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(Hardball Talk)   R.I.P Baseball: 1876-2014   (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com ) divider line
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5779 clicks; posted to Sports » on 17 Jul 2014 at 11:09 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-17 09:46:14 AM  
Even dead baseball will get more viewers in the US than Soccer.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-17 10:04:12 AM  
Baseball can be successful over a wide range of attendance, but salaries and profits will need to adjust.
 
2014-07-17 10:12:32 AM  
If you can't look around baseball and not see who the big young stars are, you're just not paying attention. Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, David Wright, Matt Harvey, Carlos Gomez, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Arolidis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Troy Tulowitzki, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Jose Altuve

Miggy is not young.  Neither is Adam Wainwright or David Wright.

Altuve is having a heck of a season.
 
2014-07-17 11:13:27 AM  
What a fresh take! I can't believe no one has ever brought this up before!
 
2014-07-17 11:14:19 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Even dead baseball will get more viewers in the US than Soccer.


Well aren't we just feeling superior after that comment?
 
2014-07-17 11:15:55 AM  
The game is too slow and takes too long to complete a game. People don't have that kind of time these days. It has the same problems as golf.
 
2014-07-17 11:16:30 AM  
I'd watch baseball if they played only a fifth of the games.
 
2014-07-17 11:16:50 AM  
I never see kids playing pick-up games of baseball anymore, In fact, I rarely see kids playing pick-up games of anything.
 
2014-07-17 11:18:11 AM  

SlothB77: If you can't look around baseball and not see who the big young stars are, you're just not paying attention. Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, David Wright, Matt Harvey, Carlos Gomez, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Arolidis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Troy Tulowitzki, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Jose Altuve

Miggy is not young.  Neither is Adam Wainwright or David Wright.

Altuve is having a heck of a season.


No Brewers.....sigh.

FirstNationalBastard: Even dead baseball will get more viewers in the US than Soccer.


We are catching up. Hopefully this world cup bounces MLS ratings up. I'd rather watch a soccer match knowing its done in 2hours vs a 4hour baseball game
 
2014-07-17 11:20:12 AM  

yakmans_dad: I never see kids playing pick-up games of baseball anymore, In fact, I rarely see kids playing pick-up games of anything.


I see basketball, football, and soccer.
 
2014-07-17 11:20:26 AM  
That article made me yawn more than a baseball game, you guys.
 
2014-07-17 11:21:29 AM  
Baseball is just too slow. For example, after every pitch, Robinson Cano, steps out of the batter's box and adjusts his gloves and walks around.
 
2014-07-17 11:25:46 AM  

yakmans_dad: I never see kids playing pick-up games of baseball anymore, In fact, I rarely see kids playing pick-up games of anything.


basketball.

the easiest sports to get pickup games going are:

- Soccer
- Basketball
- Football

for soccer all you need is a ball.  a shoe or shirt or cone or can of coke will suffice for the goal.  basketball all you need is a ball and one hoop.  a little harder to find.  for football you need a ball and that's it, but you need more people to make it a game.  you can't really do one-on-one or even two-on-two.
 
2014-07-17 11:25:54 AM  

wiseolddude: Baseball is just too slow. For example, after every pitch, Robinson Cano, steps out of the batter's box and adjusts his gloves and walks around.


You would have loved Nomar Garciaparra
 
2014-07-17 11:26:16 AM  

eagles95: SlothB77: If you can't look around baseball and not see who the big young stars are, you're just not paying attention. Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, David Wright, Matt Harvey, Carlos Gomez, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Arolidis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Troy Tulowitzki, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Jose Altuve

Miggy is not young.  Neither is Adam Wainwright or David Wright.

Altuve is having a heck of a season.

No Brewers.....sigh.

FirstNationalBastard: Even dead baseball will get more viewers in the US than Soccer.

We are catching up. Hopefully this world cup bounces MLS ratings up. I'd rather watch a soccer match knowing its done in 2hours vs a 4hour baseball game


Did you not see Carlos Gomez in the list?

Baseball will probably not pick up in the magical world of ratings because MLB has the best online options for viewing their product.  Baseball is an event.  Not many people enjoy it on the TV but millions come out to watch it.  Plus with spring training and the minor leagues (and college) there are even more options to watch a baseball game in person than many other sports.
 
