Trouble in Paradise


Baseball has long been named as America’s pastime. It has a rich history with the American people and will forever be part of the American culture. However, there is evidence of a decline in support of the sport amongst its core fans and any potential incoming viewers from upcoming generations.

These problems need to be addressed soon if baseball wishes to bounce back from its hardship financially due to Covid-19 and general disinterest in the sport from the younger generations. Unfortunately, it seems those solutions are far from being put into place. But the conversation still needs to be had.

Now the television stats say that baseball is the second most popular sport in America behind football as of last year. But that could be attributed to the bulk of the baseball season being during the summer, not having to share views with the other popular sports. Or also all those views coming from the older generations who still hang on to the sport.

Regardless of television views, amongst the people baseball is on the decline as far as support. For the younger generations, baseball is seen as a boring old man’s game. And among the black population, it’s seen as a white man’s game. Going to the actual ballpark is seen as a hangout rather than going to see the sport be played. And among its core fans, baseball is starting to become too uptight. Baseball needs some fun and excitement added to it. It needs to appeal to the casual fan, not just enthusiasts. How can this be done?

First and foremost, as we have discussed in previous podcast episodes, baseball has to let go of the old standards. Baseball has unwritten rules concerning conduct on the field that restricts any fun for the players and fans alike. It restricts such things as bat flipping after a home run, trash talk, and even gear on the field. Fans want to see fire come from these players.

That transferring of energy is shown in football and basketball alike. When the players are hype, that makes the fans get the hype. So we need that flare and trash talk from the field. Also, players are only allowed certain colors when it comes to gloves, batting gloves, and cleats.

Personalization is a big part of feeling good. When you look good you feel good. And when you feel good you play well. Certain Cuban players on the Chicago White Sox have stuck out with their gold chains and it gets plenty of positive attention from the younger crowd. How cool would it be for players to have personalized gloves with their color of choice or other decals?

That’s rhetorical because we know it would be plenty cool.

Add some flavor to the game’s aesthetic. Another big area which baseball has tried to do is social interaction. Commercials, advertisements, social media, and endorsements. Baseball has to do a better job of reaching the eyes of the casual fan. Not only during the season but in the offseason.

Let your best players have signature gear that can be advertised. Mike Trout should have his own bat. Walker Buehler should have his own line of blue gloves. Give Mookie Betts a signature cleat. Give Tim Anderson a Nike Air Max shoe as Ken Griffey Jr. has. Make it cool to rock with baseball.

This is just a shallow breakdown of the problems the MLB is having and a few solutions. But it’s good to get the conversation going before the game we love slips into the backdrop. I envy Latin American countries and Japan for the love that they have for baseball. My love for the game is rarely met by other enthusiasts. But I still have hope that this beautiful sport can bounce back and be beloved at a growing rate.

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