Baseball in Decline?

Talk about music, movies, television, books, and other media. No religious or political discussion allowed.
User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11620
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Baseball in Decline?

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 12th, 2018, 4:53 pm

On Monday the Orioles set a low attendance record with 7,915 in a stadium that used to sell out every night in the 1990s. I hear the Marlins attracted just over 900 people to a recent game - although the "paid attendance" was a few thousand.

I think the whole notion of paid attendance is bogus. Businesses buy up big chunks of seats for tax purposes. They should only count the people actually in the seats. If they did, I think the figures would be shocking.

So what's going on with baseball? Is the sport in decline?

One reason might be the length of games, which average over 3 hours. In the 1970s they averaged about 2.5 hours. A half hour may not seem long until you realize it's all dead time. I really hate how teams won't let starting pitchers go past 6 innings, and they you have the "situational" pitching. It's a real drag.

Apparently MLB has suggested some ways to speed up the game but these have been blocked by the players union. I for one would like to see a rule that a batter cannot step out of the batter's box. Some batters have a whole time-consuming routine between each pitch, and the umps just let it happen.

I love baseball and think it may be the best sport. However, the MLB has become hard to watch, especially in this internet age. They need to do something.

Thoughts?

User avatar
Retrology
Posts: 329
Joined: July 17th, 2015, 2:45 am

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby Retrology » April 13th, 2018, 4:03 am

I was actually at the Indians game last night where they thrashed the Tigers, and the attendance was extremely low as well.

I don't mind watching my team for 3 hours, but for anyone else (unless it's the Astros), yeah, it can be a chore. A time limit in innings (like quarters in football/basketball) would be interesting, but there's no way it would work in execution. 6 innings only would be dope. Otherwise I'm not sure.

Also, while I don't think any sport will disappear any time soon, the NFL's stupid new helmet rule (can't use the helmet as a weapon) will cause the sport to fall further than the MLB. It seems like the NBA is the only major sport in America where the people in charge aren't complete dinosaurs with the rules. But that's just my two cents.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 2205
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby scotland » April 13th, 2018, 11:47 am

As a boxing fan, I have watched that sport decline until in America to a lower position than soccer...or curling. Nascar is also experiencing a dcline. Home tvs may be a factor across the board. Or maybe Millenials want different entertainment - more scoring, more action, more adrenaline, less suspense and strategy.

If I recall, baseball was in a big slump in the early 90s from a strike, then we got the steroid sluggers, and that churned up interest. In the same way Tiger Woods, all by himself, makes a golf championship far more interesting, sports is a game about personalities and records and a bit of rooting for a champion. Maybe baseball is missing its heroes these days.

If you watch the olympics, its amazing how NBC makes heroes out of all these young athletes, and people cheer them on. Coverage of professionals is totally different - its not a young kid sacrificing for a moment in the sun, but a mercenary adult, big business, scandals, statistics, etc.

Herschie
Posts: 450
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 11:44 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby Herschie » April 13th, 2018, 6:58 pm

My uncle said that baseball is too commercialized these days. It has lost some charm. I should have realized that at the Cubs Convention when I saw empty champagne bottles that they supposedly had used during some celebration in the clubhouse that they were selling for fifty dollars apiece.

Certainly it must take some ego to think that people will pay fifty dollars for the privilege of taking out your trash.

evergreen13
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 12:58 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby evergreen13 » April 14th, 2018, 1:17 am

Definitely been noticing that too. I love the sport, but it seems like every other sport has more national attention these days. Maybe that's because we are right in the midst of NHL/NBA playoff season. Maybe it's because it seems like 90% of the games these days are in sub 50 degree weather so nobody wants to go to games. Maybe some of it has to do with cable cutters; no more flipping channels and coming across the ball game. Maybe we are all just reducing our attention spans so much that we can't help but not focus on a slower sport like baseball.

That said, I've been more into baseball than usual this year. Part of it is a need for a little escapism from all the other crap going on in the world. I also really appreciate how less commercialized it is compared to the NFL. And how it doesn't turn into a game of clock management in the last five minutes.