2014-07-17 11:26:39 AM  
Dead or not, I still enjoy sitting down to a game at the ball park with an expensive cold beer in my hand after drinking 8 of them in the parking lot.

/beer
//brats
///Brewers
 
2014-07-17 11:27:30 AM  
MLB = $8B revenue; NFL = $6B revenue; NBA = $5B revenue

My favorite criticism of baseball is "well, they play so many games" like that's some sign of weakness. Yes, the nature of the game and fan interest allows them to play ten times the amount of games that the NFL does. Football would do that if they could, but they're worried about players ending up in a permanent vegetative state.
 
2014-07-17 11:27:52 AM  

H31N0US: wiseolddude: Baseball is just too slow. For example, after every pitch, Robinson Cano, steps out of the batter's box and adjusts his gloves and walks around.

You would have loved Nomar Garciaparra


Well, he took the same amount of time because he adjusted his batting gloves in a frenetic, insanely-paced way
 
2014-07-17 11:30:29 AM  
So the linked article above does not agree baseball is dying, but mocks an article it links to. The linked article is the one stating baseball is dying.

I don't think it's dying, it's just too farking expensive and most games can only be viewed by a cable subscription.
 
2014-07-17 11:36:02 AM  
I have exactly one problem with MLB. 162 regular season games is way too farking many. It renders each game more or less meaningless in a microcosm, to the point that a lot of the bigger baseball fans I know regard the 3 game series as the minimum amount of baseball to influence the standings in a meaningful way.

To my mind, that means that baseball has roughly 3 times as many games as it needs in a season. I know it won't happen due to revenue, but reducing the regular season down to a more reasonable 54 games would make more sense.
 
2014-07-17 11:40:40 AM  
I don't know if it's dying (probably not because it's an easy entertainment option), but it's definitely fallen in popularity.

In 1985, baseball was the favorite sport of 23% of Americans.  In 2014, it sits at 14% (though it has been stable for most of the 2000s).

Though, this poll doesn't account for what your second most popular sport is.  While football has made most of the gains, it's conceivable that baseball has simply fallen to second favorite sport.

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/mid/ 15 08/articleId/1365/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/Default.aspx
 
2014-07-17 11:41:57 AM  

yakmans_dad: I never see kids playing pick-up games of baseball anymore, In fact, I rarely see kids playing pick-up games of anything.


It's simply too dangerous to let your kids do anything other than park themselves in front of a screen, let alone expose them to the hazards of "outside".
 
2014-07-17 11:42:46 AM  

LucklessWonder: I have exactly one problem with MLB. 162 regular season games is way too farking many. It renders each game more or less meaningless in a microcosm, to the point that a lot of the bigger baseball fans I know regard the 3 game series as the minimum amount of baseball to influence the standings in a meaningful way.

To my mind, that means that baseball has roughly 3 times as many games as it needs in a season. I know it won't happen due to revenue, but reducing the regular season down to a more reasonable 54 games would make more sense.


People who try to shorten the baseball season rank right up there with Hitler and Mark Burnett in my eyes.
 
2014-07-17 11:43:11 AM  
Baseball looks like it's dying because the ballparks are not always filled.  Of course, this is because the ballparks are twice the size of the average hockey/basketball arena and they place twice as many games. These games are mostly outside and during the week.  You're not going to get a sell-out crowd in early May when it's threatening rain on a school night.
 
2014-07-17 11:45:25 AM  

LucklessWonder: I have exactly one problem with MLB. 162 regular season games is way too farking many. It renders each game more or less meaningless in a microcosm, to the point that a lot of the bigger baseball fans I know regard the 3 game series as the minimum amount of baseball to influence the standings in a meaningful way.

To my mind, that means that baseball has roughly 3 times as many games as it needs in a season. I know it won't happen due to revenue, but reducing the regular season down to a more reasonable 54 games would make more sense.


Why not reduce the number of starting pitchers on a roster to 2 while you're at it. The grind is a part of the game. It's simply not there for your shortened enjoyment, adjusted to your attention span.

