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Major League Baseball needs to shift the All-Star week schedule

Jul 13, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT

Futures Game

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — As I write this, it’s just about 4PM Eastern time on Sunday afternoon. There are 10 Major League Baseball games going on and four more will start within the next 10-15 minutes. Also, and you may have heard about this, the World Cup Final is going on. It’s tied 0-0 at the half at the moment and it’s totally dominating my Twitter feed and the consciousness of, oh, a billion or two people.

Also happening: batting practice for the Futures Game, which will get going in less than an hour. Tell me: how many sports fans plan on tuning in to the Futures Game?

I can’t imagine many, which is a damn shame. The Futures Game is one of the more overlooked events in all of baseball. We spend so much time talking about prospects, obsessing about prospects and, if the team we root for is not on the path to a championship, placing an inordinate amount of our hopes and dreams on the shoulders of these prospects. Yet, when 50 of the best young players in the world come together to play an all-star game, it’s almost an afterthought.

Can anyone explain to me why Major League Baseball doesn’t do something about this? Such as moving the Futures Game to Monday night and getting rid of the Home Run Derby? Or, if the Home Run Derby is too much to lose from a financial perspective, shifting everything forward a day, with the Futures Game on Monday, the Home Run Derby on Tuesday and the All-Star Game on Wednesday? Heck, if we were to do that more pitchers could take part in it due to the extra day of rest. Plus: we won’t have the utterly and totally dead baseball night on Wednesday.

As it is: Target Field is not going to be full for the Futures Game. Just as Citi Field was not full for it last year. While I presume the ratings will be good for an MLB Network broadcast, serious baseball fans will be watching their local team’s broadcast, not this. Certainly nowhere near as many as would be watching it if it had prime time exposure and no competition from regular season big league games and the biggest sporting event on the planet.

MLB has done so much in the past decade or so to improve on its marketing and promotion. Why they haven’t done anything to rescue the Futures Game from obscurity is beyond me.

  1. dodgerfan333 - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Who cares about the Futures game. Just because your not a soccer fan does not mean millions of other people are. Sorry. But at least it is not the All Star game

    • Drew Silva - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      I think you may have missed the point.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        Drew, Dodgerfan missed the point by at least 60 feet, 6 inches, and also misspelled you’re and erred on punctuation. I’ll be generous and give the reply a D-.

      • infieldhit - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        At least he apologized in advance.

      • shadowcell - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:37 PM

        Yeah, but Angel Hernandez still called it a strike.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        I think every Sunday game at the start of All-Star week should be a 1 PM local time start. MLB could do the futures game Sunday night without conflict.

        Even better, have the break start on Saturday, so the big show could be a Sunday night game.

    • kevinsterne - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      your? try you are. buffoon

      • sophiethegreatdane - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        Says the guy who didn’t use capitals. That’s a rule too, ya know.
        :)

      • kevinsterne - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        Touché

  2. bmfc1 - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    100% correct. This is a showcase game and MLB buries it… against MLB games! Move it to Monday.

    • clydeserra - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      or wednesday

  3. ripdipbob - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Bud Selig has killed baseball…it’s become a regional sport!! Summer sucks because no football nor basketball. Baseball has become what hockey is

    • DJ MC - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      It’s not a regional sport because of Selig, but his commissionership has done absolutely nothing to help that problem.

    • renaado - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:08 AM

      Killed Baseball? You do realize Selig created the WBC? He made Baseball known to other countries which are still unknown to em… And you say he killed the sport? I don’t know the situation of MLB there… But telling he killed Baseball ( which isn’t) is clearly a story you just made up.

  4. Marc - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Agreed sir. I’m going to be watching the futures game right along side of you, but there won’t be enough of us.

    • theuncletodd - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      I’ll be watching also because I have a couple of ‘horses’ in this game, especially Lindor at SS–Assdribble’s days are numbered, I just have to see how soon ;)

  5. bronco58lb - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    The best part of the Futures Game, is seeing all the scout wannabes, aka nerds, have a collective circle jerk on Twitter.

