If you read this blog regularly or if you hang around me, you may notice that every time someone mentions baseball, my response is “baseball sucks.”
It is odd coming from me because after the age of 10, it is the only sport I played. I tried football for one year. I played soccer from 4-8. I didn’t stop playing baseball until I was 19 when I became too old for rec ball. Since then, it has been flag football and basketball. Although, I did play baseball a few summers ago. I actually enjoyed it.
The term “baseball sucks” is nothing more than a running joke between myself and some of my best friends although there is plenty of truth to it.
Before I start dropping truth bombs, the joke began about 4-5 years ago when my buddy (massive baseball fan) and I had a debate about baseball. I was talking about baseball and it’s lack of adaptability. He had mentioned that the NFL would be extinct in 10-15 years because of the CTE issues.
This led to a heated debate and my contention was there was absolutely no evidence to support the claim that football/The NFL was going to hit a state of decline. Prior to kneeling and election year, football was trending up.
In terms of revenue, ratings, and demographic of viewers, baseball is on the path to decline more than the other two of the big 3 in the US (NFL, NBA, MLB).
Now every chance I get, I’ll take a shot at baseball at the expense of my friend. Fast forward a few years when another buddy joined our fantasy league. That buddy created our annual Sucks list. Of course he became engrained in the running joke thus “Baseball Sucks” is forever going to be on that list. It is the one thing that is a repeat sucker for the list.
All that being said, I wish I could love baseball the way I used to. I wish I could get into it the way I used to be. I grew up watching the Atlanta Braves because that was my grandpa’s team of choice. He and I used to love watching Chipper Jones. As I got older, I started liking the Yankees, mainly for Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.
I got to witness the best era of baseball, the steroid era. Guys were jacking bombs. There were insane home run races and I got to witness the most dangerous hitter to ever grace a diamond, Barry Bonds.
I also got to see perhaps the most marketable baseball player ever in Ken Griffey Jr.
There was so much to look forward to when it came to baseball. We live in a different world than we did in the 90s and early 2000s though. As social media and 24/7 coverage began to rule and our attentions spans have dwindled, baseball has been a shit show that fails to capture the attention.
It is not my job to tune in. It is your job to entertain me. Hence the reason why “baseball sucks” is very much accurate.
Baseball carries lower TV ratings and demographic of viewers fits two categories, old and white.
Obviously the NFL destroys any other sports league and it is not even close. But even compared to the NBA, MLB carries lower numbers on average. Just diving into some comparisons here…
- Average Franchise Valuation
NFL: 2.57 Billion
NBA: 1.87 Billion
MLB: 1.64 Billion
- Average Attendance Per Game
- Championship TV Rating
The MLB is behind the 8-ball on just about every category that matters. The reason why is because 83% of the fan base is white, 50% of them are 55 and older. They can’t seem to capture minorities or the younger crowd. Why? I am not the messiah who has all the answers. But here are too glaring things I see…
The Season and Games are Too Long and Too Slow
While the NBA has an 82 game season, at least the games are roughly two hours of near non stop action. The NFL is about 3.5 hours, however it is loaded with action.
MLB is 3 hours long and we have to wait to watch a guy throw a ball. On the surface, baseball is boring. Even if I cared about baseball, I would just catch the highlights.
Figure out a way to cut time between pitches. Even with all the home runs this year, baseball isn’t setting the sports world on fire because it is too slow, too long and too boring for a fast paced world. Make it faster.
They Suck At Marketing Their Stars
I would argue that baseball has the better crop of marketable stars than any other sport. However, you wouldn’t know that because like me you’re probably not watching nor do you care. If MLB did a better job of marketing said stars, they could make us care. It would capture the attention and give us an emotional attachment.
Bryce Harper was a phenom when he was drafted and he is one of baseball’s best. He is a total enigma and plays in Philly, one of America’s most loathed sports cities. DOUBLE DOWN ON THAT! The marketing writes itself. Harper has as much attitude and flare as the city of Philly, use that.
The Sluggers of the Yanks are another huge selling point. The Yankees are one of the biggest sports franchises in the US, period. Remember the days of the Bronx Bombers? Well you could market them as that again when you have guys like Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. All three can tear the cover off the ball. It would help if they could all get healthy at the same time, but you get my point.
Mike Trout who’s statistically perhaps the most valuable player ever and vanilla as they come, his stats market themselves. He is your golden boy. The do-it-all right man for the job type guy.
White Sox Tim Anderson is a total goofball who just loves the game. His latest highlight was him running back to the dugout to avoid a tag. Glorious. Reminds me a lot of another guy I know, Ken Griffey Jr. He is also black. You could use him to gain ground on a minority demographic you desperately need. Is there a more perfect team to capture that than Chicago’s south side squad?
Javy Baez is a scrapper for one of the most loved franchises in America, the Chicago Cubs. He is unorthodox and unconventional and full of grit. He is the ultimate utility guy or swiss army knife. He is EVERYTHING you want in a ball player. For a team that has fought tooth and nail to finally get their taste of championship glory, who better to market for grit than a Cubbies guy?
Then you have two young guns who were just called up to Toronto that hold family legacies. That is of course Vlad Guerrero Jr. (son of Vlad Guerrero Sr.)and Cavan Biggio (son of Craig Biggio). You could bring some life from the 90s and early 2000s fan base which was soaring.
Baseball sucks and I am sick of watching a sport deteriorate because they care too much about unwritten rules and other stupid shit.