I see it as 162 reasons to enjoy a cold beer in your back yard with the game on the radio. 162 reasons to grill out. 162 chances to get to the nearest ball park, which for me is 3 or 4 hours away, depending if you go east or west. And if your club is good, there's a few more opportunities to take it in.
 
2014-07-17 11:50:11 AM  
Is this where I am to toss my two cents about bringing back daytime World Series games?

/HEY, BRING BACK DAYTIME WORLD SERIES GAMES!
 
2014-07-17 11:50:23 AM  

Great_Milenko: Baseball looks like it's dying because the ballparks are not always filled.  Of course, this is because the ballparks are twice the size of the average hockey/basketball arena and they place twice as many games. These games are mostly outside and during the week.  You're not going to get a sell-out crowd in early May when it's threatening rain on a school night.


The "school night" excuse has always made my laugh. Probably because my parents (read: my Dad) were/are such hardcore fans, but if we had tickets to a game, we were staying at that game come Hell or high water. There was no such thing as leaving in the 7th because "it's getting late and you have school tomorrow". Something I hope I can instill in my future kids - I farking hate when people leave games early.
 
2014-07-17 11:50:35 AM  
I don't think baseball is necessarily dying, but its national TV viewers are older than every other sport in the US with the exception of golf.  Kids aren't watching baseball, and even Little League participation is down (substantially more so than other sports).

They're going to run into a problem at some point when their fanbase starts dying off, as it is the average MLB fan is outside the 18-54 advertising demo.
 
2014-07-17 11:51:26 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Even dead baseball will get more viewers in the US than Soccer.


Um, ok?  Don't come off as defensive or anything....
 
2014-07-17 11:53:30 AM  

bearcats1983: Great_Milenko: Baseball looks like it's dying because the ballparks are not always filled.  Of course, this is because the ballparks are twice the size of the average hockey/basketball arena and they place twice as many games. These games are mostly outside and during the week.  You're not going to get a sell-out crowd in early May when it's threatening rain on a school night.

The "school night" excuse has always made my laugh. Probably because my parents (read: my Dad) were/are such hardcore fans, but if we had tickets to a game, we were staying at that game come Hell or high water. There was no such thing as leaving in the 7th because "it's getting late and you have school tomorrow". Something I hope I can instill in my future kids - I farking hate when people leave games early.


My Dad actually pulled me out of school for Wrigley day games.
 
2014-07-17 11:57:14 AM  

The Bestest: LucklessWonder: I have exactly one problem with MLB. 162 regular season games is way too farking many. It renders each game more or less meaningless in a microcosm, to the point that a lot of the bigger baseball fans I know regard the 3 game series as the minimum amount of baseball to influence the standings in a meaningful way.

To my mind, that means that baseball has roughly 3 times as many games as it needs in a season. I know it won't happen due to revenue, but reducing the regular season down to a more reasonable 54 games would make more sense.

People who try to shorten the baseball season rank right up there with Hitler and Mark Burnett in my eyes.


I wouldn't mind going back to 154 games and get the WS over before the last week in October.
 
2014-07-17 11:58:06 AM  
100 game season with DH's used by both leagues and I'll start paying more attention.

I don't care if the pitcher is an awesome bunter.

Go yard or go home.
 
2014-07-17 12:00:20 PM  
Too many strikeouts. The game is too much pitcher vs. batter. Balls in play are more exciting than swings and misses.

Lower the mound, there I solved baseball.
 
2014-07-17 12:03:55 PM  

Rapmaster2000: bearcats1983: Great_Milenko: Baseball looks like it's dying because the ballparks are not always filled.  Of course, this is because the ballparks are twice the size of the average hockey/basketball arena and they place twice as many games. These games are mostly outside and during the week.  You're not going to get a sell-out crowd in early May when it's threatening rain on a school night.

The "school night" excuse has always made my laugh. Probably because my parents (read: my Dad) were/are such hardcore fans, but if we had tickets to a game, we were staying at that game come Hell or high water. There was no such thing as leaving in the 7th because "it's getting late and you have school tomorrow". Something I hope I can instill in my future kids - I farking hate when people leave games early.

My Dad actually pulled me out of school for Wrigley day games.


Your Dad sounds awesome. First kid is on the way in December - I hope to do that a few times once he/she is old enough to appreciate the game.
 
