Alright fine. I’ll bite. I mean, the only reason this fourth tier ESPN talking head mentioned the Padres is because for the first time in a long time lots and lots of people care. He isn’t a known commodity in Bristol, and so in a feeble sad attempt at carving out a niche of being the guy “who tells it like it is”, this single-episode-arch blowhard barked at a fanbase to get a reaction.
When you’re a “content producer” for a show some people like and 4th wheel on a show nobody likes you need to stand out. You need to be loved. You’re like an eighth grader creating a Tik Tok account so you don’t feel left out of the cool circle, but ultimately you can’t dance, can’t write jokes, and having nothing of value to give. So, you turn to “hot” takes.
This “hot take” from the guy who you just found out was alive yesterday is that Fernando Tatis signing in San Diego for essentially my lifetime is “bad for Baseball”. His reasoning?
San Diego is a bad media market.
Of course the fact that he even felt the need to tweet that out to his loyal following completely negates his initial argument; but that’s besides the point when you have to pray for the death of a 1,000 people before you get your shot at Sportscenter.
My entire life I’ve been aware of several San Diego sports tropes: San Diego is a small market town. To play here you have to take the “San Diego discount”. The Padres and Chargers will never be relevant or attract big name stars. Antonio Gates didn’t play football in HIgh School. We’re a sleepy beach town and that’s all we’ll ever be.
I’ve heard them all. They’ve been engrained in my mind for decades. But, you know what? All that shit is just that – shit. They’re just sentences for national sports media commentators to spew out while they cover their one game a year here. It’s meaningless. But, if we’ve learned anything in the last four years: If you say anything enough times people will just start to believe it no matter how stupid or untrue it sounds.
What gets me more fired up about these statements isn’t that they’re said by guys who still think “whale’s vagina” is hilarious, it’s that they can be reversed the same exact way they were cemented: Just say it.
San Diego Baseball is relevant. It’s no longer a small market team, and with the type of contracts handed down this off-season, it won’t be a small market team for years to come.
See. That wasn’t so hard.
San Diego is a beautiful city. To some the most beautiful city in the world. And, we like being a sleepy beach town. It’s kind of “our thing”. ESPN and the rest of the bigger channels view that as a disadvantage for professional sports teams, but a huge plus when they’re in the Gaslamp doing rails off an SDSU student in the bathroom at FLUXX.
Being in a city that’s beautiful isn’t bad for baseball. What’s bad for baseball is that it’s taken so long for the Major Leagues to catch up.
What’s bad for Baseball is that you’ve preordained the sport to only be about the teams you want it to be about.
What’s bad for Baseball is that you can’t see outside of the tiny box you’ve packed yourself in to. What’s bad for Baseball is when major sports networks ignore what every online outlet is talking about. What’s bad for Baseball is when ESPN desperately tries to pretend the internet is a fad.
What’s objectively bad for Baseball is that when major outlets finally pay attention they’ve seen how far the game has moved beyond them, and instead of embracing it they try to retaliate by shitting all over what the sport has become and who it’s become important to.
We’ve all been fed the story that the Yankees and Red Sox and Cubs and Dodgers are the teams that everyone blah blah blah and they exist in huge markets blah blah blah and nothing else matters cause advertising revenue and blah blah blah.
But, you know what’s crazy about that story? The goons at ESPN and TBS and FOX Sports and on and on wrote that story! You know what’s even more crazy? THEY CAN CHANGE IT!
But, they won’t. They can’t. Too lazy and too uninterested in what’s good for the sport, so they lethargically barf out a tweet proclaiming that at 18-years old they know what’s objectively bad for Baseball. Then they go back to tweeting about the NFL every 30 minutes.
While the Padres have added star after star and created a homegrown talent, who not even in one full season has changed the game, places like ESPN have spent dime after dime on employees who are so out of touch it baffles me.
What the Padres, and Mets and Braves are doing is good for Baseball. Widening the games appeal. Keeping an entire new generation of fans engaged. Promoting the idea that one of the oldest professional games on the planet is more than just four teams.
That’s what’s objectively good for Baseball.
In fact from where I’m sitting, and where most of the other people who are actually interested the sport are sitting, there’s only one thing that’s objectively bad for Baseball: lackluster “content producers” trying to make a name for themselves in the very same market they claim is worthless.