The first pitch of the annual MLB Futures Game was shortly after 5 p.m. EDT. This was while Major League games were still being played. As long as the Futures Game has been played, this has always been the case and it does not make sense.
The perfect time to play the game would be Sunday night, which gets to the source of the problem. I am sure that if ESPN thought the Futures Game would get higher ratings than yet another Red Sox-Yankees game, the Futures Game would be played on Sunday night. As it is, I am sure the players who compete on Sunday night would just assume not have their all-star break start at midnight.
If MLB officials had the foresight to take a long-term view and gave the game time to build up a following, maybe more fans would watch. Long-term thinking has never been one of the MLB’s strengths. The stars of the future who they should be marketing have to compete for eyeballs with the stars of the present.