Is Baseball (MLB) Really Doomed?

Discussion in 'Sports Zone' started by WPBCowboysFan, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    BSPN loves to routinely proclaim, at least on radio, that MLB is doomed. They fail to change. They arent keeping up with the changing times. Games are too long. Its too hung up on tradition and staying the same. Terrible marketing of the game. Not enough young people playing or watching. Baseball and the owners are archaic and arrogant and the fall is coming.

    MLB tells us revenues are higher than ever and attendance is better than ever. The game is in better shape than ever. I for one have never thot Dud Selig was anything other than a worthless pile, and what he says means nothing.

    So there are two differing perspectives and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

    I have been watching and following baseball for over 40 years. The games arent too long for me. IMO, the tradition is a HUGE part of the game. Stats, records, comparing players form different eras and how they compare to the greats of the game is all part of it. Its what baseball is. Its what makes the game so great and timeless in a sense. Its just a great game to all who understand and follow it with some passion. So, in many ways something so great doesnt need dramatic change. Coke is just fine and has been for years. How did New Coke work out? In order to change for the better there has to be a need for change and a BETTER change available.

    Now, I understand that my perspective is part of the problem for the BSPN progressives. Im an old white guy. Its the old guys (white) who own and run MLB like a club that is the issue. Ive come to think that the problem isnt MLB, but the perspective of those who says its doomed. The real problem they have comes out when they repeatedly make statements about MLB not being diverse enough. Or resistant to change. Or an old white guys club. The problem isnt baseball. The problem is baseball will not make all the changes that THEY want to make. And whats really ironic, is they dont really know what changes are needed, they just know it needs to change.

    Every sport and every organization always needs to be self evaluating or decline or death follows. So its not that baseball shouldnt always be doing that. But is baseball really doomed as the BSPNer's routinely claim?

    What think you?

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I think all sports are suffering, to varying degrees, a certain doom. Young kinds don't seem to play a lot of pickup games or flag or sandlot anymore. When I was a kid, you did your chores, you got feed, you got kicked out of the house, you played whatever sport all day long and you showed up back at the house, possibly for lunch and supper. You showered clean, maybe watched a little bit of whatever your Mom and Dad might want to watch on the tube and you went to bed and did it all over again.

    A lot has changed since then. I think that Baseball is suffering because of all of the three major sports, it's most unusual to see a group of kids get out in the neighborhood and get together to play baseball. Do people even buy gloves for kids if they are not playing little league anymore? When I was a kid, regardless of if you played on a team, you had a glove. I don't think that's the case any longer.
  3. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    Good points. We played wiffle ball even if it was one on one or two on two. Made rules to fit whoever's back yard it was in. Or we played with a bat and tennis ball if we didnt have a baseball. Football was the same as well. Now you cant just turn your kids loose no matter what type of hood you live in. Everything is more structured and regimented. More protective as well by necessity. Just a different world.
  4. KB1122

    KB1122 Well-Known Member

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    I'm 40-ish, I grew watching and playing a lot of baseball. But I really don't follow it that much anymore. I was turned off first by the 94 strike and then really by the steroid era.

    I don't know if it dooms the game, but their demographics are terrible. I can't source what I'm about to say very well, And I don't remember if it was baseball fanship or game viewership or world series viewership, But on some baseball measurement, the average age is going up one year every year. That means baseball fandom consists of basically the same people one year older each year, with little to no replacement at the bottom.

    The biggest problem is that baseball is bereft of star players who are household names. People have said this since I was a teen, but now it's really true. The biggest baseball stars are Derek Jeter, who is about to retire and Alex Rodriguez. Both are over 40. Name the biggest star in baseball under 40. There isn't one. Part and parcel of this: a good portion of the best players either are not media-friendly or face a language barrier, or pretend to face a language barrier in order to avoid the media. Yu Darvish supposedly speaks fine English but acts like he doesn't. I think the inability to create star personalities is probably as big of a problem as pace.

    That said, pace is an issue, but one that could be fixed pretty easily. Sabremetrics in some ways has been a disaster. I don't want to have to use a sigma to figure out who is a good player.

    Can baseball reverse things? Sure. But it has a lot of work to do.
  5. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler

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    Was listening to their radio station this morning and they were still going on about it. ESPN claims that there aren't enough African Americans and the Latinos are taking over yet only 9% of them watch baseball.

    ABQ has a strong point.......when we were kids, we played all sports from sun up to sun down, sometimes even after supper under the streetlights. We played street football, some form of baseball(using wiffles, tennis balls, etc) We would play this game for practice(can't believe I forgot name...hotbox maybe?) where someone runs back and forth trying to avoid a tag.

    We used the roofs on adjacent houses for HR's, triples, etc, etc. Today, you just don't see that anymore(I blame technology) and a lot of kids are just lazy and the ones who aren't play soccer now or in some kind of swimming sport. Our generations just believed that the kids would be safe out there playing without supervision....not today.

    IMO, MLB is a sport that can't be changed too much due to records, stats, history and the like. There is not much room for drastic change really. The new rule for blocking of the plate was a bad decision and they are already talking about reversing it.

