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MLB needs to improve visibility of its young stars, says Glenn Ordway

Kyle DaLuz
July 17, 2018 - 3:08 pm

Last night was a good night for those who have defended baseball over the last week, after the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy opined that ‘baseball is striking out in every way.’

A main talking point from baseball detractors over the last few seasons is the lack of marketing by Major League Baseball of its star players. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Bryce Harper are all among the conversation as baseball’s greats, but garner less attention than their fellow greats in other sports like the NFL and NBA.

Harper helped his cause by showing plenty of personality last night in front of his hometown fans in Washington D.C., winning the Home Run Derby in extra time, edging out Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber 19-18 in the final round. Harper was his usual colorful self, draped in an American flag bandana and arm sleeve. He was overcome with joy on the field and in TV interviews after winning the Derby at Nationals Park.

Like many others, Ordway, Merloni & Fauria co-hosts Glenn Ordway and Christian Fauria both enjoyed the show on ESPN last night, but took issue with the lack of stars present in the Derby lineup.

“You didn’t have guys who were huge stars last night. [Rhys] Hoskins, nobody knew who he was,” Ordway said. “You need to get the superstars back in it. You need [Mike] Trout, OK? You need J.D. Martinez. You need your clear-cut, home run hitters in that thing because you’re trying to drive personality for these guys. One thing you can do at a Home Run Derby is drive personality because it’s fun.”

Ordway and Fauria discussed Betts’ appearance in the field last night with ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza, where Betts hung out in the outfield during an at-bat. Ordway claims it’s one of the few times we’ve seen Major League Baseball show an attempt at giving a star some visibility.

“What do you know about Mookie other than he likes to bowl?” he asked. “People don’t realize there’s a military history with his dad. There’s a lot of stuff. But I do like the fact that he’s getting more and more visible.”

“Mookie doesn’t even have the Honey Dew, throw me a bone-type marketing campaign,” Fauria said. “Nothing. Can we get Cumberland Farms? Mookie should Cumberland Farms’ spokesperson. Consistent, reliable, hard working. That’s what Cumberland Farms is.”

“Mookie needs to be more visible and the Red Sox have some work to do in doing that,” Ordway replied. “If he wins a championship this year, I think that personality goes to the next level.”

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