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Good article by Steve Simmons in today’s Toronto Sun. Simmons talks about how MLB is actually making the in stadium experience worse than that which we all can get at home these days.

“This is just another example of staid old baseball being behind the times. Instead of giving the fans what they want and what is readily available, they instead deny the paying customer information.

Were I watching the game against Seattle from home, I could have stopped the play. paused it, backed it up, paused it again, replayed it again — as many times as I want — just to get a sense of whether the right call had been made.

In the stadium, though, as a ticket buyer, I get the same old, same old on the Jumbotron. I don’t get the answer to the only question I’m interested in. I am paying money to not be able to see what I ostensibly can witness for free (ok, so my Rogers cable bills aren’t free) in my living room.

In simple terms, that’s just wrong. In technological terms, it’s backwards and old school. And at a time when there are complaints of baseball missing a generation and losing appeal to a younger demographic, Major League Baseball should be doing everything possible to enhance the in-stadium experience, rather than strangle and diminish it.”

SImmons echo’s much of what I told you just over a year ago when I wrote:

“Now, the worst part. I’ve been yapping around these parts about how HD TV killed sports where here is where MLB (and all the other leagues for that matter) had better smarten up or the game will be over. I’m a sports fan. I know most of the rules in most of the games. However, shit happens in each and every game that needs explanation. There is something going on that even the most die hards of fans don’t get. We are pretty lucky in this town, we have good play by play folks for all our teams in radio and tv. The experience from my couch is fantastic. It doesn’t take 40 minutes to get a drink, the seat is comfortable and there isn’t an old fart sitting behind me asking my son to sit down when the Jays pitcher has 2 strikes on a Tigers batter. Here’s the killer; You have a beautiful tv set hanging in the arena, WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU USE IT?????????

All of the sudden in the game, Lyle Overbay is gone from first base. Vanished. At home, or in the car you would know that at first they thought he was traded then you learned he was sick. Later in the game whomever was playing centerfield for the Jays made what looked like an incredible catch in the outfield. On TV viewers at home got to see replays. Listeners on the radio would have heard all about it and then told why it wasn’t a catch. In the stadium, you get zero, zilch, nadda. We were there for the entire game, start to end. I think in total there were maybe 3 replays shown the entire night. Why do you build a huge jumbotron if all you are using it for is cheap inane promotions???? “

I agree with Steve. MLB is killing itself. The movies have adopted 3d as a way to bring people to the theaters in the era of bootlegging. The technology exists. Just use it.

Why not two thumbs up?

Did anyone wonder if I like the article why it’s not entitled 2 thumbs up? Did anyone read the dribble that Mr. Magoo wrote on the Rogers Sportsnet website? WoW, right???

“”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair … “

Alas, those are the words of Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities. They could also be the words of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this summer who has some great stories to crow about in his league … and some rather sad stories too.”

Riveting. Quite the lead in to a story, really makes you want to read on no?

Now, as I have said before, Shannon is good when it comes to the business of sports media, television and general sports business. His work on the new tv deal and the discussion of the troubled franchises is good. The dribble in between and the rest of the column? Wow. It’s too bad the talent can’t be better harnessed.

Have a great day!

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Sam in Oshawa
July 21, 2011 6:18 am

Shannon to his credit was the only media type to take on Eric Tillman for his digraceful behavior,what happenned to that Shannon?

July 21, 2011 8:06 am

I don’t hate rteading Simmons but he is always so negative. He needs to stick to facts (he is good at that) rather than provide opinions – they are usually lies, incorrect, or just stupid. Can you imagine what it’s like for his kids bringing their report cards home? “A 72 in Math? Well, garbage men get decent hopurly wages and benefits so you won’t starve or lose ALL of your teeth. Why bother even going to school if you can’t do better than that? Every one of your friends has a better report card”…

July 21, 2011 9:29 am

I’ve been saying what you have said for a number of years. You’ve got the Jumbotron at the ‘Dome’. Use it for more than just a means to project commercials, stupid contests and fan cams. Outstanding plays should be repeated a number of times. Let the fans in the stadium know what is going on over and above what they can see in the field – i.e. player replacement. The worst is when an inning ends they don’t show the inning ending play on the Jumbotron – they have to play the commercials immediately. I have noticed however that there are more player information on the Jumbotron and in game player stats. But overall, it’s still underused for the in-game experience.

