both of us.

No I’m a Yankees fan through and through. In the off season I worry about the moves of the Red Sox and Orioles not the Phillies and Nationals. When spring training rolls around my attention is squarely on Tampa, hell I don’t even know what a Port St. Lucie is. Regular season my mode of transportation is the D or the 4 not the 7. I’m the arrogant Yankee fan all others baseball fans warned you about. Yes I’ll constantly remind you not only that they have won 27 championships but that no team in your lifetime or your children’s lifetime will ever have as many. You’re from Boston – Nice to meet you.  Hey do remember 1978 and Bucky “bleeping” Dent? No? What about 2003 and Aaron “bleeping” Boone?

Yes I’m a Yankees fan and you want me just because they play in the same city to “root” for the Mets. I don’t think so. Now to be clear I’m not rooting for the Mets to lose and in some way it would be nice to see my friends who are Mets fan and have been beaten down by the Mets happy if only for a minute. But they shouldn’t ask me or want me to hop on the band wagon now. To be a true sports fan you can only give your heart to one team in any sport and only to the players who wear that team’s jersey. You never have a favorite player on another team; yeah I’m looking at you Knicks fans who loved MJ. You can delight in another team’s demise. Boo Hoo Cowboys fans Dez Bryant didn’t catch that pass, at least that what the refs said. But you sure as hell don’t root for the Packers to win. And when your team wins oh baby it is sweet and you don’t want people who were never emotionally invested in them, didn’t feel the pain when they lost, couldn’t tell you who the 25th man on the roster is celebrating with you. It’s your moment; your time to celebrate and look down from Mount Championship and bellow is there no team out here to challenge mine.

So Mets fans stop asking me to root for your team and don’t you ever question the New Yorker in me. It’s your moment own it, enjoy it, just don’t ask me to join you.

The Rangers season was it a failure? Yes – Yes it was

“Lou, I’ve just won you the pennant. I got you Steve Trout!”

George Steinbrenner uttered these words in 1987 after he traded promising young pitcher Bob Tewksbury for the aforementioned Steve Trout. Trout posted a 6.60 ERA in his only season in New York. He walked more batters (37) than he struck out (27) and the Yankees finished fourth.

In their quest to win the World Series in the 1980s the Yankees traded away young prospects like Willie McGee voted one of the 50 best players in St. Louis Cardinal history, Doug Drabek the 1990 NL Cy Young Award winner, Jose Rios the 1990 World Series MVP, Fred McGriff 493 career home runs and Jay Buhner 310 homer runs and 2004 inductee into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame, for veteran players none of whom brought them a championship.

Those moves did however help the Yankees of the 1980s win more games than any other team in Major League Baseball yet they never won that World Series they were chasing, never hung that banner and after all was said and done the Yankees and their fans, despite all their regular season wins had nothing to show for their pursuit of the championship but dashed dreams and a barren farm system which led to a record of 288 wins 369 loses between 1989 and 1992 and Frank Costanza wondering why the hell did we trade Jay Buhner.

A rough period for the Bombers but one that would have been a lot easier to stomach if Yankees fans would have had that one banner to point back to. A banner just like the one the 1986 Mets could point to. A banner that enabled the Mets who despite all the regular season success the Yankees had claim New York as their town. You see no matter what anyone says deep down the truth in sports is

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Over the last four years the New York Rangers have been to 3 Eastern Conference Finals and 1 Stanley Cup Finals. They have played more playoffs games than any other team in that period yet the last time Gary Bettman in his rather awkward manner asked a Rangers captain to come get the Cup was 21 years ago and counting. In an effort to capture the elusive Stanley Cup Rangers GM Glen Sather has gone all in to win.  Last year trading Ryan Callahan and first round picks in 2014 and 2015 for 39 year old Martin St. Louis and this year trading top prospect Anthony Duclair, a lottery-protected first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2015 for defenseman Keith Yandle. If you’re counting and you should be that’s 3 first round picks, 1 second round pick, 1 20 something year old Center, 1 top prospect and 0 Stanley Cups.

