Why did ESPN decide it was time to start televising the MLB draft? Who thought that was a good idea? I know they’re only televising the first round, but isn’t one round too many rounds? Baseball is great, and it’s even fun to watch sometimes. But I don’t think this is one of those times.
The appeal of televising the drafts of the two other major sports, the NFL and the NBA, is that there are players being drafted that regular sports fans have heard of from the college game. Those drafts also involve players we’ll see playing with our teams in the coming season. Well, those obvious reasons and the added bonus of seeing the draftees sitting at home in front of the television as their extended family goes crazy when their name is called at the end of the first round. The MLB draft has none of these draws.
Scouting high school baseball is definitely regarded as a “soft science” in the world of sports because there are no hard and fast statistics to go by. These guys could end up being studs like A-Rod or Junior Griffey, but more likely they’re going to be the next Clint Everts or Colt Griffin. Who? Exactly. Even if you draft a guy from the college ranks, it’s going to be two or three years before he’s able to contribute part time to the MLB franchise. It’s a crap shoot. The real work in professional baseball happens at the farm teams, not at the draft table.
I imagine the draft is going to be about as exciting to watch as a competitive knitting tournament. The biggest difference being that at the end of a knitting competition, at least you know what you’ve got…a pair of mittens, a muffler, something warm and woolly. At the end of the MLB draft you really have no idea of what you have. You could have the next Joe Mauer, or you could have an AA-League lifer. I’m sorry, but like most Americans, I want my gratification to be more instant.
Oh, by the way…did you know the draft lasts something like 50 rounds!? Fortunately, ESPN2 will only follow the first round. Still, I think the airwaves would be better suited with an American Gladiators reunion or something cool that everyone can appreciate. I’m open to suggestions though.