Enough Is Enough: When Did MLB Become Over-Commercialized?

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Enough Is Enough: When Did MLB Become Over-Commercialized?

Dramatization: A game between the Phillies and the Reds at the Great American Ball Park, as told by Bleacher Report broadcasters Cliff Eastham and Illya Harrell.

Cliff: Host

Hello everyone, and welcome to Great American Ball Park for tonight's game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.

I am Cliff Eastham, alongside Illya Harrell , for tonight's broadcast brought to you by Bleacher Report. "Bleacher Report, your stop on the Internet for everything sports related, www.BleacherReport.com."

The flags in center field are blowing out towards the Ohio River, as we are trying to keep dry tonight.

The forecast for tonight's game is sponsored by Gold Star Chili, "home of the Cheese Coney and the traditional Chili 3-Way." There is a 60 percent chance of rain before the contest ends, and the temperature will be around 80.

Here is Illya with the starting lineup for the Phillies brought to you by Geico. "So easy, a caveman can do it."

 

Illya: Co-Host

Good evening Cliff, and good evening Reds fans everywhere.

The Phillies lineup card filled-out by Charlie Manuel on paper stock produced by the 3M company of St. Paul, Minnesota. "3M—Innovative technology for a changing world."

Shane Victorino will lead off and play CF.  Third baseman Placido Polanco will bat second. Chase Utley will hit in the three-hole and will play second base. The big guy, Ryan Howard will bat clean-up and play first base.

Jason Werth will bat fifth and play right field. Left-fielder Raul Ibanez will bat sixth, followed by shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Paul Hoover will catch tonight and bat eighth. Southpaw Cole Hamels will pitch and bat ninth.

And now for the rundown on pitcher Cole Hamels, brought to you by Skyline Chili—"It's Skyline time"—here is my sidekick Cliff Eastham.

 

Cliff: Host

Ok pal, tonight we will see one of the premier pitchers in baseball. He has been knocked around a little bit this year, but still has a good record of 4-2 with an ERA of 4.29.  He will need to keep the ball down tonight and out of the wheelhouse of sluggers Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes.

His statistics, brought to you by Levitra. "Levitra—Because, men, you don't know when the mood will strike."

This will be Hamels' ninth start of the season. He has pitched 50 innings, given up 57 hits, 24 earned runs, has surrendered nine homers, walked 19, and fanned 62.

Before Victorino steps in, let's look at the defense for Cincinnati, brought to you by Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, "lawyers who put the law on your side."

The outfield tonight will consist of Gomes and Jay Bruce in the corners with rookie Drew Stubbs in center. Scott Rolen will be at the hot corner, with The OC, Orlando Cabrera at shortstop. Brandon Phillips will play second and Joey Votto will be at first base.

Ryan Hanigan will do the catching, and the pitcher for tonight—brought to you by Dreamworks' latest movie, 'Shrek, The Final Chapter,' playing in a theater in your town"—is Bronson Arroyo.

We will be right back with the first pitch after this word from our sponsor.

 

Enough Is Enough

This is, of course, a dramatization.

But I believe it does depict the flagrant use of commercialism on baseball telecasts today.

Every analysis, every matchup, and every statistic seems to be brought to you by a brewery, eatery, law firm, or insurance company.

What did we do to deserve this deluge of product-hocking?

There was a time when the only commercials were the 30-second or 60-second versions you got between innings. I am not sure when the crossover came, but I wish I did, so that I could rue that day.

We are now so commercialized that logos are even flashed on the screen when we see statistics or breakdowns of virtually anything. Players have Adidas logos (or Nike or whatever) on their uniforms, shoes, gloves, armor, etc.

I am watching the Reds-Indians game as I write this. Ryan Hanigan did a 30-second spot about Arroyo, and I was told by Thom Brenneman that it was the Geico Quote of The Day.

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