Anyway, there's definitely a decline in baseball viewers these days, but I wouldn't be surprised if it picks up as we get later in to the season. The early season is usually down a bit anyways.

User avatar
Stalvern
Posts: 633
Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby Stalvern » April 14th, 2018, 1:40 am

Retrology wrote:Also, while I don't think any sport will disappear any time soon, the NFL's stupid new helmet rule (can't use the helmet as a weapon) will cause the sport to fall further than the MLB. It seems like the NBA is the only major sport in America where the people in charge aren't complete dinosaurs with the rules. But that's just my two cents.

The alternative to the helmet rule is pervasive and well-documented brain damage. This rule is long overdue. The suffering of thousands is not an acceptable price for anything, let alone entertainment.

GTS
Posts: 106
Joined: January 29th, 2017, 2:43 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby GTS » April 14th, 2018, 7:05 am

I used to be a huge sports fan. I ran football fantasy leagues, listened to the Reds on the radio, and collected baseball cards. However, once I learned what sports does to people's brains (CTE) I quit pretty much cold turkey. It is morally wrong to pay to watch people destroy their brains. I've come to realize as well that America spends way too much time and money on sports.
When I stopped following them, it freed up a lot of time.

I realize that's probably not the same reasoning as other people. Perhaps video games are the main reason for the decline. Most people don't realize how popular multiplayer games have become. Just take a look at one game alone: Grand Theft Auto V. It has made more money than any film in history; this includes DVD sales. It's made $1 billion in microtransactions alone. It's still going strong five years later. I doubt the higher ups in baseball know anything about it.

Voor
Posts: 524
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 8:08 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby Voor » April 14th, 2018, 8:05 am

The answer is this: people do watch and enjoy baseball in all its glory WHEN THE GAMES MATTER. Lots of people tuned into the World Series, which had a compelling matchup and great games. I’m one of those that says the games feel too long, but I’ll gladly watch a 4 hour game when something is on the line. But game #56 out of 162? No way. I might check the box scores.

The biggest issue is that they play waaaayyyy too many games. I’m not a huge college football fan, but I do appreciate the excitement, because with only a dozen games, each one matters. Baseball should reduce its schedule to 80-100 games. I’d say basketball should be reduced to 40-50 games.

goldenband
Posts: 190
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 10:29 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby goldenband » April 14th, 2018, 6:18 pm

Voor wrote:The answer is this: people do watch and enjoy baseball in all its glory WHEN THE GAMES MATTER. Lots of people tuned into the World Series, which had a compelling matchup and great games. I’m one of those that says the games feel too long, but I’ll gladly watch a 4 hour game when something is on the line. But game #56 out of 162? No way. I might check the box scores.

The biggest issue is that they play waaaayyyy too many games. I’m not a huge college football fan, but I do appreciate the excitement, because with only a dozen games, each one matters. Baseball should reduce its schedule to 80-100 games. I’d say basketball should be reduced to 40-50 games.

That's the nice thing about watching tennis. There are no salaries, so every match counts because every player earns only what they win themselves. (Barring match-fixing, of course, but that only seems to be a problem in the minor leagues.)

I used to follow baseball off and on, and it's the only team sport that I'll voluntarily watch. I like its carefully balanced dynamics and intricate statistics, the fact that both sides take turns playing fundamentally different roles, and the way it can suddenly explode into action after a long period of tensely waiting. It really is a very well-designed game -- but there's no way I'm watching even a fraction of its 162-game season.

User avatar
zetax
Posts: 109
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:37 pm

Re: Baseball in Decline?

Postby zetax » April 14th, 2018, 9:06 pm

I don't have cable, and don't live near a MLB team, so the best I can do is to watch a few of the televised minor-league games on the local station that plays them (Charlotte Knights games.) I do (usually) watch playoff and World Series games in the fall when they are on. I like watching baseball, it's just not...convenient?


Return to “Other Media”