2014-07-17 12:05:11 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-07-17 12:06:17 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: What a fresh take! I can't believe no one has ever brought this up before!


My initial thought was, "Promises, Promises"
 
2014-07-17 12:07:17 PM  
It would appear baseball should have its figures "adjusted for inflation" just as movies do.  The reason
1.5 million for Tampa in 2013 is a crisis versus the 1.5 million for the Yankees in 1947 is simple -
a larger potential audience to draw upon.  (Similarly, if a movie makes $1 billion in 2014, it doesn't
mean it's more popular than one that makes $10 million in 1939:  tickets cost more - say, $10
versus 25 cents - and the movie doesn't necessarily disappear after its theatrical run:  TV, home
video, streaming, etc.  A $1 billion movie, adjusted this way, could be LESS popular than a $10 million
picture from 1939.)
 
2014-07-17 12:14:11 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: I don't think baseball is necessarily dying, but its national TV viewers are older than every other sport in the US with the exception of golf.  Kids aren't watching baseball, and even Little League participation is down (substantially more so than other sports).

They're going to run into a problem at some point when their fanbase starts dying off, as it is the average MLB fan is outside the 18-54 advertising demo.


I'm one of those baseball fans that bristles when people suggest changing the fundamental structure of the game (ahem , LucklessWonder), but as I see it there are a few things MLB could do to get younger.

1.  Pick up the pace of the game by limiting time between pitches and batter timeouts.  Note that I'm not saying reduce the length of the games.  That's fine.  The average MLB game is still shorter than the average NFL game.  But as the American attention span has shrunk, the umpires have become more and more lax at allowing posturing, delays, and excessive gamesmanship between each pitch.  Enough.  There's a time limit in the rulebook.  Enforce it.

2.  Start nationally relevant games earlier.  World Series games should never start after 8pm EST.  fark the west coast.  And fark anyone who thinks it's a good idea to start a playoff game on a Saturday or Sunday when there's no daylight left.

3.  Rebuild infrastructure.  Sink more money into buying equipment and building fields and facilities for youth programs all over the country, especially in underprivileged areas.  More kids will play if the barrier to entry is reduced, especially with football becoming increasingly unpopular at the youth level for health reasons.

4.  Market your young stars and maybe don't turn your national midseason showcase into a three hour Derek Jeter lovefest.
 
2014-07-17 12:18:16 PM  
Eliminate "God Bless America" from the 7th inning stretch.

That time was intended for "Roll Out The Barrel" and "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".
 
2014-07-17 12:21:59 PM  

yakmans_dad: I never see kids playing pick-up games of baseball anymore, In fact, I rarely see kids playing pick-up games of anything.


They don't pick themselves up.

db2.stb.s-msn.com
 
2014-07-17 12:25:39 PM  

WhiskeySticks: Eliminate "God Bless America" from the 7th inning stretch.

That time was intended for "Roll Out The Barrel" and "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".


At At&t park we do both "God Bless" and "Take me out" but I do agree with you "God Bless" should be replaced with a more cohesive song. I think one of the guys on KNBR suggested Neil Diamond's "Coming to America", which frankly would be perfect. However being an immigrant, I could be biased.
 
2014-07-17 12:27:51 PM  

WhiskeySticks: Eliminate "God Bless America" from the 7th inning stretch.

That time was intended for "Roll Out The Barrel" and "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".


Some stadiums are reserving that only for Sunday.  I think it's a fine compromise though none of this was a thing until 9/11 and patriotic correctness took hold.
 
2014-07-17 12:33:21 PM  

docbenspock: WhiskeySticks: Eliminate "God Bless America" from the 7th inning stretch.

That time was intended for "Roll Out The Barrel" and "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".

At At&t park we do both "God Bless" and "Take me out" but I do agree with you "God Bless" should be replaced with a more cohesive song. I think one of the guys on KNBR suggested Neil Diamond's "Coming to America", which frankly would be perfect. However being an immigrant, I could be biased.


Over 28% of all players on the 2013 MLB opening day 25 man rosters and inactive lists weren't born in the US. Can't imagine that number will be shrinking in the years to come. "Coming to America" makes sense.