    • infieldhit - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      I know right? They all wish they could be cool like you are in this online comment section, bronco58lb!

  6. pyleketerson - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Great point, Craig. Agreed.

  7. sportsfan18 - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Come on Roger… er Bud.

    Maybe Bud’s waiting on King Goodell to make a proclamation with respect to this.

    Rog, while you’re at it, please decided something about the A’s and Santa Clara too since Bud hasn’t found time in the decade or so to even contemplate this…

  8. sisisisisisisi - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    The U.S. will switch to the metric system before MLB will switch the Futures Game to a different date.

    The year 2100…Mike Trout VI just hit a 400-meter home run out of the ballyard….

    • sisisisisisisi - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Mario Götze just scored a goal in extra time. Germany may be the 1st non-South American team to win in the World Cup in the Americas.

      • sisisisisisisi - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Brazil is the only non-European to win the World Cup in Europe, they did it in 1958 in Sweden.

      • infieldhit - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        PST.

    • blacksables - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      If he has to hit it 1300 feet to get it out of the park, I think the PED debate will be revived.

      • gloccamorra - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        This is why I’m opposed to the Metternich system. Think of the conversion madness:

        **It’s a game of 25.4 millimetres. (Euro spelling)
        **Give them 25.4 millimetres and they’ll take 1.609 kilmetres.
        **28.35 grams of prevention = 453.59 grams of cure.

        Then there’s the Metternich terminology:

        ** two monologues = one dialogue.
        ** ten cards = a deca cards
        **2000 mockingbird = 2 kilo mockingbird

  9. DJ MC - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    I think there are two ways that MLB could take the Futures Game from a “hidden” event to something more.

    1) If they want to keep it on Sunday, make it the Sunday Night game. All the other games are done, prime time, and a time when a lot of people are already planning on watching baseball. Do the full ESPN production and everything. Offers exposure to the players and gives them a real taste of the bigs.

    2) If they want to keep the Sunday Night game, move it to Monday afternoon. Make it part of day-long festivities by holding it at 4:00, culminating in the Home Run Derby in prime time. It doesn’t have the same exposure as it would on Sunday night, but it would get some extra attention by being packaged with the Derby.

    • infieldhit - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      I wonder if MLB is adamant about the ASG being on Tuesdays for any reason but tradition.

      The NHL and NBA have their ASG on Sundays, and skills competition and rookie games on Saturdays. I’m guessing ESPN would complain about having one less Sunday night game. But for MLB, there’s no weekend competition during the summer, and having the ASG at a reasonable hour would mean more people could see the ending.

      • infieldhit - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        On second thought, all MLB teams play on the weekend, which doesn’t apply to the NBA/NHL. So a weekend ASG could mean less revenue for teams.

        Monday Futures game, Tuesday derby, Wed all-star game, Thu off?

      • gloccamorra - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        The Futures Games IS on Sunday night and there’s also a Sunday night game of the week going on simultaneously! Craig is right: Futures game Monday while ASG players get a travel day off, HR derby Tuesday, ASG Wednesday, “expert analysis” and recap Thursday while ASG players get a travel day off, and the lucrative weekend games are still left to local teams.

    • theuncletodd - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      Stop it…that makes too much sense for MLB to handle

  10. chucklewis13 - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Major League baseball hasn’t done anything about making the Futures Game more viewable is because it makes too much sense. MLB is always reacting as opposed to being proactive. PEDs were running rampart in MLB for years before finally Selig decided to get finally get his Chick Little head out of the sand and try to clean up a mess that gone unchecked for years. That’s my story and I am sticking too it!!!!

  11. vanmorrissey - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Home Run Derby is just a bloated commercialization since networks jack as much advertising as they can into live sporting events since that’s the last place viewer’s will sit through with no way of fast forwarding through to the end if watching live. Futures game so much more attractive watching best of the best prospects than that fiasco, sorry. This year adding Puig, Trout, Stanton might keep me awake but the boring time between swings almost cancels that out. I’ll just DVR hr derby and watch something else.

