Alex Bregman wants to be in primetime.
The Houston Astros’ star third baseman spoke in the clubhouse after Houston’s 11-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Monday, finishing off the sweep and sending the Astros to the ALCS, where they await the winner of the Yankees-Red Sox series that dominated primetime.
Bregman pleaded for more primetime coverage for the Astros going forward.
“I’ve been saying this all day. I hope the rest of the world knows. Does Tiger Woods tee off at 8 a.m.? Does Floyd Mayweather play the first fight of the night? It’s about time the show ‘Stros are on primetime television. I got a sunburn today. I’m not happy,” Bregman said.
Bregman repeated his sentiment during an interview with Scott Van Pelt on Monday night.
On one hand, I get it. Everyone wants to play in primetime. But on the other hand, TBS and MLB had what they (and many fans) consider the holy grail of matchups in the other half of the ALDS bracket – Yankees vs Red Sox. We haven’t gotten that matchup in the playoffs since 2004. Sure, the league could have put one of those games in an earlier window and put an Astros-Indians game in primetime, but that probably would have hurt ratings (especially considered the ridiculous viewership that Game 1 of that Yanks-Sox series drew).
It’s the eternal catch-22 for the networks and the league. Do you keep going to the well with the money matchup in the premium timeslots, knowing you’ll bring in strong viewership, at the potential cost of building new stars in smaller (though Houston is actually a bigger market than Boston, but I digress) markets? Or do you sacrifice the strong viewership in the immediate term to build up stars playing outside of the northeast and make them less unknown in the future?
As someone that does not give one single solitary shit about the Yankees or Red Sox, I would love to see more teams like the Astros, Brewers, and Rockies in premium timeslots. But as long as the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Cubs are still competent Major League Baseball teams, that probably won’t happen too often any time soon.