So as a Rangers fan am I’m angry this morning? Hell yeah I am. Do I consider this season a failure? Hell yeah I do. Rangers fans who tell you they’re not and it isn’t are either lying to themselves or are living the same fantasy notion we sell to kids today – Everybody’s a winner here’s your trophy for just showing up. Sadly that’s not real life. In this version of the NHL there is no team like the early 80s Islanders or mid 80s Oilers out there with Hall of Famers up and down there lineup. This Rangers team is as good as any team out there and they had the experience of 3 conference finals and 1 Stanley Cup final working in their favor. They had built to this moment for 4 years and when it came they came up short, woefully short. They lost to a young inexperienced team. They lost to a team with a coaching staff that was less experienced yet somehow made adjustments for games 5 and 7 that the Rangers staff seemed unable to counter. Their top goal scorer became a grinder for two straight playoff years and that is unacceptable. Think about it if Mark Messier guaranteed a game 6 victory in 1994 and had gone scoreless and the Rangers got shut out would anyway have lauded his penalty kills. In the biggest game of the season last night Rick Nash had one shot on goal. Let me say that again one shot!! The Rangers seemed to say let’s sit back and play conservative hockey, Lundqvist will save the day until Tampa makes a mistake. Except Tampa had different plans they weren’t about to make a mistake not on this night and this time it was the King who blinked. Lundqvist, after standing on his head for two periods, let in a soft goal and really when you think about how brilliant he has been the law of averages said it was due to happen. And speaking of Lundqvist here another parallel to the 80s Yankees. Don Mattingly. One day Lundqvist like Mattingly will see his number retired and fans will reminisce about all the great moments he gave them and then like Mattingly if the Rangers never get over the hump lament the fact that he never won a Cup. Lundqvist will be 34 by the time the playoffs begin next year the window may not be closing fast by make no mistake it is closing and world class goalies like Lundqvist don’t grow on trees. Lundqvist more than any other reason is why the Rangers are in win now mode and why every year they don’t their fans have every reason to be upset and when you get shut out in game 7 at home and your fans are left to wonder: Where was the urgency? Where was the step up performances by the stars, not named Lundqvist? Why did the best team in hockey, record wise, let an inexperienced Tampa team dictate the pace of the game? Their fans have every reason to be angry as well

Why I’m not rooting for Floyd Mayweather.

I been told silly things like “He’s one of us” – well if you mean human yeah he’s one of us can’t really argue that.

Crazy things like “He’s one of if not the best fighter of all time” please just in my lifetime I say fighters like Leonard, Hagler and Duran would whip his behind. Hell I’ll put even money on the Bronx’s own 3 time champion and boxing hall of famer Wilfred Benítez

But the real reason I’m not rooting for Mayweather, not that he cares, is that he truly seems to be a bad guy. Here in New York callers to local radio shows call Alex Rodriquez evil and practically suggest we burn him at the stake because he cheated. To paraphrase Allen Iverson what are we talking about cheating? Cheating in a game? Cheating in a game. We talking about a game.  Not real life a game.

Yet here is Floyd Mayweather who has six times been charged with domestic violence and served two months in jail in 2012 for the 2010 beating of the mother of three of his children. We’re not talking about a game here, we’re talking about real life.

Mayweather will make north of 180 million dollar tonight to do what he those for a living attempt to beat up other professionally trained men. Yet he not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not even five times but six times has been charged with putting his hands on a defenseless woman. Think about that for a second, let it sink in. Six times charged! One can only wonder how many incidents never made its way to the public. Yet tonight many fans and reporters will talk about him like he invented boxing and fawn over him like he’s some kind of hero.

There are those who try to explain away Mayweather’s behavior. Those who say it was his tough upbringing. Those who say the negativity toward him is based on stereotypes. Those who say when you know him you can’t but come away thinking he’s a insightful, intelligent, likable person. Maybe all that is true yet I wonder if one of the several women who were the recipient of a straight right hand to the face felt the same way.

Over the last year a handful of athletes have unfortunately by their actions shined light on domestic violence and how heinous a crime it is. It is unfortunate that a crime that has devastated and took the lives of so many is still all too often turned a blind eye to. Saturday night people around the world will cheer on one of the biggest cowards in sports, because only a coward hits a woman, Floyd Mayweather their boxing hero. I’ll go watch the Avengers a movie about fictional heroes. Mayweather won’t get a dime from me.

A-Rod cheated we know now let it go

Full disclosure I’m a die hard Yankees fan but really sometimes the spoiled Yankees fan and the media who cover the team can annoy even me

Today the Daily News today reported that Alex Rodriguez still hasn’t apologized to Joe Giraldi yet. Well let me do it for him.

Hey Joe I’m sorry that thanks in large part to my steroid aided post season of 2009 you won your only world championship as manager. Now I know you have been disappointed that MLB has refused to take back your ring and I regret the many sleepless nights you had to deal with knowing you cheated your way to your only championship. I feel your pain every time you look at your ring and for that I’m truly sorry.

Really people a lot of people in MLB cheated during that era and A-Rod was one of them but unless you want to disavow all the wins and the championship we won with him as well as those we won with Clemens just shut up.

