A report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski this past weekend revealed plans for the NBA and ESPN to televise a H-O-R-S-E competition between several start players, each of whom would shoot at his own home gym. The novelty might come off as incredibly cheesy under normal circumstances, but the desire to consume any form of live sports has gotten so great that this actually seems like a decent idea.
Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to generate a little goodwill, and perhaps some revenue, Major League Baseball discussed doing something similar with a Home Run Derby. That report comes via Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who wrote that the concept quickly fell apart in light of myriad logistical issues. Chief among those is that most players don’t have regulation-size ballparks at home.
There’s also the small matter of personnel, though you could theoretically pull off a hitting display with a pitcher, a batter, and a cameraman. Of course, you’ve got to get those people to the ballpark and then shag the flies, set everything up, etc. Then you’ve got to have someone to disregard the rules when Bryce Harper takes swings before the previous ball has landed.
But wait, don’t most of these guys have their own cages at home equipped with pitching machines and Rapsodo tech that can measure ball flight and all kinds of other fun stuff? As long as they’re using the same equipment to measure the data, most of the other logistical stuff kind of goes away. Maybe it’s just because I’m weird, but I’d absolutely tune in to watch some big-time sluggers hit cage bombs.
Whether or not they figure out a way to make a derby work by using my fantastic concept, Sherman reported that MLB is brainstorming other “events that might have benefits.” I don’t have a great deal of trust in the league to properly cater to fans, though we could simply grow desperate enough that even Rob Manfred can scheme up something we’ll end up enjoying.