    I don't think the sport is doomed but they might continually decline in ratings if the younger generations don't start playing more.
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  6. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler

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    Mike Trout.....Puig........Harper. Those guys are going to need to be major players for young kids to gain interest in the sport.
  7. KB1122

    KB1122 Well-Known Member

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  8. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Spot on. Personally I stopped following baseball in the 80's and haven't missed a bit since.
  9. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about doomed, but everything is evolving. In the 1970s there was baseball, football and basketball. They had the market. Anything else was very minor. There was some soccer, but not much. Now it is much bigger. Not overwhelmingly huge, but it plays a factor. There wasn't X-Games or MMA at all back then. Now they are a part of the sports world for young people. There are more and more things for kids to do and watch both involving sports and non-sports activities. A kid can't be playing baseball if he is tooling around an on-line role playing game or the like. Things are changing.
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  10. cowboyeric8

    cowboyeric8 Chicks dig crutches

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    I'm sure it varies everywhere, but I think MLB is stronger than ever for the individual teams due to being able to watch every game because of regional networks. I know growing up I rarely watched MLB due to not many games ever being shown. And now I know I don't watch it much outside of the Rangers, I will keep up with other teams but I rarely watch a full game of another team until playoffs, but I'm always watching the Rangers good or bad because I love the game and the Rangers.

    In the smaller cities of Texas baseball is actually been growing recently because of it being a safer alternative to football. Parents would rather have them play baseball than football.

    I think the big 3 sports will always be safe, they may not always be as popular as they have been but I feel they are safe.

    The thing I love about the MLB is that they don't change the sport, its great on it's own without rule changes that greatly impact the game. I think implementing replay has improved the game, although they really need to make that a quicker process because it's just another thing slowing it down.

    But I guess it's all about people's tastes. I don't think the younger generation can just sit there and watch a baseball game because they simply can't sit still, but I think that applies to the other sports as well.
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  11. Wheeltax

    Wheeltax Well-Known Member

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    I think there are things MLB could do to stay relevant and exciting in a faster-paced entertainment world.

    I wouldn't mind seeing them limit the amount of time between a batter's swings to speed up the pace of the game some. I do wonder how a salary cap might affect the sport, possibly pushing more big name players to jump to different teams.

    I think one of baseball's main problems is the same problem I have with basketball - there's too much of it. I can't get excited about watching a baseball game in week 3 because there are still six thousand more games before worrying about playoffs.
  12. PA Cowboy Fan

    PA Cowboy Fan Well-Known Member

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    The only time I really watch baseball is during the playoffs and WS and I don't watch every game. I used to enjoy it but I haven't watched it regularly since the late 80's.
  13. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    The money comes from regional TV. National TV is spending peanuts on MLB anymore. Since it is now all about your team, interest centers around the cities with teams; no one else cares much.

    I do think there is a big worry in about 20 years as most of the current audience dies off or is in nursing homes.

    I am intrigued by the idea of a pitching clock; that certainly would speed things up. As long as they are reasonable. The NBA shot clock is a joke; college is much more correct on that.
  14. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    My first words were "Bibby pitch".
    I grew up listening to games on the radio.
    But reality is now that sport is behind football, basketball and soccer for me by a wide wide margin.
    5 years ago I still watched some baseball but often fell asleep on the games even with a young and exciting Rangers team.
    With them playing poorly I can't say I've watched more than 20 innings the entire year.
    I've watched more WNBA than that, lol.

    Ironically I think the steroid era had the right idea.
    Viewership and publicity peaked with Sosa/McGwire/Bonds home run chases.
    Doing away with steroids made the game fairly tame and boring. --tho fair!

    Baseball is still a game that is best for me on the radio or at the park.
    If I have a long drive or some errand to handle with headphones on and of course if I have tickets to the game baseball still appeals but on TV the game is just not much fun to watch.

    The problem is trying to make the game more tv friendly will draw all sorts of angst from the hardcore fan base.
    Not sure how they can best handle the situation but pretending it is just awesome is probably not a good way.
  15. 65fastback2plus2

    65fastback2plus2 Well-Known Member

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    baseball is just boring to watch. games are long with no action. similar to soccer.
  16. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    Only if you dont understand the game. There is a reason its called the thinking mans game.
  17. 65fastback2plus2

    65fastback2plus2 Well-Known Member

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    I was raised on baseball...collected baseball cards out my ears. Ive gotten to see Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens pitch for the Astros.

    I watched it so much, my favorite player was a non-traditional player...Andres Gallaraga.

    Growing up, my youngest brother played baseball for several years. Went to all his games. We played baseball on gaming consoles constantly.

    Sitting in a stadium, watching baseball is really boring.

    As I tell most people, my sports go like this:

    Sports I will go outside and play...but cant stand to watch
    Sports I cant play....but like to watch

    Baseball and Soccer are in the play category and football and basketball are in the watch category (I'm the worst basketball shot ever).
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  18. RonSpringsdaman20

    RonSpringsdaman20 Hold The Door!

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    I was a big fan in the 80's 90's growing up. Huge Orioles fan. Between Peter Angelos , The Steroid Era, and the Strike lost year....
    I lost interest. Watch a few LCS, and Series games, but don't keep up with it anymore.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Now, this brings back memories. I remember listening to a transistor radio with an ear bud at night with the lights off, falling asleep with the game on or being really tired the next day because the game was too good to miss over the radio. I really miss those kinds of things from my childhood.
  20. Plankton

    Plankton Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the interest in the younger generation in the game. Many little leagues are struggling to get participation. I still watch and follow the Yankees every day, even since I relocated from New York, and my son enjoys baseball more than any other sport, so perhaps there's hope.

    I think once our children get to be in their 30's, this sport could have a lot of problems. Truthfully, football may not be that far off (the concussion issue is already affecting Pop Warner enrollments).

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