I am far from the biggest baseball fan, I wouldn’t even call myself a “casual fan”. Four hours of tobacco-chewing old dudes hitting a ball with a stick and running in circles? I’ll pass. The game is too slow and my generation is not interested in it. The MLB is a fading league, and baseball is a fading sport (much like boxing).
Boxing lost it’s admiration to the WWE and UFC, more fast-pace fighting sports, and now baseball is losing to football and basketball. Even hockey is becoming more commonplace, and so in golf (that is when Tiger Woods is playing). Baseball has been considered “America’s Past-Time” for more than a century now–and like the Dallas Cowboys being called “America’s Favorite Team”–that just isn’t true anymore.
As a kid growing up in Chicago, I was raised in a family where everyone loved the Cubs. So, by nature I claimed the Cubs (plus Sammy Sosa was awesome). I remember baseball actually being exciting in the 90s and even midway through the 2000s. I remember when the White Sox won the championship and the imaginary borderline separating Sox fans and Cubs fans disappeared momentarily as the entire city celebrated a MLB championship. Moments like that are what have made baseball such a staple, but those moments have become more rare as time goes on.
Baseball purists would have you believe that the steroid era is what killed the sport, but I strongly disagree. In my opinion, the steroid era probably extended the sport’s life. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez are some of the biggest names in baseball in the past 30 years. If five of your sport’s greatest players were the death of the sport that means your sport was in some serious shit anyways.
The NFL’s biggest attraction is the violent hits. The NBA’s biggest attraction is the high-flying theatrics. What’s the MLB’s biggiest attraction? Home-Runs? No, it is TRADITION. But tradition will not sell to the youth. Kids want to be Derrick Rose or RGIII; not Albert Pujols.
The best thing come from baseball year will probably be that Jackie Robinson biopic.