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Great Moments in Cognitive Dissonance: big market/small market edition

Oct 10, 2011, 3:09 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun celebrates his 2 RBIs against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 5th inning of Game 1 in the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg on September 28th, talking about the “Moneyball” movie:

Bottom line is small market teams can’t win consistently, no matter how many numbers they crunch. The deck is stacked against them by the most important numbers in baseball — the size of a team’s payroll.

Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg this morning, talking about the playoffs:

No Yankees. No Red Sox. No Phillies, either, with what was supposed to be the best postseason rotation ever.

Too bad, because they were teams you could cheer for. They were also teams most of us love to cheer against.

Instead, baseball’s flirtation with parity gives us Milwaukee and St. Louis in a rematch of the 1982 World Series remembered by no one outside those two cities. And, instead of the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League, we get Detroit against Texas in what, at least on a rainy opening night Saturday, was a very tough matchup to sit through … The problem is, baseball isn’t winning. Outside of its core cities the game struggles to find a national audience. And, with the biggest cities out, that struggle gets even harder.

The common thread if you read the entirety of both of those columns, plus most other stuff Dahlberg writes: he just really doesn’t like baseball very much and, increasingly, doesn’t seem to understand it at all.

  1. skipperxc - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    So basically what he’s saying is, “I only care about big market teams and if they don’t win it’s bad for the league.”

    To him I say: good riddance.

  2. meteor32 - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    He’s right. How is baseball supposed to sell mid-market stars like Albert Pujols, Ryan Bruan, Prince Fielder, Miquel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton, and Justin Verlander?

  3. 4d3fect - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Old Hoss Radbourn tweeted it and I stand by it:

    If you see a comment with the words “play offs” and “ratings” please assume ignorance and ask the commenter to return to NFL watching.

  4. cur68 - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Even if I wasn’t so bloated on thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings I don’t think I’d give a crap about what that guy thought. I’m loving this post season; it seems that my enjoyment of baseball had nothing to do with the Phillys, Yankees or Red Sox. Or even my rooting interest, the Toronto Beaver Lovers. I wish all the games were at least 7; this way I’d get more baseball. I am not unique either. Which is great.

    • b7p19 - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      Anyone that celebrates Thanksgiving in October is plenty unique! Or Canadian, I suppose.

  5. halladaybicepts - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Is Tim Dahlberg on crack? The Phillies are still in the playoffs and will win the World Series.
    I am sick of the media hype saying the Phillies lost in the NLDS.

    • lukeslice - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      Hey Halladay’s Useless Arm Muscle…I thumbs upped this one for the record…I like the false optimism. Yankees Phillies World Series or busy baby!!!

    • nocryinginbaseball07 - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

      Awesome post, HD! I didn’t think anything could make me feel better, but that actually did. For a minute.

      • nocryinginbaseball07 - Oct 10, 2011 at 6:12 PM

        That was HB. EDIT FUNCTION!

      • halladaybicepts - Oct 10, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        Ha… a fake HB account got more thumbs up than the real one ever has.

        Real HB, see how far it goes not to just trash people for their opinion, regardless how much you disagree..

  6. mvp43 - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I love the the fact that Milwaukee and St Louis are still playing!……….that’s why I’m still watching. I really have no problem with NY, Boston or any other big market team, but its nice to see something different once and awhile.

    • crpls - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      Yeah, the Cardinals almost never see the playoffs. One day they might win a World Series… or at least make an NLCS!

  7. jwbiii - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    To quote from a post you wrote a few weeks ago:

    “[H]ere are the potential state-of-the-game storylines we can expect to see in the coming weeks:

    If the Yankees face the Phillies in the World Series baseball is broken because the big payroll teams are just buying championships; and
    If some combination of the Diamondbacks, Brewers, Rays or Rangers make the World Series, the low TV ratings such matchups will create will be proof that baseball is truly dead”

    So Dahlberg has written both Expected Column A and Expected Column B. Nicely done, sir!

  8. scatterbrian - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    I remember the 1982 World Series, and I was living in northern California. And I was 9. I remember it because I love baseball, and I particularly love the baseball playoffs. I’ll watch whether my team is still in it or not, or after teams that I think are supposed to win are knocked out. I don’t care if there are marketable stars involved–every team has several players worth watching, especially on the big stage.

    • Lukehart80 - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Well said. Cardinals’ fans might only remember World Series that included the Cardinals, just like Yankees’ fans might only remember World Series that included the Yankees.

      But baseball fans, even if they have a particular team that they root for, will remember all the World Series that included baseball teams.

    • El Bravo - Oct 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      F@ckin’ A right.

    • mgflolox - Oct 11, 2011 at 12:56 AM

      Yeah, who’d remember a WS between a bunch of nobodies like Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Ted Simmons and Gorman Thomas vs, scrubs like Keith Hernandez, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Lonnie Smith and George Hendrick. Totally unwatchable, if you ask me.

  9. offseasonblues - Oct 10, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Clearly Dahlberg doesn’t understand baseball. It’s passed person to person, not via Big Market media campaigns, or catchy songs on Sunday / Monday night.

    The ’82 Series isn’t one I remember well, but the ’79 Series is. I had a long drive on October 5th. I was bummed that the Red Sox weren’t playing, but at least I found a game on the radio. As I listened I was totally transported by the play by play of Blyleven’s performance and thought about my father who taught me how to score as soon as I could read. He passed away early the next morning, but he left behind a baseball fan. I believe I’ve infected my kids, and when the time comes, their kids will be indoctrinated. Screw football.

    —————-

    Go Brewers!

  10. brucewaynewins - Oct 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Personally I feel a good mixture is some major markets, good baseball markets, and its always good to have a small market or two. Cinderella stories make for good ratings and media coverage as do markets with more households. I don’t think you really want all big markets or all small markets.

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