The NFL Draft has become a big television event in recent years, thanks in part to incessant hype from both the NFL and ESPN. This year’s draft featured it all - celebrity “entertainers”, celebrity college athletes, and the inimitable Mel Kiper, Jr. Even casual fans tune in to catch the pageantry of it all and to see the NFL’s stars of tomorrow; heck, it’s such a big event that they’re turning it into a three-day primetime extravaganza, as SPORTSbyBROOKS reported just this morning.
The Major League Baseball draft, on the other hand, is none of these things. Instead of celebrity entertainers and athletes, it features obscure high school kids, obscure college kids, and the loathsome Scott Boras. In fact, some of the most notable stories from the MLB draft are not tales of superstar athletes busting on the scene, but of wasted potential and busts. None of this, however, matters to the ridiculously-arrogant MLB, which has decided to copy the NFL and turn its sports footnote of a draft into a three-day primetime event. In the words of NFL Draft aficionado Bill Cosby…riiiight.
Starting with this year’s June 9 draft, the first rounds of the draft will be broadcast in primetime on the league’s new flagship MLB NETWORK. Take some No-Doz and try to keep up with the excitement:
The first day will consist of the first 111 picks, including Round 1, Compensation Round A, Round 2, Round 3 and Compensation Round B. On Wednesday, June 10, the Draft will resume with the fourth round at noon and is tentatively scheduled to go through the 30th round. The Draft will conclude on Thursday, June 11, with the 31st to 50th rounds.
Feel the excitement - 50 rounds of hot MLB draft action! In fairness to MLB, only the first round will actually be broadcast on TV with the rest streamed live on MLB.com, but the idea that enough people care enough about baseball to spend 3 days waiting to see 40th round high school draft picks who might never even play professional baseball is about as silly as the toupee on Bud Selig’s head.