It is no secret that Major League Baseball is not my cup of tea. In fact, I pretty much hate everything about the league.
The season is far too long. It refuses to adapt to the times. It has the most stupid unwritten rules. It is a bunch of grown ass men acting like a bunch bitches… “I don’t like that he hit a home run and watched it, now let me throw at your face.” Last but not least, it sucks at marketing it’s star athletes.
Almost everything about baseball is a drag. With that being said, it still generates a ton of revenue. In fact, it ranks second in the world behind the NFL with $9.5 billion in profits. Most of that comes from local TV deals and the fact the season is 162 games long. There are still a bunch of die hard baseball fans out there. However, the biggest problem is most of the fans watching are old and white. The numbers of 2016 in terms of who is watching are just laughable.
- 50% of viewers were 55 or older
- 26% were between 33-54
- 70% were male
- 83% were white
People are watching. However, it is a very pigeonholed demographic. Basically, guys like Connor, Jim and Tim are your viewers. Baseball needs more of Jamal or DeAndre. Hell, even if they get Molly or Jasmine watching, expand your range damn it.
So what happens when these old white men are gone? Where does baseball fall into the mold at that point?
It would be totally unfair to compare to football because it dominates the sports world and it is not even close. We can eliminate the NFL from the discussion.
The biggest competition in the US for MLB is the NBA. The NBA does a great job of marketing their stars. Much of that comes from things like shoes and the fact it is a game where it’s five men on the court. We constantly see their faces. If you ask your wife or a casual sports fan to name you three NBA players, they probably could. LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are the top names in the league who most people could probably think of.
If you ask a casual sports fan to name three players from the MLB? You’re probably hearing crickets. That is where my major problem with baseball lies.
Who the fuck are your stars and why aren’t they being elevated?
Baseball has three megastars that they could milk the hell out of and put themselves back on the map. The three guys I am talking about are none other than New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper and Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant.
My baseball fans out there are probably thinking “what about Mike Trout?” What about him? He is a great player and probably better than all of those guys, but he is vanilla. Nothing is interesting about him other than the fact he is a great ball player. I feel the same way about him that I do about San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. They are both great, but what is there to market? You need more than a high batting average or great defensive skills to be a marketing ploy.
Aaron Judge, Yankees
First and foremost, he plays for the New York Yankees. One the most hated and highly profitable sports franchises in the world. That automatically makes him a villain. Even though he is soft spoken and humble cat, it doesn’t matter. Once the wins starts piling up for the Yankees, he becomes baseball’s biggest villain. Mark my words on that. People will respect him. He reminds me a lot of Derek Jeter in terms of personality. But, people will still hate him if he wins. That is marketing gold. Every league needs a villain.
As a rookie, he has a shot at the triple crown. He is a an absolute slugger who has been tearing the cover off the ball. Thanks to the Home Run Derby, you probably know his name now. That is if you didn’t before. As we know, the long ball sells. May I revert you back to the golden era of baseball? The steroid era. There is a reason the ratings were so damn high. Home Run races made the game interesting. This dude is also built like a mammoth at 6’7 282 lbs.
Bryce Harper, Nationals
This is your bad boy of baseball. Think of him as your Ricky Vaughn. I wrote a column a while ago about how Harper could help save baseball from being consumed with unwritten rules and all the bullshit. He has a short temper and wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is an enigma, kind of like the Joker. Whether you love him or hate him, you are entertained by him.
He got beaned by a pitcher because he blasted a pair of home runs off him in a previous post season (part of the bitchiness I talk about with baseball). Oh yeah, let me bean a guy because I can’t get the best of him. You’re a fucking pansy, Hunter Strickland. You’re the type of guy who gets out of the shower to take a piss.
I love that Harper talks shit about the “old-school” baseball mentality like Strickland’s. Harper was quoted saying if someone bests him and they pump their fist about it, he’s going to try and get them next time. But if you act like a bitch like Strickland, then he’s pumping his fist in a different way. He’s throwing haymakers at your head. Good for him. These unwritten rules are worthless.
Harper is viewed as a Punk, meanwhile throwing fastballs at someone’s head is viewed as commonplace in this stupid sport. I don’t get it and neither does Harper. Market the hell out of the new school and let Harper be the tidal wave for the new generation. He has the look. He has the skills. He has the baseball world on it’s heels. #TeamHarper
Kris Bryant, Cubs
This is your hero. Bryant, the most recognizable name of the World Series Champs Chicago Cubs, could be elevated as the good guy of the league. He is a likable dude. He also helped the Cubs come back from the dead being down 3-1 and leading them to their first championship in 108 years. This is an easy one. It writes itself.
One of the things about him being the “hero” for the league, he has star quality. That’s a good looking dude (inset gay joke if you’re a cunt). Looks tend to matter for marketing.
I put Bryant in the same boat as Derek Jeter. No matter what, people will have respect for him.
The Golden Opportunity
This is the first time in over two decades that baseball has a plethora of talent to market from. The last time was during the steroid era when they had Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr.
I sincerely hope baseball takes advantage of the chance in front of them because if they do, you might be able to draw some younger fans to the game. Use these guys faces to make your game more popular. It is a business model the NBA uses. The NBA actually has a wider demographic of fans. So, steal a page from their playbook. Stop being stagnant and boring.
You remember how I ripped apart the league for all the ridiculous unwritten rules? Well, caring more about the name on the front of the jersey than the back is another major problem. Baseball views teams as more important than the players. Fuck that. Market the names on the backs of those jerseys. Your teams aren’t selling shit on a national level. That is how you get people to care about your sport. If fans don’t know your players, why would they care?
Please baseball, give yourself a fighting chance because once your old white guys die off, you got nothing.