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What’s Missing from the World Series

by Matt Smith

We’re four games into the 2015 MLB World Series and baseball fans can have few complaints about the action that the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets have given us so far.

The Royals took advantage of being at home by jumping out to a 2-0 series lead, only for the Mets to hit straight back when the series shifted to New York with a win in Game Three. Noah Syndergaard’s opening salvo provided an immediate spark to Friday night’s game, taking ownership of the first pitch away from Alcides Escobar and the Royals and showing that the Mets were intent on putting their stamp on the series.

However, the Royals’ eighth-inning exploits in Game Four on Saturday night swung the contest firmly back in their favour. A 3-2 deficit became a 5-3 lead and reliever Wade Davis took over from there with two scoreless innings to put Kansas City ahead 3-1 in the series, one win away from claiming the championship.

Whilst the action on the field has been great to watch, it’s only served to emphasize what a shame it is that we no longer have British baseball coverage of the Fall Classic (let alone the rest of the regular season). The games are shown live on BT Sport, with MLB.TV subscribers able to view online too, and that’s infinitely better than having no access to the games at all on these shores.

Still, former Baseball on 5 (and MLB on Five Live Sports Extra) presenter Josh Chetwynd summed up the feelings of many during the 14-inning opening game

Where we now have repetitive mid/between inning adverts, we used to enjoy Jonny, Josh and/or Dave wearing tuxedos dissecting the game and leading the club of baseball nuts watching the game we love in the early hours of the morning. Michael Brown has a petition going to get Jonny Gould back on the airwaves precisely because of the sheer enjoyment he and the rest of the crew provided for many of us over the years.

With the NFL hosting yet another game at Wembley this weekend, it goes to show how far back baseball has slipped that we don’t have our own coverage even just for the marquee event of the year.

Here’s hoping that may change one day and we can once again enjoy presenters awarding marks out of ten to the national anthem rendition, seventh inning stretches, sneaky bites of chocolate not quite concealed quickly enough when cutting back to the studio, and the great community spirit that only dedicated coverage can foster.

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