Rob Manfred has been elected the 10th commissioner of baseball. While there is labor piece, drug testing, revenue sharing, wild cards and interleague play; the one thing baseball hasn’t figured out is how to make the game more appealing to the younger viewer.
Mr. Manfred, have at it.
Attendance has started to lag and television ratings are down. The average age of last year’s World Series viewer was 51. Why?
Maybe because like former NBA Commissioner, David Stern, Bud Seilg directed MLB’s energy on forcing New York and Boston down everyone’s throat. Baseball focused on Jeter and Big Papi and forgot about the Molina’s, the Lucroy’s and McCutchen’s of the world. That’s one thought. Maybe replay slowed the game down and traditionalists don’t care for the new, more accurate system. There was something about the romance of the human element being involved. Heck, maybe beers in the ball parks are just too expensive.
But, in my humble opinion, Selig did exactly what we wanted him to do, go after baseball’s PED offenders. Crack down on these athletes who are of questionable moral character and make examples of all of them.
With that crack down came boring, small ball and pitchers duels. And while we want to stand on our high ground and wag our holier than thou fingers at those cheaters there’s a part of us deep down inside that no one wants to admit to that craves the long ball, that salivates over another home run chase just to we can rip the next hero down from the mountain. Why….because we love drama and, in today’s social media driven world, we don’t give a damn how we get it but we know we can’t get enough of it. It’s why reality TV is king.
We want staged reality with our reality or it’s not real enough for us.