On another Daily News front Mike Lupica come out of the closet already. We all know it, we will still respect you as a writer it’s ok to say it and you’ll feel so much better – I’m a Red Sox fan.

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

Mike Tyson once said – “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Tom Brady with his smug grin and Bill Belichick with his dismissive attitude both scream we’re better than you. They are arrogant beyond belief and feel they are above the law that is until they are punched in the mouth. The New York Giants proved that not once but twice when their defense stood up to pretty boy Brady and the Patriots and punched them in the mouth. This Sunday the New England Patriots will arrive at kickoff full of arrogance and with a plan. The Seattle Seahawks will punch them in the mouth. Seattle 27 New England 10.image

Baseball it’s not the Walking Dead just yet

Sunday Night Football and The Walking Dead may have fought it out for ratings supremacy last week, as it seemed most of America all but forget that there was indeed a baseball playoff game on, but not to worry MLB because while you may not have been in this battle you’re a long way from being a Dead Sport Walking.

Last Sunday I was in a Bay Area sports bar with my two buddies Lou and Larry fresh off watching The Silver and Black Oakland Raiders the favorite team of Lou, one my oldest and best friends, drop a heartbreaker to the San Diego Chargers.  As we sat drinking our beer watching the Giants Eagles game I posed a simple question, to which I already knew what the response would be. Who do you think will win the rating battle tonight? The season premiere of the Walking Dead, The Giants Eagles game or the Cardinals Giants playoff game. Larry who is about as passionate a sports fan as anyone I know, hell he even watches soccer and as we all know nobody cares about soccer in America, but that’s a discussion for another day responded that the football game would win easy. The Walking Dead would come in second and the playoff game would be somewhere far off in the distance because as he is prone to saying baseball is a sport I once loved and now it is dying a slow death. Now to be fair he was right the baseball game which aired on Fox Sports 1 drew 4.4 million viewers far behind the roughly 17 million viewers each who tuned into watch the Walking Dead on AMC and the Giants Eagles on NBC. So I guess Larry was right baseball is a dying sport after all the television ratings proved him right, except for one little thing. Larry, as he used to me telling him, is dead wrong and baseball is not only not dying, baseball is thriving albeit in a different way than he and I were used to growing up.

Don’t get me wrong baseball is not perfect it does have a plethora of things wrong with it as Larry has pointed out to me on several… no several million occasions. There is a push button mentality with managers today that leads to an overabundance of pitching changes which in turn lengthens the game from a manageable 2 hours and 35 minutes 30 years ago to an unwieldy 3 hours and 2 minutes this past season, the longest on record. The pace of the game is not appealing to today’s youth. Take for example Derek Jeter. Everybody including Red Sox fans loved and respected the Captain and rightfully so for the way he played the game, but in his career there wasn’t a pitch taken or ball fouled off that Jeter didn’t feel the need to step out of the batter box to adjust himself. Not one! Pitchers routinely stare in at the catcher and then seemingly go into some sort of mental trance to help them forget they just walked the last two batters and have gone 3-0 on the guy at the plate. Likely because the umpire’s strike zone today is vastly different from the one the guy yesterday had. World Series games are all prime time starts, taking the sport’s most important event away from future generations who will be sleep by the third inning. Plus first pitch in those games doesn’t occur until we’ve had the obligatory 30 minute pre-game show designed to squeeze in the maximum number of commercials, which drives Lou over the edge but again that’s a topic for another day. All that aside and despite baseball’s multiple attempts to commit suicide, baseball is alive and well.

We will never see the television ratings that baseball once enjoyed. Much to the chagrin of Larry and all those who think like him, this fall half the families in America will not gather around their television sets with hot cocoa on a crisp fall night to watch the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas Royals compete for the title. There are numerous reasons for this and we will explore them later on but what is important is that baseball has figured out how to survive just fine despite them. So why has baseball lost its grip on huge ratings nationally? Well the room that baseball and the rest of the entertainment field reside in today is more crowded than ever. On demand programming enables people to watch their favorite shows at any time and any day, including when the baseball game is on and streaming options such as Netflix and internet options such as Hula and YouTube provide alternative sources of entertainment. More and more cable networks are catering to niche audiences and producing high quality original series with content that could only have been dreamt about on network television. Baseball simply doesn’t have the room to itself. Think about it just 5 years ago would you have even fathomed that a show on basic cable about a post apolycatic world over run with zombies would even be in the conversation with a Sunday night football game on network television. Additionally, this trend is not exclusive to baseball since the mid- 90s ratings for both the World Series and NBA finals have declined steadily. The NHL has seen a slight uptick since NBC started broadcasting the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006, but really it had nowhere to go but up.

