**UPDATE: Dirk will throw out the first pitch for Game 3. Well done, twitter.**
Besides this little lockout ordeal, the NBA is actually quite good at not screwing things up. They market their league tremendously, promote their superstars and have always been leaps and bounds ahead of the competition as far as digital media is concerned (tons of YouTube videos, League Pass across all mobile platforms, etc.).
Then there's MLB. MLB who bans practically every YouTube video, charges ridiculous prices for access to digital content (when you can even view it with the absurd blackout restrictions) and is about as far behind as you can be in instant replay. So this isn't helping.
The Texas Rangers asked MLB if Dirk Nowitzki could throw out the first pitch for one of the upcoming World Series games in Arlington. And of course, they said no.
The reason is bogus. "Broad national appeal"? Yep. Because it wasn't like the 2011 NBA Finals were the most-watched Finals in about 11 years. It's not like Cleveland fans with no ties to Dirk Nowitzki at all weren't chanting and going nuts for him and eating sandwiches named after him. Oh, and Dirk actually likes the Texas Rangers a little.
So bravo, MLB. Have fun being the third sport in the Big Four rankings (and if hockey didn't have a worse commissioner than Bud Selig, it'd probably jump baseball). Have fun as people continue to read stories about how you're horribly run across ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports and CBSSports.
Enjoy the free publicity.