Daniel Bard is hoping to pitch his way back to prominence. For a time, Daniel Bard was one of baseball’s most effective and feared relievers. Now the 31-year-old right-hander is scratching and clawing for one more opportunity in the big leagues, which he hopes will come this season with the St. Louis Cardinals.
PORT ST. LUCIE — Good fortune — or, to be more precise, good scheduling — put me at the Yankees’ Grapefruit League home opener Friday and the same for the Mets on Saturday. The Yankees put on a de facto commercial for their long-term plan, with their young pups displaying promise and, in Aaron Judge’s case, massive power. The Mets? Thankfully for them, in baseball — unlike in that old Head & Shoulders commercial — you do get a second chance to make a first impression. David Wright’s heartwarming return to game action couldn’t carry the Mets’ day (or this column). Not with Lucas Duda missing in action due to ailing hips and with Kevin Plawecki suffering a big scare, one that apparently could have
As baseball players in spring training loosen up and get ready for the season, Major League Baseball is busy thinking of ways to improve TV ratings and attract younger fans. Although Major League Baseball has brought in record revenues for the past 13 years in a row, including a $500 million increase to $9.5 billion in 2015, the sport risks a steep dip in viewership as the next generation steps up to the plate. Baseball has the oldest viewers of the top major sports, with 50% of its audience 55 or older (up from 41% a decade ago), according to Nielsen ratings. The average age of baseball viewers is 53, compared with 47 for the NFL and 37 for the NBA, according to the ratings. And fewer young