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Column: Baseball & Oscars fight losing battle for relevancy

Column: Baseball & Oscars fight losing battle for relevancy

Yes, folks, dinosaurs do still roam the Earth.

Come Sunday night, an increasingly irrelevant Hollywood elite — look, kids, Dame Judi Dench got another nomination! — will congregate for their yearly fete to an astonishing lack of self-awareness, a.k.a. the Academy Awards.

In less than set of two weeks, Major League Baseball will hurl not here the earliest pitch on another fun-filled time of jockstrap adjustments with every one other accompanied by dallying flat longer than usual in the centre of pitches so every one fielder, and a set of two of heated canine vendors, have hour dated to shift to one side of the field.

Baseball & the Oscars.

Two relics of a bygone era, both fighting a despairing nevertheless ultimately losing battle to retain away from relegation — sorry, a soccer word seemed suitable here — to Nicheville U.S.A.

Each seems to believe it tin by some means become must-see viewing again, in malice of plunging ratings that corroborate they've by that hour dated been written off by a sizable chunk of the population.

For the Oscars, that means going to increasingly despairing lengths to integrity films that people have actually seen, flat though we all know snooty Academy members good turn flicks attended by 14 people — all of them movie critics — at an art house on the Upper East Side.


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A few years ago, they proposed an "Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement inside Popular Film" — inside other words, whichever superhero movie sold the most tickets — nevertheless that scheme fast fell apart with every one other accompanied by was shuffled off to purgatory to congregate the dreaded "additional input."

With nothing additional heard concerning whatever additional input was received, the 2022 Oscars have turned to that bastion of rationale idea with every one other accompanied by respectful debate — Twitter! — to present with the fans a speak on their favorite film with every one other accompanied by finest movie moment.

Granted, the Twitterverse can't do a a large amount of worse than Academy voters who selected "Green Book" while the finest film of 2018 solely for making white people be in touch better concerning racism, nevertheless we don't have high hopes for anything emanating from the cesspool of communal media.

Baseball, meanwhile, is looking to build on a blockbuster of an offseason inside which billionaire owners duked it not here accompanied by millionaire players inside "Lock-Out 5: No Way Home Unless We Can Figure Out A Luxury Tax Threshold."

Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin was compelling cinema, to exist sure, nevertheless it had nothing on MLB Commish Rob Manfred ducking not here of negotiations to labour on his golf swing.

What a twist!

Sadly, the extremity was anticlimactic. With hour dated a-wasting, enormously wealthy people on both sides said "What the heck are we doing?" with every one other accompanied by furiously hammered not here a new labour accord that fundamentally fair prints up additional money for all of them.

With champagne faucets now installed inside all clubhouse showers, baseball is prepared to "tackle" a a lengthy way additional challenging conundrum: How to attract new fans who aren't by that hour dated collecting Social Security? (Full disclosure: The football word used inside the foregoing judgement is not an Easter ovum that leads to some inside scoop on the NFL draft. Unless that's the only way you'll retain reading. Then, yes, it is an Easter ovum related to the 12th all-inclusive pick.)

After careful consideration, the large leagues are now leaning in the direction of pitch clocks, banning shifts with every one other accompanied by installing larger bases while ways to turn their game into a blisteringly paced deed flick that sends ratings into the stratosphere.

Spoiler alert: They won't.

We're not saying those changes won't improve the game. Maybe they will. We're certainly pumped that all teams will exist using the designated hitter this season, eliminating the silliest spectacle inside all of sports: a pitcher attempting to sway a bat.

But baseball would need a hour dated machine to regain its standing while the accurate national pastime.

The same applies to the Oscars with every one other accompanied by the sway it on one occasion held over the entertainment world, nevertheless the Academy fair can't seem to permit go of that pipe dream. They're trying to cram something for everyone into a three-hour show, including a show of the hit "Encanto" air "We Don't Talk About Bruno," flat though it wasn't nominated for some awards.

"We're going to build sure that everybody has their moment," said Will Packer, who is producing the show.

Good luck accompanied by that. These are fragmented times we're living in, accompanied by a lengthy way additional options available inside our spare hour dated with every one other accompanied by a lengthy way additional ways to consume both games with every one other accompanied by movies.

Sure, baseball with every one other accompanied by the Oscars are apples to oranges inside numerous ways, nevertheless they portion numerous of the same issues when it comes to residual pertinent inside a fast-changing world.

Maybe, while an alternative of trying to amuse oneself catch-up, they should hear to the fans they do have. Those numbers may exist dwindling, nevertheless they're not insignificant.

A few tweaks here with every one other accompanied by there, by preference than a massive overhaul, is probable all that is needed to retain those folks tuning in.

Focus on those who actually like better dinosaurs. Forget concerning those who have moved on.

They're gone.

Extinct, you strength say.


Paul Newberry is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at) or at


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