Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Newflash: People don't watch bad baseball teams

Obviously, I've lamented about the current state of the Washington Nationals before, but now I have proof that I'm not the only one from DC upset with the direction (or lack thereof) this team has taken.

According to reports in the Sports Business Journal and Washington Post, the Nationals have the lowest television ratings in Major League Baseball. And here's what really got me steamed, and should signal to Nats' management that things need to change, and fast:

SportsBusiness Journal reported last month that Orioles broadcasts on MASN and MASN2 are drawing higher ratings in the Washington market than are Nationals broadcasts.

Are you serious?!?!?!? Anyone who has read this blog, or knows me, understands how much I despise the city of Baltimore and the fact that their citizens are watching my team more than the people in my area is just plain annoying. But can you really blame DC residents for turning their backs and giving a collective "meh" to a team that's currently 34-56 and sitting dead last by a long shot in its division?

Yes, there have been injuries galore this season, but the excuses this team has gotten away with through the years need to stop. It's time they be held accountable just like every other moribund franchise in sports. This latest report just indicates to me how much more urgent Nationals management has to be in making drastic changes to the franchise. They can begin by actually spending some money this offseason and get some more legitimate Major League baseball players.

I mean, seriously, Christian Guzman is the lone player representing the team in the All-Star game next Tuesday. The same Christian Guzman who is three years removed from one of the worst statistical seasons in MLB history (.219 batting average in 142 games). I think that tells you a lot about the state of this franchise.

People are ignoring this team, even after more than $600 million were spent on a brand spanking new stadium. Although I'm in New York right now, I may have a solution to our problem. Back in the days of perennial whipping boy and Redskins head coach, Norval Turner, Skins fans used to wear paper bags over their heads (with eye and mouth holes cut out of course) during home games. DC101 used to hand the things out during tailgates in the parking lot. It symbolized just how much disgust us fans had with the continuing string of 4-12 and 5-11 seasons. Well, injuries or not, I think we've gotten to that level with this baseball franchise. It's time to step up and let management know that the product that has been on the field this season is just plain unacceptable.

Something like this would work.

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