It was supposed to just be games inside quiet ballparks. Without MLB action, the entire fanbase risks new levels of silence.
Sean Keeler of The Denver Post discusses how only 44 percent of Americans have even heard of Mike Trout, while LeBron James (92 percent) and Peyton Manning (88 percent) show how the popularity scale can tip toward basketball and football. 2020 has shown that fans are desperate for pro sports—and if Trout were on television right now, perhaps his 44 percent would skyrocket.
Financing conflicts between the MLBPA and team owners remain unresolved, which means zero percent of Americans can watch any MLB player until an agreement is met.
Keeler also addresses how the Broncos’ Von Miller and Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic are more ‘known’ by Americans than Nolan Arenado. A resumption of MLB action before the NBA or NFL returns could give baseball prime exposure—and the Rockies could then be the main topic of sports discussion in Denver.
The Rockies’ attendance figures were 6th best in MLB last year. The Nuggets averaged the NBA’s 6th highest home attendance this season, and likewise, the Avalanche were 8th in the NHL. The Broncos hold the NFL record for most consecutive sellouts in one city.
Not bad at all for the 17th biggest U.S. television market.
It may also suggest Denver is one of the more deprived cities when it comes to the pro sports stoppage.
It is undoubtedly great for Denver sports to have serious support—this goes without question. It does make it more difficult for a player like Arenado to be the topic of discussion with so much else going on, as Coors Field, Empower Field and the Pepsi Center are all within a two-mile radius. It isn’t to say the Rockies ‘lose’ fans because of it, but as far as promoting player visibility, it’s safe to say Arenado could be known by a little more than 30 percent of Americans if MLB action could put his performances in the Denver spotlight right now.
Meanwhile, Manny Machado could steal the pro sports conversation in San Diego (29th biggest U.S. market), where the since-departed Chargers leave the Padres as the only major pro team in town.
With almost every day that goes by, the Rockies scratch a would-be game off the schedule, along with tickets that would have been scanned. Nearly 3 million tickets were scanned at Coors Field in 2019.
Current oddsmakers still suggest that MLB will take the field this year. RoxPile points out how BetOnline sets the money line at -500 for if there will be an MLB regular season.
A resumption does imply a salary dispute is resolved and virus safety precautions can be implemented. RoxPile addresses how other professional leagues, like England’s Premier League and Italy’s Serie A, are planning to take to the soccer pitch this summer. With an ongoing regular season in the KBO, they certainly seem to be pioneering some necessary policies and procedures that MLB might implement.
Here’s a little piece of evergreen content that overviews the 2020 Rockies; this article on Pitcher List talks mainly about Colorado’s pitchers (of course!).
The piece dives into some actual pitch specifics for Rockies starters: “Both Marquez and Gray rely on a fastball/curveball/slider mix; Gray throws his slider more than his curve, and Marquez throws both of his about equally.” Thinking about pitch selection and setting up hitters can help us feel like we’ve been able to watch baseball a little more frequently amidst the postponement.
An actual pitcher ‘list’ is found on the Pitcher List home page: Jon Gray is 92nd, and German Marquez is 58th. Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom are tied for first.
Pitcher List also happens to be running ‘Pitch Con’ right now, a virtual baseball conference talking all sorts of pitching while raising money for Feeding America.
For the state of Colorado: Roy Halladay. He attended Arvada West High School where he won a state championship in 1994, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 2019. 10 years and one day ago, he threw the 20th perfect game in MLB history.
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