During this pandemic, we have witnessed the dissolution of both the NBA and NHL seasons, with the MLB’s Spring Training effectively cut short as well. Fortunately, both the NHL and NBA have re-routed their seasons and put themselves back on track with some very cleverly thought out season-ending scenarios. Then there sits baseball. “The Grand Ol’Game”…”America’s Pastime”…and it still sits arguing over what the game has become, nothing but an all-out money grab. While their counterparts continue to flourish and move forward, there is baseball and its’ remaining stagnant, not really realizing the abomination it continues to become. However, this time I am not sure it has the smarts to utilize its personalities (such as it did with Ripken, Sosa and McGwire) to save it from another mega public relations disaster that it continues to be.
Our country has seen its citizens lose their everyday jobs by the tens of millions. Being unsympathetic, there remained an argument between millionaires and billionaires on how they are going split a possible $10 billion pot amongst themselves. On top of that, you have Blake Snell jumping on Social Media and shouting to the world that he is not going to “risk his life” for a pro-rated portion of his $7 million contract. How callous of a statement is that to the parents of the children who are making minimum wage putting their lives on the line (notice how that wasn’t in quotes) because they are essential and not only need to provide for their families but their country as well. The ignorance and stubbornness of the sport continues to propagate its own downfall.
Another aspect that the game does not realize is that that the rival leagues continue to catch and surpass the game because of their stupidity. Forget the NFL; Pete, Paul, and Roger (too bad they didn’t have a Ringo) have helped propel their league well into the stratosphere, leaving baseball and the rest behind. What the sport now must worry about is the NBA, who realizes that they are not going to be able to compete with the NFL. Their progressive commissioner, Adam Silver, has seen the opportunity through this pandemic to start the NBA season later, (most likely the end of July or early August) to not compete with the NFL. That will allow the NBA Playoffs to run well into late August and early September. Their only competition? You guessed it, baseball. Picture yourself in late August and your choices are the NBA Finals with Giannis versus LeBron or a tilt between the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins. Who you are you going to watch? Sorry, I am not a fan of the NBA, and I will take the Bucks vs. Lakers every time. It is not the NBA’s fault; they just know how to market better. Baseball could possibly have its greatest player ever, Mike Trout, walk across the country in the buff and 95% percent of the population would not recognize him.
Needless to say, baseball has a problem. A big one! Huge! Gargantuan! However, they continue to ignore it because they only have their eyes on the almighty green. This ignorant bravado that they continue to display is costing them not only money, but fans as well. How do you explain the continued decline in attendance year after year? Or the lack of marketing to the inner cities? It continues to irk the likes of me, their biggest demographic because they just don’t get it. One of these days they will wake up and realize that their sport is a joke. The sad thing is when they look in the mirror after this, they can only blame themselves.
CIH Media Contributor