Major League Baseball sent out a powerful message to its owners, teams and spokespeople during this year’s three-week stretch of playoffs: shut up!
Major League Baseball sent out a powerful message to its owners,
teams and spokespeople during this year’s three-week stretch of
playoffs: shut up!
Not wanting to detract attention from the action on the field (perhaps
justifiable paranoia after losing the 1994 series to a player’s strike
and the decline of TV ratings), the league once again ordered its
members to keep quiet during the playoffs. This meant, among other
things, a ban on announcements of player moves, manager hirings/firings
or front-office shakeups.
Baseball execs - especially those from teams who haven’t made the
playoffs and need to keep their fans involved - have long expressed
frustration with the quiet period. But this was the first year in recent
memory where the policy broke down, with two off-the-field happenings
giving rise to more intrigue than the games themselves.
First, the Chicago Cubs accidentally let news of the hiring of manager
Don Baylor slip, posting it on the team web site nearly two weeks before
the league-sanctioned date.
Then, the grand unveiling of the league’s all-century team was
diminished when NBC reporter Jim Gray badgered Pete Rose (banned from
the game for life due to gambling allegations) during an on-field
interview. The NY Yankees’ Chad Curtis kept Gray’s ambush top-of-mind by
refusing - on camera - to talk with the reporter after hitting a
game-winning home run.
Maybe the league’s Powers That Be are right: some things are better left