Trying Baseball

Major League Baseball has many challenges ahead of it as it tries to stay relevant for young and old alike. While the average age of who calls themselves a baseball fan or viewer hovers just below the 60-year mark, I do know a number of people that age or older who don’t give baseball much time anymore. They are indifferent to the sport. There are also enough survey results to conclude baseball doesn’t exactly strike a chord with younger folks.

Baseball has tried in vain to tinker with its rules, and will some more, in order to stabilize its freefall from once being known as “America’s Pastime.” But alas, I don’t think any of those current or proposed changes will ever make a difference. Its time at the top passed long ago…for a host of reasons which have been discussed in great detail elsewhere.

Of course, I have always felt it might help at least a little bit if the majority of baseball fans felt in Spring Training their rooting interest had at least some chance to make the playoffs, let alone win a World Series.

Try: Verb – make an attempt or effort to do something. Noun – an effort to accomplish something; an attempt.

Six MLB franchises are on pace to lose 100 or more games. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, that number would be the highest ever since the league expanded to 30 clubs back in 1998. The previous high for a season was four teams: 2002…and  as you might expect, the two most recent full seasons in 2019 and 2021.

Quite frankly, many fans know their baseball season is over before it has started, unless they care only about the journey and not the destination. Some franchises are flat-out mismanaged; some are solely focused on profitability instead of perfection.

We’re just at the end of June, and in the National League there are basically eight teams competing for six spots…and it’s six only because MLB expanded its postseason by two teams to try and keep more owners interested in actually trying to get there.

Over the weekend, the Phillies’ Bryce Harper took a 97-mph fastball to his left thumb, and the hopes for the hometown team have taken an equally forceful hit.

But, we in the Philadelphia region are lucky because ownership has been aggressively trying to produce winning baseball in recent seasons.

For other fans, no try…just means another trying season.

 

Picture Courtesy iStock

21 thoughts on “Trying Baseball”

  1. I love baseball. Always have, always will… though I detest most of the changes they’ve made. Runner on second in extra innings? Hate it. While I agree the league could do more to bring in younger fans, it’s the history and traditions I love most of all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree most of the changes aren’t my idea of baseball either. That being said, with the balls-strikes being analyzed so severely now, I’d go for trying robot balls and strikes as long as there is a human override if something goes haywire. And also with all that analysis, we have the defensive shifting that’s taken over the game. Initially, I felt big league players could/should just hit ’em where they ain’t. Now, I’m wondering if the game wouldn’t be better off if we had position players just playing their positions. On the fence on that one.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ironically the one change I would be alright with is a computerized umpire to call balls and strikes. I’m tired of screaming at my television when they get it wrong.
        🤣

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I USED to be a monster fan, but alas, have drifted away. The game has lost some luster. As you pointed out, too many fans have no faith their team will be anything but mediocre. My prediction for the 2027, 2028, 2029 playoffs: Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, and 5 other lucky teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m a big sports fan, with football, hockey and baseball at the top of the list. My little Yorkie, Harper, who occasionally appears on my blog is named after Bryce Harper who I have been following since his early days with the Nationals. I have the MLB package and will be missing Harper every game. I read about all the rule changes and I’ll adjust to those they make. I still love the game as it is, but would love more teams in the postseason. Great players and rivalries make the regular season exciting and more exciting rivalries are needed. Hope Harper returns quickly and would love to see a Yankees/Phillies World Series.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved your pictures of Harper The Yorkie, and I certainly figured we had liking Bryce in common. I followed him when he first joined the Nationals. Still waiting to hear how bad the thumb is broken and hoping at most he’ll be out for four weeks. The Phils may be able to hang in playoff contention until then. In watching the Yankees and Astros over the weekend, I could easily see one of them representing the AL…against the Phillies, of course.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Fans of the Seattle Mariners have no stress because we are ineligible for the World Series. Hit ’em where they ‘aint. If players are talented enough to teach themselves to switch hit, they can teach themselves to beat the shift if they want to play in the Majors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Back in 2001, during one of the best regular seasons in MLB history, I believed Seattle had finally “arrived” and it would be inevitable they’d win at least one World Series in the next couple of years, if not a couple. Geoff, it is unbelievable the drought has gone on this long to the point of being “ineligible.”

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hey Bruce, love your article. As you may have seen, I’ve been writing about this topic quite a bit the last few years. I wrote an entire thing called the DLP (“Dutch Lion Plan”) about how I’d “reinvent” baseball. And oh man, Harp is definitely one of my favorite players. Love the guy! Let’s hope for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My dad loved baseball and I grew up watching it, but have lost interest because I have lived outside the USA since 1976. My passion now is for cricket and Australia Rules Football.

    Liked by 1 person

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