Thought processes and conversations started under the tilted cap of Tropicana Field. Someday everyone will know the Rays play in St. Petersburg, Florida, not TAMPA, or the fictitious city of TAMPA BAY.
After watching the MTV Video Music Awards last night, I am wondering why Major League Baseball doesn’t incorporate all their major end of the year awards into a 1 or 2 hour spectacle like some of the award shows. We have seen some shows begin to flounder (VMA’s) while others have gone sky high ( ESPYs) and it only seems fitting that MLB would head this direction. The main catalyst for such an idea is that sometimes players are their best PR material.
With MLB now hosting a Red Carpet event the day of the All Star game, MLB is already in the infant stages of possibly developing and conceptualizing a one night event that would be held right after the conclusion of the All Star game. Think about an event like this for a moment, you could have the newly crowned World Champions take the stage to a standing ovation from their peers, plus get some huge fan exposure.
You know that ESPN, the MLB Network and maybe even Fox Television would all salivate over such a proposition. And with the advent of the Fashion Police watching these Red Carpets, some of the best dressed players in all of baseball would surely be eager to flaunt the “catwalk. And why not, this is a visual world now unlike the audio and print Worlds of our parents. With the advent of Youtube and social media stalwarts Facebook and Twitter, the foundation is there for immediate fan involvement.
I think it would be a great event to see some of the stars that we have heard about in nightly sports clips shows and through the fan grapevine strut their stuff, plus give MLB fans a different prospective of the guys they see toil on the clay and turf for 162 games. You could see them in fresh Armani suits doing walk-up interviews and posing for the cameras on the green carpet. That’s right, green carpet. Since the guys always push their trade upon the green grass, why not institute a green carpet (brought to you by Field Turf or Astroturf II) for the event to give it a pronounced burst of authenticity.
And you know that there are more than willing baseball celebrity fanatics who would be willing to take time out to introduce a category, or even socialize with their favorite baseball player(s). And you know that MLB Network would be more than thrilled to have one of their own possibly be the event’s host or even selected for possibly the main award of the night. And you could push the announcement of the major MLB awards all to one central date to boost and get more immediate exposure for the Rookies of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young recipients.
You could delay the usual Roberto Clemente Award presentation for this event, and possibly have the added venture of our favorite stars who won the certain award previously present that season’s prize, just like the Academy Awards. As I saw last night, the usual VMA’s is getting a bit too, well flawed. Not by the artists or even the hosts or presenters’, but by the aspect of no excitement or suspense anymore. But maybe that is because of the Lady Gaga factor that tends to neutralize some of your emotions on that award show.
But the same could happen here. Manny could be Manny in an entirely different stage by having him sit next to former teammate David Ortiz, or with new Manager Ozzie Guillen and see how they play off each other outside the ballpark. You would definitely see some of the “Hollywood factor” in the house as young ballplayers would be seeking out starlets and event escorts to push their social cred higher and higher by walking in with some of the countries most desired womenfolk.
But most of all, it will bring the visually stimulated and informed fans into a centralized event to watch, discuss and emulate their favorite baseball stars. If Phillies star Jimmy Rollins showed up to an event like this sporting a new type of Nike suit, or even a certain tie, the public would clamor and search for that new item with glee and abandon until they possessed one for themselves. This might be the next stop in the evolution of MLB outside the ballpark.
And you know there is a huge selection of past and present Hollywood icons and stars who have that passion and zeal for the game of baseball that would be more than willing to present awards, or even entertain. Heck, MLB.com has several bands like Train, Hoobastank, O.A.R. and even newcomers like Wilco and David Nail who are already on the MLB Entertainment route who would love to perform or even showcase their love for the game.
Having an event like this would create a buzz at the end of the season, would bring a new social aspect to seeing players outside the game element, and bring some of them to a better understanding by the fans. It only seems natural to me that an event like this could unfold from MLB to become another one of the sporting worlds crowned jewels in a short time. People love these types of events, and the usual yearly awards could be repositioned in a way to accommodate and facilitate a smooth transition to this new awards format. No longer will awards be stretched out over a 3 weeks period.
In our age of instant technology there could be voting done within the scope of the post season before the respective Division Championship Series ends.
Hype and award speculation could be cultivated between the AL or NL Championship Series own conclusion. And mixed with the World Series usual pageantry and circumstance, a new level of baseball yearning can be born. It only seems like the next logical step for MLB.
These types of events can be huge marketing tools to introduce a new segment of the MLB experience, or even offer additional ticket sales that would trump the prices of World Series tickets as everyone will want to be there to rub elbows and possibly get a photo op with their sports obsession.
It could be the next evolution of MLB towards focusing their brand into the social aspects of the game, plus bring a new dimension of the players to the fans. Events like the Tampa Bay Rays own Fashion Show and player appearances in the community going for blocks show that fans want to visually see their favorite players in a different hue outside the bright lights of the stadium playing surface.
It would be an event players will schedule on their calendars, sponsors would swoop in and capitalize on the last baseball up-swing before the Winter begins, it would be the last huge social event of the MLB season. Anyways, what baseball fans wouldn’t want to know what designer or even what pattern someone like Ichiro Suzuki or Jose Valverde wear off the turf? Might even be the perfect social setting for the Rays BRAYSer…
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