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So why is football a national television juggernaut? Well it does have a few built-in advantages the others don’t. Let’s look at a couple of them.

First, football unlike other sports is event programming. Its 16 game regular season schedule lends itself to being must see television. Every game takes on an importance that simply doesn’t exist in the other big four regular seasons. A week six game between two 3-3 baseball teams is going to have much more at stake and be a much easier sell than an early June game between two 30-30 baseball teams. Likewise the NFL playoffs, with its one and done format, generates excitement and produce the type of immediate result, without the long term commitment that a seven game series requires, that today’s viewer craves.

Second is the elephant in the room that the NFL doesn’t want to acknowledge and that’s betting. Betting on football dwarfs betting on any other of the other major sports in America. In 2011 according to the Nevada Gaming Commission, $3.2 billion was wagered in sports bets in the state’s casinos. Of that amount, $1.34 billion or 41 percent was handled just for football. Outside of Nevada the numbers are much bigger. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission estimates that $380 billion is wagered a year on football through offshore accounts and illegal betting. According to Greg Finn, managing director at WagerMinds, a sports betting and handicapping website

“The NFL knows a meaningful part of their fan base is interested because they can bet on the games. And if they can’t they would be far less interested in getting tickets, going to games and buying merchandise,”

Hand in hand with betting is the explosion of fantasy football, yet another thing that my dear friend Larry finds evil. According to research from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), 33 million Americans participate in Fantasy Football and the industry adds about 2 million new players every year. And while fantasy football is a fun social endeavor for most it also is a big money endeavor as well. The average entry fee to a league is only $70, which divides into about $4 per NFL game, but the FSTA found that $1.18 billion changes hands between players through pools each year. And this equates to television viewership as pointed out by Paul Charchian, president of the FSTA,

“Fantasy sports players will watch twice as much of their sport as other self-identified sports fans. A fan of the Jets will just watch a Jets game but a fantasy player will watch the Jets game and then switch over to other games. And he will watch the Thursday night game, which no one seems to watch.”

You can read more about the NFL’s Shadow Economy of Gambling and Fantasy Football is a Multibillion Dollar Business at the Daily Beast by following the link below.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/06/nfl-s-shadow-economy-of-gambling-and-fantasy-football-is-a-multibillion-dollar-business.html

Baseball despite not having either of these advantages which allows football to maintain a vice grip as the “national past time” has managed to remain strong both at the box office and on the regional level. The nine seasons between 2004 and 2012 produced the nine best-attended seasons in the history of Major League Baseball, including four successive record-breaking seasons from 2004-2007. While both 2013 and 2014 were down 1.06% and 0.4% respectively from the prior year it is somewhat unreasonable to expect any sport to continually break its own attendance records. Additionally down is relative as 2013 and 2014 represented the 6th and 7th highest attendance figures in Major league history. Some of the highlights from 2014 include:

  • Twelve Clubs surpassed the 2.5-million mark, including five that topped the three-million mark.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates established a single-season attendance record of 2,442,564 in 2014, breaking the previous mark of 2,436,139 set during the first season at PNC Park in 2001. The Pirates also posted 23 sellouts during the season, tying the club record set in 2013.
  • The San Francisco Giants, who sold out every game this season, ended the 2014 season with 327 consecutive sell-outs, dating back to October 1, 2010, for the longest active streak in the Majors.
  • The Detroit Tigers, who recorded 27 sellouts during the 2014 season, posted the fifth largest total attendance (2,917,209) in the 114-year history of the franchise.
  • The Kansas City Royals posted their highest attendance (1,956,482) since 1991.
  • The Seattle Mariners drew 2,063,622, eclipsing the two-million mark for the first time since 2010. The club’s attendance represented a Major League-best 17 percent increase over 2013.
  • The Oakland Athletics had an attendance of 2,003,628 in 2014, surpassing the two-million mark for the first time since 2005 (2,109,118).
  • The Houston Astros drew 1,751,829 fans in 2014, representing an attendance increase for the second consecutive season.

