Baseball is Blowing It

A month ago the NHL announced their playoff plans and this past week basketball confirmed their continued season and playoffs. While there may be alterations to what football needs to do to get its season going it seems like we’ll have football nonetheless. Meanwhile, baseball seems no closer to the start of a season and is falling further and further behind.

Baseball’s time to shine is during the summer as basketball and hockey come to end, and America’s past time is already losing out on its monopoly to dominate the sports world and each days is falling further and further behind. Now with the delay to the hockey and basketball season there’s going to be even less time for baseball have the sports world to itself.

The ironic thing is the MLB has been constantly struggling to modernize itself to boost its appeal to a younger generation, and yet its inability to adapt is what’s causing problems right now. The league has been focused on speeding up the game and yet the owners and player’s association aren’t even moving in negotiations to get their product back on the field.

The optics continue to look worse and worse as owners have refused to pay for minor leaguers, a drop in the bucket, then cutting them outright. The draft has shrank, limiting opportunities, and now it seems in the millionaire versus billionaire argument the owners are holding firm on possibly not even having a season. The financial repercussions were already going to be a big adjustment for next season and no season would make it even worse.

Baseball is a sport entrenched in its ‘tradition’ to a fault. The MLB has been trying to modernize while the purist don’t want the sport to change from its traditional roots. In this new era of faster pace and more connection to fans it seems that the MLB is doing whatever they can to go the opposite way. Now there’s a legitimate chance the millionaires versus billionaires may deprive those fans, who’ve spent their hard earned money, of a season.

Baseball is a sport with an older fan base and what they’re doing is failing to build a younger fan base. The MLB is depriving kids the chance to watch the games with their parents while they’re at home, no food in the bleachers hoping to catch a ball when things open up and it’s not like there are other options for sports entertainment. 

When I was kid I became a fan of baseball because I watched it with my dad. As a Cubs fan the home run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire, which will be a great 30 for 30 (while also showing the irony of baseball’s tradition), is what got me interested in baseball. As I’ve gotten older the other sports have passed it. I don’t mind watching baseball still but its problem is with the casual fan. Baseball is often described as a show that’s better to see in person than watch on TV, and now what’s going to happen with all those minor leagues that were reasonably priced and fans could go see?

I do think we’ll get a baseball season but the damage already may have been done. Playoffs from other sports will absolutely trump regular season baseball and then the king, football will be back. Not to mention this is a very socially active time and the optics of the MLB aren’t looking great either, not to mention it’s past of racial issues that seem far from a past memory. Baseball is having trouble relating to a younger audience and isn’t doing anything to amend that. Baseball is blowing it.