I switched baseball allegiance this year from the Mets to the Nats. When the season began, the Nats were the “best team in the league” on paper. But they are only human, and yesterday I listened to their local TV announcers bitch about how to rescue the team. They sounded desperate, and they wanted a big shake up: shuffle the lineup, bring up a minor league prospect, make some trades.
In lean years when I rooted for the Mets, I heard similar desperation from the New York radio sports commentators, but they were kind enough to explain the cause of their strong emotions.
When a team is doing well, the local announcers and sports analysts make more money. (I shall call these people the “sports2ers.”) When the team goes into the pits, the same happens to the sports2ers’ income. Think of the difference it makes. When the team is going well:
The sports2ers get paid to draw customers to advertising campaigns and public events.
The local TV and radio stations get a bigger audience. Their ad revenue goes up, and the sports2ers negotiate better salaries.
The sports2ers can organize their own paying events.
The sports2ers may get to broadcast additional programs.
The next time you hear these people complaining about a bad trade or a poor decision by an owner, remember: they have a stake in these decisions. They care, not just for you the sports fan, but for themselves.