In a world with the NFL dominating television ratings and the NBA crushing social media numbers, Major League Baseball is trying to find it’s place. The progress that is currently happening might be considered slow, but there is an attempt. Still, nationally, the sport is struggling to garner large swaths of support. This week’s accomplishments by Shohei Ohtani are a clear indicator of how far MLB has to go.
Ohtani struck out a career-high thirteen batters on Wednesday night in a 5-0 win by the Angels against the Kansas City Royals. That followed a performance on Tuesday in which the man drove in eight batters. Wild, right? That’s what Mark Willard and Dan Dibley of Willard and Dibs on 95.7 The Game thought and wondered why it hasn’t been a bigger deal.
Willard asked who is to blame. “Is that a Major League Baseball problem? Is it because baseball doesn’t showcase their players? Or is it a baseball problem that people don’t care about baseball anymore?
Dibley chimed in with a shot at the league and it’s social and marketing arms.
“It’s all the above. I put the majority of the blame on Major League Baseball because it is so hard as a fan to share their content. If you were to capture the video of one of his great outings and you tweet it out or put it on your social media, MLB shuts you down… They want to be bale to share it, use it own their way. But MLB, ‘without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball’ and all that malarkey. As a result from a marketing standpoint, they’re god awful.
Dibley asked the listener to think about it in terms of an NFL performace.
“Patrick Mahomes goes out and he’s 27/35, 412 yards and 4 TDs… and he had 12 tackles and a pick-six and a forced fumble. I mean, what? Our minds would be blown right?
Willard then said he think that the sport and the viewers’ attention span are at odds.
“I think part of it too, baseball is out of step with the pace of our lives now,” Willard said. “Baseball is like a novel that takes a long time to unfold… people are like ‘give me something that matters now’. That’s just how we are geared right now.”
That could be a problem, but Dibley said things could change if MLB seized this opportunity for attention like they did once before.
“If MLB treated Shohei Ohtani’s sporting life like they did the Barry Bonds home run chase, where Barry Bonds is coming up to bat, we are going to go live to Barry Bonds in the on-deck circle, he’s swinging a donut… Shohei Ohtani should have that treatment.”
I should always know when he’s batting,” continued Dibley. “When he’s pitching, how long it’ll be until that happens, where can I go to watch it live. If you didn’t follow the Angels and if you don’t follow baseball, you weren’t aware that Ohtani was going to pitch the day after he had eight runs batted in.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”
ESPNU, SiriusXM End Partnership, Channel 84 Rebrands as SiriusXM College Sports Radio
“Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed.”
SiriusXM still has a college sports radio station on its platform. It’s just called something different now.
A report from Cord Cutters News confirmed that ESPNU and SiriusXM have ended their partnership. Channel 84, which used to be known as SiriusXM ESPNU Radio, is now known as SiriusXM College Sports Radio.
ESPNU had been with the satellite radio provider since 2017. The channel itself, which has been on the Sirius lineup since 2010, was called SiriusXM College Sports Nation when it first launched.
Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed. Listeners can still tune in to hear hosts like Danny Kanell, Dusty Dvoracek, Rick Neuheisel and EJ Manuel, as well as live college sports play-by-play broadcasts.
The move doesn’t end ESPN’s partnership with Sirius. Cord Cutters noted that College GameDay will still be fully simulcasted on channel 81, which is ESPN Xtra.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.