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Volume 25 No. 152
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Promoting Young Stars Seen As One Of MLB's Top Priorities In Offseason

MVP candidate Mookie Betts was only made available to the media three times during the playoffs
Photo: getty images

MLB’s "difficulty in creating stars" is among its "greatest foibles" heading into the '19 season, according to Jeff Passan of YAHOO SPORTS. Baseball is facing a "pair of quandaries without a clear solution: How to make the players bigger and how to make the game better." But it is "not clear whether this is a chicken-and-egg thing." If MLB "somehow can figure out how to leverage players into stardom, does the game improve?" Conversely, would a "new-and-improved version suddenly draw more people and organically create stars?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/5). In Boston, Peter Abraham notes Red Sox RF Mookie Betts over the course of the team's 14 playoff games was made available in the media interview room just "three times either before or after the game." Abraham: "Imagine if over the course of the NBA playoffs LeBron James or Steph Curry were made available in the postgame interview room just three times. You can’t imagine that. The NBA would never be that stupid." Baseball does an "awful job of promoting its best players when compared with the NBA and even the NFL." Betts, a finalist for MLB's MVP, is "arguably the best player in the sport right now and on its biggest stage he went into the interview room three times over a span of 23 days." The tradition in baseball is to "make the stars of the game from the winning team available with, perhaps, one player from the losing team." That is "antiquated thinking," because certain players "should always be available regardless of how they play, or certainly more often than once in a series" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/8).