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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Dimming Of Baseball

Thoughts midweek are on baseball.
Pitchers and catchers reported for training camp this week and although it is too early to think much about baseball, let's do it anyway.
The first thought is baseball is a dying sport in the US, by dying I mean very few kids grow up playing baseball. Today kids are much more likely to play soccer, basketball, or even football, that is if they play anything at all. A few years ago someone wrote an article about the browning of baseball, meaning fewer and fewer whites and blacks, from the US, are learning to play the game and the majority of new players, in major league baseball, are coming from central and south America. The importing of players, the new stadiums, the immense player salaries have all lead to escalating ticket prices, in times, when the average person has little extra money, this is creating a disconnect with the sport.
Another thought is baseball has not done itself any favors by allowing the rampant drug use in the years following the 1994 strike that almost killed the sport. Baseball needed the interest in the home run numbers and new records to bring the fans back, and what a time it was, long time records were falling with regularity. Unfortunately, as we learned later, they were fueled by drug use that was completely ignored by major league baseball, but the fans, revenue, and interest were back.
The hall of fame, for baseball, should probably add a new wing, it would be the drug wing complete with batters as well as pitchers. Adding a wing seems to make sense, I believe that would be easier than using the astric the sports media used to talk about all the time.
So the thought today is all this is very sad. I grew up playing baseball, a baseball fan, but today it is difficult to bring up any, real, enthusiasm for the sport.