For many, summer means vacations and relaxation. But for sports fans, summer means baseball season. Amidst the crashing waves and the squawking seagulls, you can hear the crackling radios tuned in to the game.
But this summer, don’t forget your smartphone or tablet. And make sure there’s good WiFi at the beach. You might need it if you want to catch the game.
Tony Petitti, the MLB’s deputy commissioner of business and media, says “it is a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans, who will enjoy a uniquely interactive experience”.
The deal is certainly a major change for Major League Baseball. It follows in the footsteps of what the NFL is doing with Yahoo, and reflects both leagues’ unrelenting persistence to bring their sport to new heights.
However, fans are not exactly pleased with this new development.
MLB on to Facebook Live is the worst thing to ever happen in baseball
— Ryan (@RyanGluck15) April 4, 2018
An MLB game is on Facebook, before the DH is in both leagues. #priorities
— Marc Farzetta (@MarcFarzetta) April 4, 2018
Players, on the other hand, aren’t as opposed to the idea. “It’s an opportunity to provide the game to everybody,” Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond said. “That’s what we’re trying to do — expand the game and make it more diverse. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred has taken a lot of heat for his approach to modernizing the game. The Facebook deal is being met with the same level of criticism. But is it warranted?
Some may contend that this is just another instance of baseball being behind the times. After all, with its latest privacy scandal, Facebook appears to be on the downturn. Maybe the MLB is late to the party.
It can also be argued that people who are angered by this fit the typical baseball fan stereotype — rooted in tradition, resistant to any changes to their precious pastime.
But, as Petitti and Desmond say, maybe this is another step in the right direction. A creative way to expand into a whole new market of fans.
In America, we have privileges that many do not. Under Manfred, the MLB’s goal is to expand across the world. Facebook is free. Cable is not.
How do you feel about all of this? Comment below.
The Underdog Newsletter
A bite-sized rundown of the best underdog stories in sports — yeah, just the good stuff handpicked and delivered every Tuesday.Subscribe