Will TV viewership of the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday continue downward or, with some brisk pace and spark, will video watchers be greeted with action that boosts the rating, wonders Grumpy Editor.
Last year’s game was the least-watched All-Star Game on record, drawing 10.9 million viewers, down from 11 million in 2011.
A key factor triggering yawns and causing viewers to switch to other channels appears to be the ever-growing relaxed pace of the game that originated before the American Civil War (1861-1865) as rounders, played on sandlots.
The front-page feature by Steve Moyer in the Wall Street Journal’s Friday Arena section notes: “By WSJ calculations, a baseball fan will see 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action over the course of a three-hour game.”
The almost 18 minutes of action, emphasizes Moyer, includes balls in play, attempts on stolen bases, wild pitches, trotting batters such as with home runs, pickoff throws and walks.
To those, Grumpy Editor adds other contributions to the game's slower pace and inaction just focusing on the batter --- stepping (after a pitch) far out of the batter’s box (including a circuitous route walking behind the umpire to get back to the plate), practice swings before and between pitches, spitting, tapping dirt from shoes, adjusting batting gloves after every pitch and calling time.
Pitchers, too, slow the game. Adjusting cap after every pitch, long staring in to catchers, walking around the mound and picking up the rosin bag, and tossing several times to a base, hoping to nail a runner.
Will the pace tick up this year? Stay tuned.
More 'Buy America' sought; CNBC: Nevada slips
After the June employment report, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), in a news release from his hometown of Searchlight, Nev., declared, "We need to continue advancing policies that spur growth and create jobs. It's time for Republicans to let go of their failed austerity policies that weigh down our economy and prevent a speedier recovery. We simply can't cut our way to prosperity. “
A key way to hypo recovery and boost jobs is by pushing for more American-based jobs.
While Reid’s staff was preparing his “spur growth and create jobs” comment, Rob Hotakainen at McClatchy’s Washington Bureau developed a lengthy story on how the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, set to open in two months, used 43,000 tons of steel --- from China, producing thousands of jobs away from U.S. shores.
Hotakainen mentioned that with 70,000 U.S. bridges needing repairs, John Garamendi (D., Calif.) wants Congress to pass more “Buy America” requirements, using more U.S.-made materials and creating more manufacturing jobs.
While imported steel (for the Bay Bridge) costs less, added Garamendi, “the (Chinese) steel had flaws, the welds had flaws and the end result was no money was saved.”
It should be pointed out that while the Senate majority leader seeks to “spur growth and create jobs,” Nevada --- the state Reid represents --- slipped to 46th place from 45th last year among “states for business,” reported Scott Cohn, CNBC senior correspondent.
“The Silver State,” said Cohn, “is still mired in the housing crisis, with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. With the highest unemployment as well, it is no wonder Nevada finishes at the bottom of our economy category. It also finishes at the bottom for education, and near the bottom for quality of life and access to capital.”
In case you missed these…
Extraordinary non-stop coverage on cable news channels leading up to the "not guilty" verdict late Saturday in the George Zimmerman case in Florida --- and continuing over the weekend and today on MSNBC, CNN and HLN --- sidetracks follow-ups or updates on the Benghazi incident, turmoil in Egypt, fighting in Syria, IRS scandals, ObamaCare problems and conflicts/inactions in Congress as a long summer break looms…Not getting much play in key media is a piece in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reporting the Pentagon is eyeing plans to eliminate danger pay for service members in up to 18 countries and five waterways around the world”…”saving about $120 million each year while taking a bite out of troops' salaries.”
Bad PR for journalists: A Pew Research Center study finds 27 percent of Americans say journalists contribute little or nothing to society’s well being. At the top of the list, 78 percent of those surveyed put the military contributing “a lot” to society’s well being…PC World’s August print edition will be its last after 30 years of publishing but it will continue as an online magazine…A Gallup poll shows television is the main source Americans turn to for news about current events (55 percent), leading the Internet (21 percent), newspapers/print publications (9 percent) and radio (6 percent)…Santa Ana, Calif.-based Orange County Register is expanding its reach to Los Angeles County where it plans an Aug. 19 start with the Long Beach Register, publishing six days week.