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MLB Draft Growing In Prestige, But Selig Still Wants More Prospects To Attend
Published June 5, 2012
KIDS STICKING WITH BASEBALL? MLB Network's Peter Gammons discussed the implications of the new signing bonus pools for draftees affecting players who play multiple sports and those players possibly going to college instead of signing with MLB teams. Gammons said, “If you’re going to lose those athletes, and that starts in the seventh grade and on, I think you do some damage to the sport.” MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo said, “It’s not quite the doomsday outlook.” Mayo: “There is going to be an adjustment eventually. The question always comes down to, does the kid want to play baseball. In the past they could throw money at him to help him make that decision” (“2012 First-Year Player Draft Preview,” MLB Network, 6/4).
SWING AND A MISS: In Cleveland, Tom Reed wrote, "In a sports nation obsessed with drafts -- real, mock and fantasy -- baseball's annual selection process generates about as much excitement as an intentional walk." Although the sport "remains immensely popular, the general public's lack of familiarity with draftees, the time it takes them to make an impact at the major-league level and the decision to conduct the draft over three days in the middle of the season conspire against it." Indians TV analyst and former No. 2 overall pick Rick Manning said, "It's boring, I don't care how they dress it up. Obviously, that's not true for the kid getting drafted and his family. They will celebrate. But I don't think the rest of the country is going to embrace this because you can't follow (amateur) baseball the way you do other sports. It's too difficult." Reed wrote, "In a society that craves immediate gratification, the baseball draft fails to deliver instant hope to fans" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/4).