What Boycotts? MLB Sends Message About Early Viewership Numbers: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. Major League Baseball would like you to know that after the first 18 days of the 2021 season, its streaming service, MLB.tv, is experiencing some impressive viewership gains.

The league sent out a very lengthy press release filled with tons of numbers and data Monday.

The two most important stats are:

  • MLB.tv viewership minutes are up 18% from 2020 and 43% from 2019.
  • Total games watched is up 22% from last year and 35% compared to 2019.

The press release also touted increased ratings for MLB Network and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Now, every sport likes to share positive ratings information when it can. But you can’t convince me this particular press release wasn’t in part designed to say, “Oh, if you think those fake boycotts from people upset about the league’s decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta are legit, think again.”

And good for Major League Baseball. When there is constant misinformation about your sport generating coverage, you have to fight back any way you can. Come on:

On a side note, now that MLB is enjoying some growth with its streaming numbers, it would be nice if they reevaluated their archaic blackout rules.

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick told a pretty funny story on Chris Long's latest Green Light podcast about sending Alex Smith a cringeworthy text message after his leg injury.

3. What can you even say about the greatness of Steph Curry at this point? This tweet was sent two days ago before the Warriors star drained another 10 three-pointers Monday night in his 49-point effort against the Sixers.

4. What a ride for this Nationals fan. He dropped a home run ball, lashed out at himself in frustration and then got redemption.

5. James Corden spent nearly seven minutes Monday night venting about the European Super League.

6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with gambling guru Todd Fuhrman. The former Caesars Palace oddsmaker talked about the viral videos involving a fan telling Mets first baseman Pete Alonso the over/under before he homered and another fan talking gambling with Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Fuhrman also gave an overview on where we stand with legalized gambling, like which states are doing it right and which are doing it wrong. He also explained the importance of being able to shop for the best odds, which sport has benefitted the most from legalized gambling, how the NCAA tournament and the Masters fared from a betting standpoint, his best and worst losses this season, how much baseball betting has changed over the years, rule changes wreaking havoc on bettors and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Stitcher.

You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I watched the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin documentary on A&E on Monday night and it was excellent. It also got me in the mood to feature some vintage Attitude Era rattlesnake today.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.