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
July 21, 2011 10:36 am

It seems the heat is getting to Simmons. I look forward to reading his columns, but the last week or so have been so negative.

Yesterday it was Toronto sports teams are the worst in NA. Really? All that was missing, though I think implied, was a shot at the innocent fan who buys tickets to the worst teams. It was almost gratuitous. Where did that come from?

I love watching a ball game in HD from the comfort of my couch!

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
July 21, 2011 4:04 pm

I saw a game in Seattle in early June, same thing. No replays on close calls, so I guess MLB is afraid of fans booing umpires or players reminding umps of missed calls if they prove true.
On the hand, they did do a live scoreboard interview with the managers after the 5th inning, which I do not belive they do at Skydome.

Sam in Oshawa
July 21, 2011 4:08 pm

This is Aussie Northern Beaches HOT.The memories of those days,sorry now back to reality Simmons is right on.What is the lure to go to the ballpark.If you want the fans to turn out give them the complete show warts and all or are the players and umps to sensitve to handle itAt home in front of the tube i have it all…

Mike in Burlington
Mike in Burlington
July 21, 2011 5:09 pm

Hey Sam, i spend some months on those Aussie northern beaches in the heart of summer, and this feels hotter!!…

I don’t read Shannon so I can’t give an informed opinion, but if i don’t hear him, my day goes by just fine.

As for SkyDome, lets be honest, WINNING fixes almost everything. Sure it’s a 20+ year old soulless cement box with a funky roof and a big old TV, but if the team didn’t suck for nearly 2 decades, we wouldn’t care and we’d go to the games anyway.

Fans go to the games of bad teams if its fun, cheap, exciting or the cool thing to do (see Chicago). SkyDome is none of those things, and shitty ownership to boot…with th exception of 8 or 9 players, this is little more than a good “AAA” team. Combine that with a crappy building, high prices, and ownership who doesn’t care about winning, and you see why guys like me haven’t been to game in 15 years.

Mike in Burlington
Mike in Burlington
July 21, 2011 5:32 pm

So my wife saw my last post while i was writing it and asked me the best question ever…

“why would anyone drag our asses onto a crowded smelly train, take a crowded smelly subway, pay for overpriced tickets, drink watery expensive beer, eat over priced fatty unhealthy food, then do it again to get home? We have a full beer fridge, a 50″ HD plasma with DVR that lets me rewind and save the game. We have perfect A/C, healthy food and the full wine chiller. They’re not trying to field a competitve team, so why should we go see AAA?”

Couldn’t have said it better…

Less than 12 parsecs
Less than 12 parsecs
July 21, 2011 7:25 pm

Thinking with my client hat on, Rogers could (ahem) monetize this service by offering it via wireless during games: video, replays and real-time game info, for say a couple of bucks a game, pushed to your iPhone or iPad. Agreed, ideally they should just do it for every paying customer, as a basic service, but this is Rogers after all. They don’t do anything without thinking about the short-term bottom line.

Sam in Oshawa
July 21, 2011 7:54 pm

Wow another way for the evil empire to grab a few more sheckles thanks LT12P.A rogers geek is processing that thought and it will be coming at you real soon…

Less than 12 parsecs
Less than 12 parsecs
July 21, 2011 8:01 pm

@Sam Maybe I should have written, “With my evil client hat on…”

Sam in Oshawa
July 21, 2011 8:10 pm

LT12P,not an evil thought.All things Rogers just makes me want to scream,sorry…

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