Scott Boras, the most powerful agent in baseball, conducts press briefings at both the General Managers and Winter Meetings. Boras entertains questions not only about his clients, but about the state of baseball.
Besides promoting his clients at this week’s meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, Boras claimed that the pitch clock was to blame for pitchers’ injuries and that the World Series should he played at a neutral site.
Boras has suggested the neutral site World Series several times over the years, and it’s a perfectly awful suggestion.
One of the beauties of the World Series is that it’s played in front of large partisan crowds.
This year, for the first time, it was played in two climate-controlled stadiums, Globe Life Field in Arlington Texas and Arizona’s Chase Field, eliminating foul weather as an issue.
In 2020, because of the pandemic, the World Series was played at the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, and it produced record low television ratings. Of course, this year’s ratings were even lower.
Boras envisions a weeklong baseball carnival at a neutral site, just like the Super Bowl.
I can’t see a World Series at a warm-weather site like Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego or Arlington attracting increased attention.
It would be difficult and expensive for fans of the participating teams to arrange a weeklong stay at the World Series on short notice.
For the Super Bowl, the participating teams each receive 17.5 percent of the tickets, the host team retains 5 percent, the NFL distributes about 25 percent and the remainder are allocated to the other 29 NFL teams.
If the Ravens are fortunate enough to play in February’s Super Bowl, they’d receive about 11,500 tickets to distribute to their season-ticket holders.
Even with two weeks’ notice, a trip to Las Vegas is out of reach for many fans. The tickets with list prices of between $700-$1200 will fetch much more on resale sites.
If the Rangers and Diamondbacks qualified for a World Series to be played in Miami, do you think many fans would be able to attend on a few days’ notice?
Part of the reward of being a fan is the chance to buy World Series tickets for your home ballpark, and it’s more fun watching large crowds instead of ones that aren’t likely to be loud. World Series tickets aren’t cheap, but it’s much cheaper than attending a Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is a great event, but many of the fans attending aren’t rooting for one of the teams and there’s not a home-field advantage.
It’s more of a corporate crowd than a partisan one.
Teams play the entire season to get the best record and get the home game for a possible Game 7.
Besides eliminating weather as an issue there is one advantage, and that’s the possibility of playing seven games in seven days.
In the 1940s and 1950s, World Series were often played without a travel day. If the Yankees played the Dodgers or Giants, or Phillies, there wasn’t the need for days for travel, and teams played without the built-in travel days.
That went away for the 1957 World Series when the Yankees played the Milwaukee Braves and even with the 2000 Series between the Yankees and Mets, there were offdays in the schedule.
It would be exciting to see managers let their starting pitchers throw longer because relievers aren’t going to pitch more than three days in a row. These days, backup catchers rarely play in a postseason series, and it would be a true test of teams’ depths.
Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions next week. Please email yours to: [email protected].