As the MLB season’s ending and NFL season’s beginning have coincided, people seem much more interested in the NFL kicking off. There is no doubt that the interest in baseball among our generation is fairly low compared to older generations. In my mind, the largest reason for this is the sheer duration of most MLB games. Baseball is one of the only major sports that is not operated by a running clock. Establishing a pitch clock between pitches is something I believe MLB must inevitably do to speed up the pace of the game. One suggestion many would propose is shortening the lengthy 162 game season. I, on the contrary, disagree with this, as it will only drive up the price of going to the stadium, as there will be fewer opportunities to go to the ballpark. Another solution would be to shorten the number of commercial breaks between innings. I believe that players should only take a break at the end of each inning, as opposed to the current system where commercial breaks are taken between half-innings as well. I also believe MLB should botch the current instant replay system. More calls than not are not overturned anyway, and umpires still make controversial calls with the system in place. With these measures in place, MLB games would become less lengthy and more enjoyable for fans. Baseball has always been America’s pastime, and I would hate to see it die out because our generation is simply not interested.
Riley Dulin – Sports Editor
Over the past few years, Major League Baseball has suffered a slow decline in popularity. The league’s total of 69,625,244 was the first time below 70 million since 2003. However, many of these issues were because of rain delays and losing teams. “The league added that April’s schedule included a record 28 postponements and 102 games played in temperatures under 50 degrees” (Forbes). With so many losing teams and rain delays, I don’t think that the MLB is just falling down in an inevitable spiral, waiting to crash and burn. I think that the MLB can make some changes to increase popularity with the sport among Generation Z to allow them to remain relevant in society. In comparing Generation Z to Baby Boomers, Generation Z is more likely to, “…consume their sports via the internet, watching parts of games, listening to podcasts, playing fantasy sports, devouring highlights on social media, and cruising websites that cover their favorite team” (Sports Business Journal). Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are more likely to watch games on television or listen to them on the radio, things that Generation Z is quickly moving away from. If baseball can focus on targeting Generation Z, it can increase the longevity and profitability of baseball. By increasing their presence on social media and fan connections to players, the MLB will be sure to attract a larger market. I don’t believe the MLB is at risk of failing with their present decisions, if they continue to target the new generations, they will prosper.
Liam Meyer – Contributing Writer