Major League Baseball has been around for 145 years and for the majority of its rain, the MLB has been the top sport in the American market. Now there are so many sporting events that sometimes it seems that baseball can get lost in the mix. How can a sport that has dominated the market for so long just fade into a shadow of other sports. There are still hard-core baseball fans but is the MLB a truly national sport or has it turned into a local business for each team? How much has a constant feed of mass information for fans hurt baseball?
If you ask most people what the top sport in America is the odds are they will say the NFL. Football is huge compared to other sports. When football is in season or even pre-season, all you will be able to see on major sports network is 24/7 coverage of football, that’s it. Soccer has now been rated higher by 12-17 year olds than hockey and baseball. That means that baseball ratings will only go down in the years to come.
No one in New York cares about how the Astos are doing. Same with someone in Minnesota doesn’t care about the Phillies. It is just the nature of the game now. Fans watch their team and that is it. The reason I see for that is because there are 2 teams that are really good (San Francisco and Oakland), There are 4 teams that are really bad (Houston, Arizona, Chicago, and Tampa Bay) and everyone else is just average, there hasn’t been a real dynasty for the last decade, and finishing a season at .500 is not a bad thing anymore. There have been 5 teams to have a 100+ win season in the last 10 years.
That all seem like cool, finally a league to level the playing field, but in what world is that interesting? I use to hate the NBA. It was boring and predictable. but when you get a team like Heat with Lebron, Wade and Bosh, it became much more appealing. You want to watch games to see amazing highlights, and when a team like that is defeated it is an upset and upsets are always fun to watch.
When you have the ability to watch baseball every day it becomes a dull point. Every year I tell myself that I am going to watch so much baseball but every year I end up just following games on my phone and getting updates when the Phillies score. With the ability to just follow games without watching them and not having to miss a lot of action due to the slow pace of the game it just makes it easier to forget about watching it and just getting scoring updates.
Baseball “fans” complain that they don’t have the time to watch a full baseball game, but how can they complain about a baseball game length and not a football game’s. Baseball games have been stretched and pulled for extra commercials, players stepping in and out of the batters box, more pitcher changes, more mound visits and pitchers waving off pitch calls. Because of all that most games push just over 3 hours. but when was the last time a football game was close to 3 hours long?
Baseball once was one of the biggest sports in America but its time of being relevant is running out. There may be a new spark as football has started to decrease the intensity of the action but I find it hard to see baseball ever at the top of American sports again.