Certainly the timing fits. The overall aim, right as the baseball offseason was about to be upon us, seemed pretty clear. It definitely feels like there’s a reason the San Diego Padres taking out a $50 million loan during the 2023 season came to all of us at this point in time.
What The Athletic’s article glosses over, or doesn’t mention at all, is that the Padres were one of the teams that had its Bally TV deal collapse and have to be taken over by MLB. That was worth $60 million a year. It’s obviously not that simple, but certainly plays into the Padres’ books heavily.
Evan Drellich, Ken Rosenthal, and Dennis Lin are very good reporters, but it doesn’t past the smell test that MLB sources wanted this out there now. This is usually behind-the-curtain stuff, and the Padres aren’t the first to ever have to tap into a line of credit, or need to dip into the owner’s personal accounts. Yet this one is getting bull-horned into the baseball consciousness. The Padres have been the object of a lot of MLB’s ire, given that they’re a small-market team that spends like a big market one. And they’re making all the others look bad.
It’s piling on, as the Padres didn’t make the playoffs and those small-market teams got what they wanted, which was a show horse to display to their fans that spending money doesn’t equal success. Combine that with the frugal Rays, Orioles and Brewers making the playoffs, and that would seem to be enough for other owners to be insulated from the Padres’ ways. But it’s never enough.
It’s not the same free-agent class this upcoming winter as it was last. Shohei Ohtani is out ther, and the Padres very own Juan Soto will be available by trade, first for his last arbitration year that will pay him in the neighborhood of $30 million and then an extension that could crack $500 million in total. Ohtani and Soto may end up with the two richest contracts in baseball history, and it seems that some unnamed sources are trying to justify beforehand why only a few teams can offer them, if any.
Poor scheduling doomed World Series ratings
It is official that it was the least watched World Series in history, which shouldn’t matter to any baseball fan, because it’s not like any of them are paying for advertising time. Either you watched it and enjoyed it, or you didn’t, and however many others did is of no concern.
MLB didn’t really give it much of a chance, as this was the first Series to start on a Friday and Saturday night, the two worst nights on the calendar to do such a thing. Without putting it in the traditional Tuesday-Wednesday start, MLB didn’t give the Series any chance to become entrenched in the sporting scene. More people are likely to be sitting around doing nothing in the middle of the week and midweek it would also only compete with early season NBA and NHL games instead of college football and people’s usual weekend plans (which was also Halloween weekend when more people than usual probably had parties to attend).
The MLB clearly wanted to do everything it could to avoid going up against the NFL, but under a normal schedule only Game 5 would go up against football. And Game 5 is either the swing game or when a team has a chance to clinch. Yet another genius decision from Rob Manfred.
Original source here
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