The cut away because there was 20,000+ people who thought the baseball game was important enough to go watch it and even more would have gone if they suspected a no-hitter would happen, but only 1,000 people (if that) cared enough to attend the Track Nationals. Blame USATF for holding them in Des Moines. At least Eugene fills the stands and makes ESPN think there are people who care.
Their purpose of getting track out to other areas of the country this way doesn't work. Not many people live in Iowa and those tuning in on ESPN saw that no one seems to care about T&F from the empty stands.
USATF only seems to market track and field to those who are already fans. Thats preaching to the choir but we need some converts and they are clueless as to how to make that happen.
I'll give them a hint..... there are only a few thousand people who are active sprinters or jumpers or thowers in this country yet there are millions of people who run road races. Those runners are prospective new T&F fans.
Note to ESPN: read the last paragraph - hint, hint, hint, get a freakin announcer who can actually talk intelligably about distance races because 75% of your audiance are distance runners. Dwight Stones does a good job with field events but there isn't alot of interest there and he's pathetic at distance races (don't ask him to go there), Ato Boldon is excellent at sprint races but doesn't know squat about distance running (don't ask him to go there). That Johnson guy doesn't seem to know anything about anything.... can him. Call up Todd Williams or some other good former good distance runner (Liquori, Shorter, somebody) and get them to do the distance races. ESPN drops the ball on the events that have the most potential to gain them more viewers.
Other helpful hint for ESPN. If you have a distance race going on and you want to use the time to recap the results of other events, instead of a stale picture of the stands as your background show the race in the background. Have you guys ever done TV before??????