Last week, I had the opportunity to speak and listen to the Mandel JCC Men’s Club, including several people who claimed they have called me on my radio or television shows. It is not difficult to identify “Bill from Beachwood.” After the men’s club program ended, a man tried to pay me a compliment by saying, “I have listened to you for years and cannot understand why you never made it big.” I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
Keep in mind that I was probably the youngest person in the room, but that didn’t stop it from being a lively, hourlong discussion of local sports. It became a nonstop question-and-answer period. The most interesting response came when I asked for a show of hands for the team they hoped would win the next championship in Cleveland. The Cavaliers received no votes.
It could be because the Cavs won the NBA title in 2016, but I don’t think so. The Browns received a good number of hands, but not enough to beat the Indians. Despite the Indians’ attempts to reach a younger demographic – which is a good idea – there still is a 10- to 15-year window where the 50-plus target will still be the biggest fans of the game.
Major League Baseball teams promote ticket sales over their websites. Last weekend, there was a promotion on indians.com, which featured a no fee weekend for the three-game series against Kansas City. Research shows the older demographic is not swayed by promotions like this unless it can get a younger person to do the work for them. In fairness to the Indians, the promotion included one sellout and two games of more than 30,000 people in the stands. Sure, dollar dogs help, but so does good weather and a pennant race.
Here’s what else came up:
• It’s been more than 45 years since the designated hitter was introduced and the game is still played by different rules. You would think if MLB wants more offense, it should stop making the pitcher bat in the National League.
• Is the ball juiced to help produce more home runs? Probably some percentage of the balls are wound tighter than others.
• The Browns looked terrible in the third exhibition game. Is there something to worry about? There are some things to worry about, but the performance in that game isn’t one of them.
I think a good time was had by all and I want to thank Bob Young for setting it up.