That’s positive news from coast to coast, in cities with booming economies and those with struggling economies, cities with playoff teams and cities with teams under .500. Some of this success in attracting fans out to the ball park can be attributed to baseball being open to reinventing itself. No better example of that is the addition of the wildcard system. Like it or hate it no one can deny its success in ensuring that teams which otherwise would have had no hope of playing meaningful games in September are kept alive each year deeper into the season and as a result their fan bases remain energized. Now I know there are those from the old school of thinking like my buddy Larry who hates the concept of the wildcard saying it destroys the sanctity of the 162 game schedule and removes any chance for a real pennant races not the fake chase for the final wildcard spot but you know, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT – THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT, kind. But I dare you to tell a long-suffering fan of the Kansas City Royals currently basking in the euphoria of their team’s current playoff run and first World Series appearance since 1985 that the wildcard cheapens baseball. Than just walk away with your head bowed as they laugh their asses off at you.

Speaking of the Royals I can’t wait for game one of the World Series those charming, gritty, players. The Cinderella story, it’s must see television…Wait no, let’s be real I will not be watching it after all it may conflict with a football game or a Walking Dead episode or my latest attempt to get past whatever Candy Crush level I’m currently at. And I’m sure millions of other Americans feel the same way. After all who cares about the Royals or the Giants outside of KC and San Francisco? But you know what, that’s OK because once again baseball will be just fine. Because unlike the built-in advantages we discussed earlier that makes football more appealing to a nationwide audience baseball is just crushing it on a regional level and I do mean crushing it.

In a piece for Forbes.com last August, Maury Brown notes that Major League Baseball is absolutely thriving in local ratings. http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2014/08/05/mlb-telecasts-on-regional-sports-networks-dominate-prime-time-television/

Check this out:

According to the information from Nielsen, of the 29 U.S.-based clubs in the league, 12 of them are the #1-rated programming in prime time since the start of the season in their home markets, beating both broadcast and cable competition. These teams include the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Another 7 teams rank in the top three in local prime time TV ratings on their respective RSNs, including the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and [Colorado] Rockies.

Brown further reports that the Cubs, White Sox, Rangers, Angels, Marlins, Mets, A’s and Nationals rank in the top nine in local primetime programming.

As CBS Sportsline commented

That leaves only the Dodgers and Astros who aren’t doing well — and with the Blue Jays being in Canada, Nielson doesn’t have the information — which is hardly surprising with the respective fights between the clubs and local TV carriers. So, basically, the only two teams in America not doing well in ratings aren’t doing well because people don’t have the option to watch.

And when you add up those numbers baseball, the dying sport is not that far behind the NFL aka “King of The World” in total revenue. According to Forbes Magazine in October of this year http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2014/10/08/baseball-is-dying-dont-be-stupid/

Last season MLB saw gross revenues of over $8 billion, and the expectation is it will reach $10 billion within a year or two. The reason for this goes back to attendance, and television. At the local level, teams are individually seeing lucrative broadcast deals, while the league sees national broadcast revenue from ESPN, TBS, and FOX at $1.5 billion annually. On top of that, MLB’s digital media company MLB Advanced Media expects to see revenues hit $1 billion annually in the very near future (see The Biggest Media Company You’ve Never Heard Of). That means MLB could soon catch the National Football, who saw approx. $10 billion in gross revenues last season.

Ah but as my friend Larry pointed out to me in a recent text message response to an article I forwarded him about the health of baseball – what about the youth? To quote he wondered if the myopic sportswriter thinks there’s any reason for concern that young people watch football and basketball and even soccer (yes he really said soccer) but not baseball anymore. I could almost hear him saying in his best sportscaster’s James Brown voice – The young Carl. What about the young? Well I hate to tell Larry the young just aren’t as interested in football or sports in general as much as he and I are. Today’s youth have way too many other things going on to keep them entertained.   Brian Steinberg, Senior TV Editor for Variety wrote in September:

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/the-nfls-greatest-test-not-ray-rice-but-young-crowds-who-tune-out-games-1201307613/

Younger viewers are walking away from broadcasts of its games.

The average audience between 18 and 49 for NFL broadcasts across CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network has declined by about 10.6% over the last four seasons, according to Nielsen data prepared by Horizon Media, to about 7.7 million in 2013 from about 8.62 million in 2010. Meantime, male viewers between 18 and 24 watching the sport have also fallen off, tumbling about 5.3% in the same time period, to approximately 847,000 in 2013 from 894,000 in 2010.

Even as its overall viewership rises, however, the NFL audience has gotten older. Consider that in 2006, the median age for an NFL viewer was 45.8. By 2012, the median had risen to 47.1; in 2013, it was 48.4.

So there you have it strong attendance, regional television dominance, increasing revenue all in all baseball is in pretty good shape all around. Last Sunday may have belonged to the Walking Dead but baseball is far from being The Dead Sport Walking. I expect a harshly worded e-mail from Larry once he reads this.