It’s the eve of the historic midterm election and I think I’m asking the question that everyone is thinking: What happened to baseball? Did anyone even know the World Series was on tonight? The Giants VS The Rangers. I was more focused on watching Monday Night Football than I was the final game of the World Series where the Giants finally won for the first time in 50 plus years.
But seriously, what happened to baseball? Maybe what happened is the wrong question. We all know that baseball is a slow sport, if you hit the ball more than 30 percent of the time you’re considered great. That leaves us with 70 percent of boring strike outs and a handful of pitches that don’t seem too impressive from a TV point of view. Boredom, that’s what happened. Let’s break this down for a second.
When I grew up in the 80’s baseball was king. What kid didn’t look at the back of a baseball card to check the stats of their favorite player? In the 80’s it seemed that the aura of baseball still lived on, even sort of in the 90’s. Late 90’s early 2000’s we got the steroid induced years that re-energized baseball and somehow now it’s faded - it seems.
So what happened? Well, it’s pretty simple: the sport is too slow. When did it happen? Sometime in the last 20 years. How did it happen? I think it starts with the Internet. It starts with the way we need our information now: GO GO GO GO. Basball isn’t that – Football is, Basketball is, and even Soccer is. Baseball is an “old man’s” sport, it’s for the guy who wants to keep stats at the game, and it’s for the nostalgic guy who says “back in my day.”
It’s unfortunate to some degree. I foresee baseball making a major change over the next 10 years. Unless 3-D TV can somehow pump life back into the deflated ball there are going to be some major changes. Our record books of baseball are going to be dated like B.C. and A.D. and we’ll one day talk about how things were so different, there may even be a time limit on games one day.
However as this change happens I think it’s important to note that there is no experience like going to a baseball game. I’m the new old man who has nostalgia when I think of ballparks, and because of that I hope 3 things never change in the game of baseball. I give you the 3 prerequisites of a live ballgame:
1) It is mandatory to bring a glove to the ballpark if you’re under the age of 15.
2) It is mandatory to order peanuts.
3) It is mandatory to order a beer if you bring your child to a game…or if you’re over the age of 21.
In the world of ratings baseball has no choice but to adapt. But my God I hope the 3 nostalgic prerequisites never falter.