The NBA and NFL have done an excellent job at promoting and selling behind-the-scenes procedures, particularly their drafts. Baseball has been late on the scene, but it too televised its amateur draft for the first time earlier this year (one huge disadvantage – unlike with college football and basketball, almost nobody knows the good college baseball players, making the baseball draft rather, well, boring).
Whereas drafting unknown kids from midwestern schools might not be a marketing bonanza, how about flipping coins? I’m serious. In a world where the Rock Paper Scissors championship is broadcast on cable television, baseball surely has a chance to make something out of a coin flip.
OK, what flip?
Today was Flip Friday in the baseball world. Via conference call Major League Baseball conducted a series of coin flips to determine which teams would host tie-breaking division or wild card match-ups. What if the Phillies get hot and the Mets get cold, resulting in a tie for the National League East division? Thanks to Phillies Assistant General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr.’s hot call, the Phillies would host the tie-breaker! (Overall, however, Mr. Amaro can’t seem to make heads-or-tails of his coinage, since the Phillies would be on the road for most of the other potential tie-breaking games.)
Thanks to the marketing ineptitude of Major League Baseball, none of us got to see the coin flips. You see, all of this took place via conference call. A conference call? How about that for 1970’s technology! Ever hear of
ESPN or YouTube? Heck, if you’re going to be low-tech why not just
send up a few smoke signals to save on the phone bill! We can suffer through a MLB.com video with poor production quality of some dude telling us which teams won the coin flips, but there is no footage of the bouncing, spinning coins themselves. All I can picture of this conference call are a bunch of assistant GMs arguing over the phone, "Hey, that sounded like a tails. Are you using a Jefferson Dollar or one of those Sacagawea Dollars nobody ever uses? I demand a re-flip!"
Just imagine. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon of ESPN sparring it out, offering wry commentary, instant replay, strategy sessions and interviews with assistant GMs! You have a natural sponsor – the US Mint – which could use Flip Friday to promote new coins in its endless and hopeless attempt to get Americans to use $1 coins. Then you can add the Franklin Mint selling commemorative team coins and some junk porcelain figurine. Add a few beers and you have quite a show!
Are you ready for some flipping?