  12. rbts2014 - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    This post is mostly moot — there is this thing called a DVR that lots of people have. that’s what I do with the futures game, especially today when I can watch the Dodgers game live and then watch the futures game sometime over the all-star break, usually on monday evenings since the home run derby has become boring.

    what MLB could easily do is add the game archive to the MLB.TV game list for Sunday so it can be watched in the archives for those that don’t have DVR’s but have MLB.TV subscriptions. I always see a watch live link on the MLB.com site, but I never find where an archive link is if I want to revisit the game in the winter.

  13. xxakshunxx - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Rather watch a home run derby, with players I’ve invested time watching the past couple years, over a futures game with players who may or may not ever even amount to anything

  14. yahmule - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    The idea that Bud Selig is even consulted about decisions like this is risible.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Risible, gotta admit I had to look that one up as I’ve never heard it before. I plan on adding it to by brain but gotta say I don’t think many people will know what the heck Im talking about if I use it.

  15. bobsnygiants - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    they can’t get anything right

  16. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    As a pretty big baseball fan I admit to not even knowing the futures game is tonight. Know why? Unless you watch MLB network all the time you wont know. Until they get some advertising on other channels lots of fans who dont watch MLB network all day wont know. Keep in mind during the nationl games on Saturdays if my Brewers arent involved I dont watch them since they generally overlap with the local broadcast so I dont know if they do advertise on the Fox networks.

  17. natstowngreg - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Um Craig, the consciousness 1-2 billion? Try 6-7 billion. Being in one of the very few pockets of the world where the World Cup Final was NOT the most important sporting event, perhaps you underestimated it just a little.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:31 PM

      You make it sound like he’s disparaging the event. I don’t think he is, he just got a number wrong.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        Not at all. We Americans just tend not to understand how big the World Cup is.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        I see. Carry on then sir!

    • gloccamorra - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      Craig’s number of adults in countries rich enough to care about team sports is more accurate than your estimate of 83% to 97% of the planet’s population. A quarter of the world’s 7.25 billion population is 0-15 years old, and one third of the world is in such poverty that they don’t give a rat’s poontang about the World Cup, or soccer/football in general. Several populations don’t even understand the concept of nationhood (Somalia), or reject it in favor of Stone Age tribal loyalties (Afghanistan, Pakistan, too many others).

      • JB (the original) - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        At the same time, Ghana, broke as they are, actually went out of their way to purchase extra electricity for their country for the sole purpose of their citizens to be able to watch the matches

        http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/ghana-buys-electricity-ivory-coast-tvs-running-world/story?id=24160866

      • JB (the original) - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:55 PM

        Also, you don’t think kids think about team sports until they are older than 15?

      • JB (the original) - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:58 PM

        For the record, I live in Minneapolis, but am in Rio for the Cup—and it was way bigger, and I mean WAY bigger, than anything I’ve ever seen, including the Super Bowl.

  18. hojo20 - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    80 degrees on a summer day. What kind of nut would waste it inside watching minor league players?

  19. corky2141 - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Why not get rid of the Sunday night prime time game, have all MLB games be afternoon stars, and put the futures game on Sunday night? Gives the game exposure and let’s all the players get away to wherever they may go Sunday night

  20. peopletrains - Jul 14, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Went to the Futures game today. Impressive stuff. Of course the derby is more popular. People don’t respect or enjoy the nuances of the game and need HRs shoved in their face to maintain their attention.

  21. stairwayto7 - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Here is my idea for years now. Last game is on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are make up games for rain outs, Saturday Furtures game then HR Derby, Sunday is All-Star game! Then if you were selected to be a SP you can still play in it. So easy it wont happen!

  22. stevietimmy - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    A glorified minor league game? “Is Baseball Dying?” may be a bit extreme, but let’s not go overboard in the other direction. The All-Star Game’s TV ratings have already been dropping the last few years and now you think the Futures Game in prime time would garner interest? Maybe on a blogger’s chat forum it would, but certainly not on prime time national television.

  23. J. Robert Hanson - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    “Can anyone explain to me why Major League Baseball doesn’t do something about this?”

    Simple math. Not enough people care so the advertising $$ is not there.

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