In order to make Major League Baseball America's favorite past time again; what changes need to be address and made?
What has happened that is causing the once impervious game pf baseball to cause once zealous fans to now collectively snore in their seats? If there is anyone sitting in the next seat, that is. Even in big games, crowds of fans wander or stand... read more
The designation 'favorite pastime' isn't something you can force on a nation. It's a collective choice the country at large would need to make, and we as a nation are swayed towards our lifestyles, hobbies and pastimes by a countless variety of cultural factors.
This is not something you could physically do. 50-100 years ago, baseball was America's pastime, but times have changed, and it doesn't necessarily have much to do with the quality of baseball. It's just the direction the nation took.
I think getting rid of steroids would help. I wrote a hub on that at http://hubpages.com/hub/Steroids-In-Baseball1 . But you might also need to get rid of football...
I think it starts at the top. The owners need to get strong leadership in place that is not afraid of a showdown with the players union. Bud Selig is not the man to be running baseball. The NBA has flourished under David Stern. The NFL is by far the most popular sport in America today. If you don't believe me, TV numbers dont lie. The Major Leagues need a new commissioner and a new attitude. They need to put a salary cap in place, take the power away from the union, and better market their stars as individuals.
The whole steroid Era needs to come to an end ASAP! I think everyone of those players that tested positive for some sort of performance enhancing drug should be named. Im so sick of hearing about the leaked names and its always happening to be the guys everyone loves or loved. Personally i want to know everyone who failed i think we all should and we can make our own judgements on them. Regardless our favorite past time has been tainted which is quite a shame but you cant take back the past we do however need to figure out what to do with the people who ruined the image and get past this nasty mess.
I think marketing is the biggest concern. MLB is doing a horrible job marketing to kids. It simply isn't very cool. Not only that, but there is a lack of superstars in the game. The NFL and NBA have a ton, but baseball has only a couple. MLB needs to do a better job marketing to urban youth like the NFL and NBA do. That's my solution.
I think steroids have much less do to do with it than most people think. Its marketing and players. There simply are not enough cool-star caliber players.
I don't think it is fixable. I went to a Dodgers game in Los Angeles a couple of months ago. If it wasn't for a party, I wouldn't have gone. And I probably won't go again. It is amazing to me that they get the crowds that they actually do.
Tickets are expensive (due to the huge salaries the players get). Parking is ridiculous and expensive. Once you get into a lot, it is fine in the lot(s), but the traffic getting in and out of the lot, and then even into or out of the general area, streets, freeways... sheesh.
Keep in mind that this can be a several times a week thing, as opposed to once a week for football.
Then, the stadium (there, anyway) is so big, you almost need binoculars to see what's going on. You get a better view watching a game on television.
Now there is something to be said for the pastoral atmosphere looking out on the field from covered bleachers, or the parties in the courtyards. It was very pleasant after finally getting in. If only it wasn't so expensive and such a hassle to get in and out.
It's a good thing games are televised. Otherwise baseball would be totally dead. Or would it? Salaries would be much, much less, so ticket prices would be much less. Many variables to consider. The clubs promote the hell out trying to get people to attend. But in a brave new world, games could be televised with no fans at the stadium at all.
BTW, Steroids? Who cares? Not really a factor from what I can see.
The game is too slow. Umpires need to speed it up. Also stop showing the spitting.
eliminate the division series so that there's more drama in the September pennant race in each division and thus more tension in the actual playoffs themselves, and remove Sosa, McGuire and Bonds from the record books. And also, they need to have the star players make more appearences in sit-coms and films. That helps like you wouldn't believe.
To be honest I don't think anything can bring the old past time back. Unless pitchers hit more batters causing more fights, the biggest contact sport, football, will remain the past time forever. People love seeing big hits and those spectacular runs and one handed catches. Being that America is a very active country, the speed of baseball's game really turns people off. Dont, get me wrong though I love playing the game and can't get enough of it, but the majority of America doesn't respect the sport as much as we do.
A new Commissioner would help. Someone like the one the NFL has, Roger Goodall I think his name is.
Bud Selig is just a crony of the owners. Baseball has had some good commissioner in the past like Faye Vincent, Bartlett Giamatti, and Pete Uebberoth.
There is nothing wrong with Major League Baseball. The PROBLEM is that our society, advertisers, the "money machine" is currently pushing "meism," "grandstanding," overly aggressive on court behaviors by players of other sports, violence, major Egoism of players of other sports. It has become all about the "star," you know, the one who can make the hoop or shove his opponent hardest...and then run around, pounding his chest, acting like a total ignorant idiot. Blatant self promotion, boasting, 'in your face' attitudes pervade many of the "in" sports right now..basketball, football...wrestling! GIVE ME a BREAK!!
Baseball is a game of strategy, intelligence, planning, actual 'team' work and cooperation to get the job done. This sport discourages the huge heads that other sports seem to not only encourage but promote.
Baseball is a "gentleman's sport," in that there is respect for the opponent, and no major grandstanding every time a play is successfully made (one, btw, which the players are supposed to know how to execute and which are EXPECTED of the players; that's what they're getting paid to do!) In basketball, football the players, when completing a play, act as if they've done something miraculous...laughable! That's what I say.
I don't know where the idea that baseball is not as popular as it once was or compared to other sports...let's see...the season runs from Spring Training in the beginning of March, to the Fall Classic which ends the end of Oct., beginning of Nov. In most ballparks, the crowds fill the stands day after day. Imagine that...! How many teams over how many months...and the fans keep coming. That's a hell of a lot of bodies filling dozens and dozens of stadiums over a very long time...not like Football that lasts a few months and has ONE actual play off game...not like basket ball which can accomodate way less patronage...so, hmmmmmm..how is it that speculation says baseball doesn't "draw the crowds?" Give me a break!
Baseball is a respectable sport...And, if you understand the plays, the pitches, the methods and the manager's signals (to a degree) then there is no way to become bored watching baseball. Like the game of chess or a good game of cards; one must use one's intelligence, not just adrenalin. Baseball is a thinking man's sport...not an "act/react" "wanna kill the guy nest to ya' " kind of sport.
Anyone who does not understand statistics, strategy, team work; ie: cerebral activity rather than dumbed down physical violence; 'pounding on the opponent,' well..you'll never get it.
I think there needs to be more parity. Most of the middle of the country potentially has little interest in baseball as East Coast teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies, and West Coast teams like the Dodgers, Giants and Angels seem to make the playoffs annually while the smaller market Midwest teams rarely compete past August (outside of the Minnesota Twins in recent years).
Make a single league for the top twelve sides (six from each major league comp) and have the bottom two sides relegate at season end to be replaced by the two major league comp winners. Replace those twelve with clubs from outside the current two competitions and have the worst sides relegate downwards to be replaced by clubs promoted upward. Don't know how far you would take it down, maybe just one or two divisions down and no more. That way peoples local clubs have a chance of hitting the big time.
Just a suggestion from someone who knows little about the sport (so another words - don't pull the trigger if you don't like it).
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