Monday, May 5, 2008

A Necessary Evil

In Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes's blog, teammate and guest blogger Morgan Ensberg writes that "TV contracts are a really big deal in baseball" and that waiting for the television commercial breaks to end "drives all of us crazy."  Well, yeah, the TV contracts are a really big deal.  The players may hate to stand around and wait for the commercial breaks, but those breaks serve several purposes.  Broadcasting the games allows fans all over the country to watch their favorite teams play and helps increase the overall fan base of Major League Baseball, which generates large dollars for the teams.  Not only do the commercials pay for the airing of the games that Ensberg and his fellow big leaguers play, but it gives fans at home -- assuming they don't have a TiVo or other such recording device -- a chance to run to the bathroom and get snacks between innings.  Fans at the stadium have time to do the same things.  The breaks also help the people working in the TV trucks update the graphics and edit the replay packages that enhance the viewers' enjoyment of the game.  While it may seem agonizing for the players, a lot is happening during those ninety seconds.  And what's a couple of minutes to guys playing a three- to four-hour game?  Besides, they're millionaires, so they should just deal with it.

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