BOB: All-Star game recapby Brian Borawski
July 24, 2013
All-Star Game ratings reviewThe 2013 All-Star Game is in the books and with it, we get MLB’s spin on how great everything was. I’ve never been to an All-Star Game but I enjoyed watching this one and for the first time in a while, because I was on vacation, I had a chance to watch most of it. It was Fox’s highest rated show since the American Idol finale back in May and its 27.9 million total audience was the best since the 2010 game. With all of the Detroit Tigers in the mix, the game drew a 20.3 rating in Detroit, the best in that area since 2005.
It was also the largest audience in Citi Field’s short history, with 45,186 tickets sold. This must be welcome because attendance at the ballpark is way down this year. The New York Mets are 20th in attendance with 26,912 tickets sold per game.
PEDs back in the newsThere was a lot of speculation that suspensions would begin to drop after the All-Star break in regard to the Biogenesis lab in South Florida that’s linked several players to performance-enhancing drugs. Speculation turned to reality earlier this week when Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season. This isn’t his first rodeo because he escaped an earlier suspension a couple of years ago on what now looks like a technicality.
With the Milwaukee Brewers out of contention and the fact that the suspension wasn't appealed, you wonder if this was semi-voluntary. Braun has already missed time due to an injury. Braun apologized to the fans but as usual in these cases, came short of actually admitting he used performance enhancing drugs.
Meanwhile, we await the fate of about 20 other players, some of whom play on teams contending for playoff spots.
Selig comments on Rays’ situationCommissioner Bud Selig gave his annual state of the union address at this year’s All-Star Game and at the forefront were his comments on the Tampa Bay Rays attendance and stadium situation. He called it beyond disappointing that a team could have success like the Rays have had the past few years yet still be near the bottom of the attendance list. Selig came short of offering solutions but the usual “build a new stadium” approach is a little moot when the Miami Marlins and their two-year-old ballpark sit at the bottom of the attendance list.
Wrigley Field gets closer to renovationsWrigley Field’s $500 million renovation plan came a step closer last week when the Chicago Planning Commission unanimously endorsed the renovation proposal. This means it will go before the city council, which is expected to approve it. The renovation plan includes $300 million of upgrades to the existing ballpark as well as a seven-story, 175-room hotel with a six-story office/retail building near the ballpark. It would all be linked to Wrigley with a pedestrian bridge.
The big knock in the plan is there's going to be advertising everywhere. A lot of the advertising will be lit up, so people are concerned it will resemble Times Square, but team owner Tom Ricketts has said it’s a critical part of the funding.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.