Let’s call it Wednesday.

Posted: April 19, 2023 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Yesterday the Los Angeles Angels opened three game series against the New York Yankees in New York. What really confused me about this series was the way it was being promoted by MLB Network. For whatever reason they decided to focus the promotion of these games as Shohei Ohtani vs. Aaron Judge week. Now I get that they’re two of the best players in baseball, but they’re not actually facing off against each other their teams are.

When I started seeing the promotions for this game, I immediately thought that Ohtani was going to pitch one of the games in this series and that way he’d actually face Judge. That turned out not to be the case as Ohtani pitched Monday against the Boston Red Sox in their yearly Patriots Day game. Ohtani only pitched two innings in that game, so I thought there might be a chance that the Angels would find a start for him against the Yankees, but with Ohtani’s injury history it’s doubtful that the Angels would bring him back on short rest for any reason.

So, the promotion of this game completely lost me. With the exception of pitcher vs. hitter there really isn’t a match up in baseball that makes it one player against another. I’m hoping that there’s someone out there that can explain this to me.

I understand that you want to push the best players in the game, but there might be some people who don’t even think that Ohtani is the best player on his team. Don’t forget that Ohtani’s teammate is a player by the name of Mike Trout.

I guess by throwing Ohtani and Judge’s names out there with this game the MLB Network was hoping to get the casual baseball fan or possible some people who might tune in just for one of those two players. I’m not sure that type of person would’ve actually stayed around to watch the game once they realized that Ohtani wasn’t pitching and him and Judge wouldn’t really be facing off against each other.

I don’t think I’ve seen the MLB Network go to these lengths to sell a game as a player vs. player game. They will always mention star players in promos for whatever game they’re showing, but they’ve never done it like this before. For this series they’ve specifically mentioned it as Ohtani vs. Judge.

Oddly this is a promotion that the National Basketball Association has used quite a bit and I think it’s caused a separation with their fans. If there isn’t a true star player in a game, there’s no reason for fans to watch unless it’s a team that you actively root for.

As for the actual game, well the Angels took the first game in the series. 5-2. Ohtani went 1 for 3 with a home run and he also scored 2 runs and had a stolen a base. Judge went 0 for 3 but did drive in 1 of the Yankees runs.

Game 2 of this series has a scheduled 6:05 p.m. start time and the MLB Network will be showing it live. Griffin Canning gets the start for the Angels while Jhony Brito will be the Yankees starter.

The series wraps up on Thursday with an afternoon affair. The game has a 3:05 p.m. start time on Thursday. The Angels have Patrick Sandoval listed as their scheduled starter while the Yankees have Nestor Cortes listed as their starter.

So now besides just trying to explain to me the promotion of this game I’d like to know if you’ll be watching this series and if the way it was promoted actually made you interested in watching.

Coming into this season Major League Baseball made some rule changes that looked as though it would add offense to the game. Now I’m sure in a lot of cases it has, but last night there were actually six shutouts thrown.

The Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angels Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox all shutout their opponents. The White Six shutout came in the second game of a doubleheader.

Now while there were six shutouts in this new age of baseball none of the shutouts had a pitcher throw a complete game, but that shouldn’t be a surprise.

So, what do you think of the new rules so far that MLB is using. Games are being played faster, but are you seeing more offense? I’m interested to know what your opinion of these are.

As always don’t forget that you can also find me on Twitter, I’m @Burketime.

  1. One thing to me that is readily apparent is the large increase in the number of stolen bases. I’ve watched many balls go into the outfield for hits this season that would have outs last year because of the shift.
    And have you noticed that there seems to be more runnings running from first to third on a hit to the outfield? To me, that is always an exciting play.
    Of course there are the usual home runs and high proliferation of strikeouts but at least the games are quite a bit shorter at least so far.
    Some of the umpire’s decision to call a ball on a batter or a pitcher have been a little mean spirited but I think a lot of that will disappear as we get further into the season.


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