With only two months left in the regular season, Rob Manfred and his teammates must pump their promotional accelerators to the floor, making every Aaron Judge at-bat appointment televised to a national audience.
If MLB and its commissions can’t do that, Suits will be guilty of turning a red-hot opportunity into an ice sculpture.
As the judge challenges Roger Maris’ historic single-season Yankees record of 61 dingers, the last “clean” HR seasonal milestone, MLB’s high-profile for more casual eyeballs with new, younger, fans for the judges. Opportunity to become ambassador. Looking for the thrill of the long ball.
The Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network is already getting some heavy hype with its micro-judged home run chase spot. And during the games yes carnival barkers, er, voices have made the audience aware of what’s going on. This is to be expected. And with hardcore Bombers loyalists already tuning in to Yes in large numbers on a regular basis, the judge’s HR chase from Al Yankeesira won’t expand much of the audience.
So MLB needs to find ways to expand its national reach to judge. Baseball must go far beyond relying on its own network (MLBN) to broadcast live cut-ins of judges at-bats. People tuned into MLBN are watching most nights anyway. To increase viewership, MLB must “encourage” its national linear TV partners (Fox, ESPN, Turner) to broadcast as many Yankee games as possible in August and September.
Manfred wouldn’t try to hide the judge’s HR discovery by selling more Yankee games to streaming services like Amazon Prime, Apple TV or Peacock, would he? Will he really put the money to further the game? are you laughing yet?
Nevertheless, if necessary, MLB and its national Linear TV partners must waive the maximum attendance rule in their contracts to allow the Bonus Bombers game to be broadcast. Imagine the size of the audience if the judge tied Maris and the game was broadcast to a national audience on the final day of the Yankees season? All of these outlets “event” the TVs you crave. Judges trying to break Maris’ record with the end of the season fit into that category.
Chronicling Judge will also provide some much-needed power going into October. On the Yankees’ path to become a playoff participant, Judge’s story will continue. It should provide some rating speed for the game that needs it.
The other story, filtering through the judge’s HR escape, is the slugger’s contractual status. In April, the judge turned down a seven-year, $230 million contract extension. He gambled on himself and has won the bet so far. That part of the plot brings a human element to the story.
Seven years ago, Manfred said that the judge was a player who “could become the face of the game.”
Now Judges can do that with the help of MLB’s TV partners.
There is something to be said for patience.
The YES crew could use something on Wednesday afternoon after the exception of a third-strike call by home plate umpire CB Buckner (Mariners-Yankees). The call was highly debatable. Yes analyst Paul O’Neill pointed out that. Well.
If that wasn’t enough, yes the cameras were pinned on Buckner’s close-up. This unnecessary shot was the equivalent of rubbing it, leaving Buckner looking bad. Well that was enough, wasn’t it? Not at all Rather than go ahead and put away the figurative salt shaker, Yes decided it was a hilarious idea to put something else on the wound.
Arguing with Buckner, the crew goes back to their archives for a video of O’Neill (aka The Hidden Analyst) from his playing days. O’Neill started running for the dugout but nearly pulled a face, scrambling back to home plate. He hit Buckner in the face before he was out of the game. If yes’s mission was to “kill” the umpire, then it was successful.
cole hard answer
At least yes didn’t blame Buckner for all three, first innings Home run Gerrit Cole abandoned on Wednesday,
That Cole was able to last six innings against Seattle, giving Michael Kay and O’Neill time to attempt a thorough autopsy on the six runs Cole had stumbled upon.
Yet it wasn’t until the postgame show, when yes cashed in. Interviews between Cole and journalists covering the game revealed the high-priced ace to be an oppressed spirit who was looking for answers. The long Q&A was one of the best we’ve seen at a time when these sessions have become routine, hollow, nothing-for-nothing affairs.
Yes Studios analyst Jack Curry paused Cole’s interview, bringing the moment even more reality when he said: “He [interview] Was more like a therapy session.”
Garrett stands out
Of all the great names hired to work on NFL telecasts, Jason Garrett didn’t really rank high on the TV food chain.
Yet his work on NBC’s USFL broadcast (he was a game analyst) was much better than that of the average rookie broadcaster. And his debut as a studio analyst on the Hall of Fame edition of “Football Night in America” provided evidence that former Cowboys coach Garrett has the chops to shine. Let us tell you that Garrett did not ask us to return Drew Brees.
Garrett’s energy, enthusiasm, and credibility take off the screen—naturally. There’s no fictional personality or look-at-me shtick. He is a storyteller, who came at least on Thursday evenings to tell interesting stories. On “FNIA” he worked in a crowded house including Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jack Collinsworth, Chris Sims and Matthew Berry, but still managed to stand out.
Keep an eye on this man.
around the dial
After a recent verbal spat with his colleague Keith McPherson, WFAN’s year of Licata is feeling strong. On Tuesday, on The Morning Show, Norman J. Filling in for Asiason, Licata was upset, screaming because the Mets had yet to set a trade deadline. “Wait till tomorrow,” said Licata ominously. “We’ll pound them even more if they don’t take a step.” Yes, we’re sure Billy Appler and the entire Mets baseball operations department were trembling in their shoes. … Sometimes it is worth thinking about where VOS gasbags bring their questions. Last week at Jets camp, ESPN-98.7’s Peter Rosenberg asked Jets GM Joe Douglas: “Can you grade yourself from year to year?” huh? Guess Rosenberg thinks Douglas has plenty of free time. … It seemed that Craig Carton of FAN was absolutely thrilled to tell Brian Cashman that Suzanne Waldman’s induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in November is a “great lifetime achievement.”
Dude of the Week: Joy Gallo
He had a rough road to the plate and was constantly attacked by people seeking to deport him from the Bronx. Yet the new Dodgers outfielder never went off the deep end or fired back angrily. Or as Yankees radio voice Suzanne Waldman put it, Gallo was “always accountable, always working and never complaining.”
Weekend: MIKE RIZZO
The Washington GM seems to find that nutty fans are easily distracted by shiny objects. Why would he wear his World Series ring to a press conference explaining why he tackled Juan Soto from San Diego? Ring “ceremony” mixed with Rizzo’s healthy ego. “I wore this ring on purpose, right?” Rizzo said. “It shows what we’ve done and what we’re going to do in the future.” Ok?
what Kyle Higashioka Said: “I think we” [me and Gerrit Cole] correspond to each other.”
what Kyle Higashioka Meant to say: “I wish I could read Gerrit’s mind.”