Hell, even James Brown belting out "Living in America" would be good too.  By the 7th inning at a game, I've usually had enough beers and something like that would be a great pick-me-up.
 
2014-07-17 12:41:24 PM  

stevie1der: Start nationally relevant games earlier.  World Series games should never start after 8pm EST.  fark the west coast.  And fark anyone who thinks it's a good idea to start a playoff game on a Saturday or Sunday when there's no daylight left.


Absolutely.  Baseball is such a slave to the primetime TV model, they refuse to consider the fact that people will watch something WHENEVER you put it on if they think it's worth watching.  They changed the format of the WS for 2007, which moved Game 3 to Saturday night, and it has been the least viewed game every single year, by a fairly substantial margin.  It's not working for them.

I'll preface what I'm about to say by pointing out that I acknowledge the difference between a global event held every four years and the World Series, but more than 26 million people tuned in to watch Germany play Argentina in the World Cup Final, played at 4PM eastern.  I understand the desire to avoid the NFL on Sunday afternoon, but why not try that on a Saturday?  Several "traditional" baseball markets couldn't care less about college football, maybe give them a chance to have a WS game end before dinner?

How about trying to create a weekday buzz by starting a World Series game in the late afternoon?  See if people will skip out of work to watch in a bar.  Sure, that may not translate into big ratings points, but their ratings are lower than ever and stagnant (at best).  IMO, that would be a great way to generate a little buzz, rather than trying to get people to come home and plop themselves down for 4 hours.
 
2014-07-17 12:42:01 PM  
Baseball is life. Now get rid of the DH and play ball.

/haters gonna hate
 
2014-07-17 12:43:29 PM  
The biggest reason that I have lost interest in baseball is the giant money grab that it has become. I don't have cable, so I can't watch any games on TV. Yeah, I know about all those Russian sites that you can stream the games, but the quality is so hit and miss that I have found them not to be worth the bother. The funny thing is, I would totally pay for the MLB package to watch online or on my apple tv, but local blackout rules keep me from doing that.
Then there is going to a game. Even if the tickets were free, I'm still spending over $100 to take my family to the game with the $7 beers, $5 hotdogs - which is the cheapest food available, and $25 to park the car. There's just so many other things I would rather do with my time and money.
It's sad too, because I used to love baseball with all my heart, but I've been priced out of being a fan.
 
2014-07-17 12:46:38 PM  

eagles95: SlothB77: If you can't look around baseball and not see who the big young stars are, you're just not paying attention. Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez, Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, David Wright, Matt Harvey, Carlos Gomez, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Arolidis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Troy Tulowitzki, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Jose Altuve

Miggy is not young.  Neither is Adam Wainwright or David Wright.

Altuve is having a heck of a season.

No Brewers.....sigh.

FirstNationalBastard: Even dead baseball will get more viewers in the US than Soccer.

We are catching up. Hopefully this world cup bounces MLS ratings up. I'd rather watch a soccer match knowing its done in 2hours vs a 4hour baseball game


Where are you viewing four games? Three hours is far closer to the normal length.
 
2014-07-17 12:49:37 PM  
FTA:  Household-name players - I mean popular and scandal-free ones like Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter
- have come to the ends of their careers, with no clear heir-apparents.  Is there a star player of today you'd go out of your way to see?


I think the original author (ex-ChiTrib columnist Mike Downey) is lamenting the fact that all the best young players in baseball are nowhere near the Yankees organization. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Yasiel Puig, etc don't wear the pinstripes, and that makes me happy.

And you will be able to add Kris Bryant to that list beginning next season, which makes me even happier than seeing the Yankees being mediocre.

/the Cubs will be flipping their switch next year, and will become a fully powered and operational death star by 2016
//Alcantara has already looked pretty good in limited big league action for the Cubs
 
2014-07-17 12:52:48 PM  
I'm surprised. Baseball should be the favorite sport of the internet generation. You can half-watch it while busy on your computer or tablet. Every play is replayed several times, so you won't miss anything. And when it gets to the exciting parts, you put down Angry Birds and watch the game for a few minutes.
 
2014-07-17 12:54:00 PM  

upndn: Baseball is life. Now get rid of the DH and play ball.

/haters gonna hate


DH is the standard for the world. The NL is the oddball.
 
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