Jump to content

DumberAndLeaner

Baseball, 2019 and beyond

Recommended Posts

I have been reading an article that claims the average age of the baseball TV viewer is 57 years old. And that major league baseball is very concerned because the younger generation lacks interest in the game. They claim that many of the recent changes to the game that I see little use for are part of a strategy  that they hope will attract younger viewers.

Personally I think the problem of waning interest has  more to do with over half of all the teams being more concerned about controlling payroll than winning ballgames, but hey...I guess only us dinosaurs think that way?

This link explores the topic in more detail, which despite being a long read, I found somewhat interesting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To whatever degree Passan thinks that playing younger players or the state of contracts/FA has any effect on whether younger people are interested in baseball I think he misses the boat. Fans, young or old, in general could care less about the average age or payroll of their team when it comes to whether they like the sport. Baseball is real trouble with young people but those issues are not much of the reason. He is correct in the sense that the business aspect of all sports is a turn off to young people but I think that has a lot less to do with player salaries and CBA's than how teams present themselves and their games to the public. This also is probably a big part of why major college football teams are losing their student fanbases. It's the more fundamental perception of pro sports as business in and of itself that is the problem. I think it's actually just another reflection of a growing anti-capitalist sentiment in the young - or at least greater sophistication about being marketed to for the benefit of other people's profit - which is a deeper and more subtle problem for pro sports in this generation. What Passan spends a lot of time on in this article is 're-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic' kind of stuff compared to what I would take as the deeper problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have actually started to believe that the business aspect has always been the primary (albeit underlying) focus, and that winning a championship is just part of the show. 

I guess that I've been disabused of my onetime innocence believing that "winning is everything"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

To whatever degree Passan thinks that playing younger players or the state of contracts/FA has any effect on whether younger people are interested in baseball I think he misses the boat. 

I think what he was saying is that the players believe that waning interest is the result of owners being less willing to spend to go "all in"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, DumberAndLeaner said:

The "Arbitration Belt" controversy  appears to support the notion that winning contact negotiations is a higher priority than winning ballgames.

the stupidity of humans is beyond epic. They aren't even smart enough to know what not to advertise. It's a syndrome in this culture though. But maybe it's a good thing. This need for validation of every action from perceived peers does do a major service in bringing things into the open that might otherwise stay hidden.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

 This need for validation of every action from perceived peers does do a major service in bringing things into the open that might otherwise stay hidden.

Perhaps my response belongs more in the "political" subsection than here, but by keeping us at each other's throats, they successfully prevent us  from  forming coordinated efforts to unseat the undeserving from power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the small decline in interest in baseball  has much to do with how teams spend money.  There have always been teams that spent money and teams that didn't.  There have always been good teams and bad teams. The imbalance seems worse than it has been for a while, but if you back a few decades, there was even greater imbalance.  I have said that teams deliberately tanking in order to get draft picks is against the spirit of competition and I stand by that, but the existence of really bad teams is not a new thing.

Baseball has always had an older audience than other sports for I think difference reasons than money.  I think younger fans get bored by the slower pace of the game and the pace is slower now than it has ever been.  I welcome new ideas which do not necessarily speed up the game, but cut down on dead time between pitches and between innings.  I would also like to see the ball in play more often, but I am not optimistic that this is viewed as a problem or that it will be addressed in any way.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, tiger337 said:

I don't think the small decline in interest in baseball  has much to do with how teams spend money. 

Just looking at Tigers' home attendance the past several years, I think it tells a different story.

2018 attendance was down 20% from 2017 levels.....and I believe that is chiefly due to  fan's realization that with Verlander, J.D., and Upton gone, and Miggy out of service.....there was not any hope that this team was going to be worth watching...so they stayed home in droves.

Even more telling, our 2015, 2016, and first half 2017 attendance didn't take a huge hit compared to the last time we won a division crown, despite the fact we were playing terrible baseball. The fans were showing up because the organization was putting talent on the field, and that at least gave the fans hope that we might turn things around.

After the purge started in mid 2017, you could see the difference in how full the stands were.

I think  (am speculating) that the reasoning is, they see that the organization is not committed to winning, and fan interest dissipates commensurately.   

Just speaking personally, I decided to forgo  season tickets last season and this one (likely next season too), and bought a boat instead.

And while admittedly a bit on the selfish side, part of my reasoning was "if they aren't going to field a team worth watching, why should I pay to watch AAAA gameplay?".  I sincerely believe that I am not alone in that way of thinking.

Many sources I read claim that there are more teams currently not trying to win, than there have been in some time . Perhaps fan apathy is contagious?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, DumberAndLeaner said:

they see that the organization is not winning,

FIFY.  ;)

I doubt the average fans spends ten seconds worrying about ownership commitment - as compared to whether they are likely to see a win when they go to the park or not.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno, I think that  in 2017 when the Tigers sent JD and JV  to other teams (for second tier prospects, no less), I believe that even the most average Tigers fans knew what  would follow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids and I enjoy playing catch and hitting softballs several times during the summer, but the kids have no interest in watching a 3+ hour baseball game on TV or in person.

I don't see professional sport being as prominent in younger generations as they were for us.  Neighborhood kids don't play pickup games, and school-sanctioned sports require a significant time commitment year round to have a chance of making team, which keeps casual players from participating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Euphdude said:

My kids and I enjoy playing catch and hitting softballs several times during the summer, but the kids have no interest in watching a 3+ hour baseball game on TV or in person.

I don't see professional sport being as prominent in younger generations as they were for us.  Neighborhood kids don't play pickup games, and school-sanctioned sports require a significant time commitment year round to have a chance of making team, which keeps casual players from participating.

that is of one of the arguments about why the modern player must be better that I think is not valid. People will argue that since the population is larger, the extreme ends will be even more extreme and so today's bigger population pool must produce a higher talent level. But I think that the number of boys playing a lot of baseball today in the US is far smaller that it was  when the country's population was half of what it is today. It is not a bigger pool. The international end of the argument carries some weight, but not the domestic end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...