The current season of North American baseball's premier league, Major League Baseball (MLB), has been particularly anticipated due to the large number of innovations and changes introduced with the aim of relaunching the most popular sport in the United States, but over time it has fallen far behind soccer. There is a crisis between new generations. The league itself had promoted the new season by saying that the game would change “like never before in recent times.”
In fact, new rules were introduced to improve the more outdated aspects of baseball and thus the audience experience, particularly the length of games, the speed of the game and the frequency of the calendar, which was now more balanced. Instead, other recent changes have directly affected baseball's image: for example, uniform sponsors have been introduced and the uniforms themselves are adopting increasingly modern and innovative styles thanks to the collaboration with Nike.
In terms of the television experience, and thus the usability of the displayed spectacle, the league and broadcasters broadcasting the matches have begun using the microphone for some players not only to record their conversations, as has been the case for years, but also in other sports. Rather, to make them interact with commentators directly from the field and comment on what is happening. This news has been discussed a lot due to an incident that happened a few days ago during the Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants game.
In this game, Miguel Rojas was selected as the Dodgers' mic player, and while he was speaking to the commentators he had to interrupt the discussion due to a joke coming from his area. As he was already running, he said into the microphone: “Sorry guys, I'll just make this play for a second and I'll be back.” Video of that moment is widely circulated, even outside traditional baseball circles, because until now nothing similar has been seen in an official context of a professional sport.
The initiative was introduced for the first time in an official baseball match, in August of last year, during the last edition of the championship game held in the place where the film was filmed in the 1980s. Field of dreams Starring Kevin Costner (in Italy known by the title dream man).
That game was played by the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs, the latter taking the lead immediately and maintaining it throughout the game. For the Reds, it was the fourth defeat in a row in an already negative season, but that did not prevent Joey Votto, their most representative player, from taking part in the initiative.
In the third inning, the player of Italian descent was microphoned and spent about ten minutes discussing with the commentators his memories of baseball and how baseball has changed over the years. He had to briefly interrupt his tackles to follow some game action, but overall there were no problems and shortly thereafter it was a Chicago Cubs player's turn.
After that experience, the major leagues this season made him a starter for some big league games, as well as the All-Star Game, a mid-season exhibition game featuring the league's best players. “Miking players are a great opportunity for baseball to do something unique, different and innovative.” He said The ESPN executive who follows the network's baseball-related production and is cooperating with the league on the initiative, trying not to create any distractions in the game.
The new MLB season has started and the playoffs have yet to reach, but it looks like all of these innovations are already paying off. Many indicators indicate that the youth audience is growing again, Dice Major League, this apparent recovery was also reported in the latest issue of the magazineAtlanticDeceive Cover article Which was titled: “How Baseball Saved Itself.” There's no shortage of criticism, however, and it's coming from more traditional fans, who worry that baseball subjects itself to certain experiences — on all players heard — that are of more interest to television than to the game itself.
However, there have been no incidents so far, and players seem to not only enjoy it, but also enjoy doing it. After the latest episode, we also wonder if this new way of interacting with players can be replicated in other team sports. In American football, for example, players have been listened to via microphone for years, but only to be recorded. Given the dynamics of the game, getting them to talk to someone outside their team, even during games, doesn't seem possible, just as it doesn't seem possible to do it elsewhere, at least not the way it's done Baseball: a team sport that plays in a fairly individual way , which, despite recent changes, still consists of frequent pauses and a generally slow pace.
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