Red Sox President and CEO, Sam Kennedy, is blaming the drop in Red Sox viewership over the past couple of seasons on the MLB’s pace of play issues.
“People don’t want to get home at 11:30 or midnight. They have to work the next day. We understand that. We’d like a crisp, faster game. We’d like every game to be started by Chris Sale. You get an amazing product.” –Sam Kennedy in a WEEI interview
First of all Sam, way to throw the majority of your starting rotation under the bus. Second of all, pace of play is not the reason behind people turning off the Red Sox. Under the current ownership, Red Sox fans continue to be fed spoonful’s of garbage. Overpaying for Pablo Sandoval and then telling us he is only 17% body fat is going to make fans angry. Especially Boston fans, lies make us furious. Firing Don Orsillo, a beloved color commentator because ownership thought he was to blame for the dip in views, is going to upset fans. Back to back last place finishes, then mustering out only one playoff win does not make fans happy. Lowballing Jon Lester, trading him away, and then getting angry because he did not resign is not pace of play’s fault.
Constantly changing the team strategy does not make fans feel confident in their team. Trading in clubhouse guys for big money players who do not want to play here upsets fans. Being concerned primarily with making the most money instead of assembling the best baseball team hurts fans. I am not saying the Red Sox need to win the World Series every year or we will not watch. Instead, I am saying when you see fans are mad, address the problem instead of finding the nearest scapegoat.
Fans who go to see a 7:00 PM night game plan on staying until 11:30 or midnight. That is what fans go to see. They want to see the Red Sox play, it does not matter how long the game takes. MLB trying to lure new fans in by changing the pace of play rules does nothing but hurt the game. It only alienates the fans who are loyal to the sport. People who do not like baseball will not suddenly turn around and watch like a diehard just because the game gets shortened by twenty minutes.
Red Sox ownership continues to do an incredible job during their time here. If they continue to alienate fans however, things may change.
Follow Matt McGurn on Twitter: @MickGurn
Cover image courtesy of The Boston Globe.