Monday, March 21, 2011

The Giants Plan for fighting East Coast Bias

Major League Baseball is dominated by teams on the East Coast more than any other sport. This is something that shouldn't be surprising, as the topic of East Cost Bias is pretty prevalent in the blogosphere and also in the regular media.

The Giants are working hard to try to overcome this obstacle and it also appears to be something that is on MLB's agenda, too.

The Giants are going to be the feature of a documentary for Showtime, which I'm sure that you have heard about. It's been pretty big news. One of the things that most people may not have heard is other teams besides the Giants were considered for the spot.

According to Bill Nuekom, some other big market teams also expressed interest in having the show feature their teams. This is really a no brainer, as any team that wants to try to expand their tentacles outside of their little region should be open to the national exposure that this would bring. What is surprising is that MLB specifically chose the Giants over some of these big rating teams on the East Coast.

MLB, who had the final say in this thing, decided to go with the defending champion Giants and I think it was probably the right choice for baseball, even discounting my own feelings of wanting to see the Giants become the powerhouse team of the West Coast.

The Giants have a young, marketable team that should create good story lines and allow fans to connect to the personalities on this team. Brian Wilson is made for TV and is ready to be a rock star, Tim Lincecum is "The Freak" and the face of the franchise. Finally, there is Buster Posey, who is the perfect All-American boy to connect to middle America. This doesn't even touch on the cast of supporting characters that Giants fans know and love that America will, too.

It is past time for MLB to try to do some proactive action to expand the limelight outside of the Acela Express corridor. It's in the best interests of baseball to expand the number of teams that reach a national audience. The recent trend of low ratings for teams not from New York, Boston, or Philadelphia can only be reversed when teams outside of these cities get play, too.

Right now, baseball is in a viscous catch-22 where only the big teams get ratings and, therefore, only teams that draw ratings get national attention. This is the first step in breaking this cycle and hopefully the beginning of the end of the worst of the "East Coast Bias."

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