Why Baseball

Baseball is a fan-friendly sport. The pace of the game is less frantic than that of basketball and football, the energy less frenetic. The ticket prices for regular season games and most concessions are reasonable. And for the most part, and depending on where you live, the sun is out. So why does it seem that all around Major League Baseball seats are empty?

Well, let’s look at the casual fan to start. In this era of baseball, let’s call it the post-steroid era, the scores are often low. And even for the most dedicated baseball fanatic it’s hard to compare stats. And another area of which I think is often overlooked- the draft. Unlike other sports where the players who are drafted can make an immediate impact on the game, baseball can take years and even decades for their stars to rise.

With that, many people view baseball as a slow moving sport. I happen to disagree. The average football game is twice as long and it can be worse if you are at the game. Kickoff, commercial. Interception, commercial. And so on. Most people viewing at home can take that time to get a snack but what you are doing is waiting for television to come back to the game. Baseball has recently taken steps to improve the viewing experience with replay and some new strike-zone changes for next season. Another issue is the length of the season. Major League Baseball has allowed for a one game playoff (wildcard) without extending the season. However, many fans find it hard to catch even parts of more than one or two games a week. And here in Cleveland home games have been changed to an earlier time, which can pose a problem for those who work later in the day.

So, why baseball?

Well, because every team at any given point has a chance to win it all. With no salary cap a front office can go out and get the player they want, one who can make all the difference. And with the longer season you can pick the game up right where you left off. And there are less rule changes which makes it easier for the casual fan.

Sports talk likes to ignore baseball most of the time. But I see it full of untapped potential in the market. Many in the industry find it difficult to talk about baseball for hours but those in radio and television should challenge their creative minds. Baseball has such a rich history and there are many facets to explore when it comes to the game itself. I think that by focusing on bringing baseball back into the spotlight in radio and television many people will find the game is still relevant. And not just in October.

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