MLB batters, in 2019, set a home run record knocking 6,106 baseballs out of the park as of yesterday… and the season isn’t quite over. The game was changed over the years to facilitate more scoring and more home runs. The theory was that more scoring makes a more exciting game and a more exciting game will bring in more fans. Is it safe to say yet that the theory is absolutely wrong?
So far in 2019, teams are playing to 66% capacity.
But MLB’s attendance took a 4% hit in 2018 and is on pace for another dip this year.USA Today
There are people that get paid a lot of money to try to figure out how to market MLB to keep and expand the fan base. Someone should get fired.
I used to be a Chicago White Sox season ticket holder. I used to watch the games even when I gave up my season tickets. The operative phrase in those last two sentences is “used to”. I no longer watch and I barely read about the team that took me and my kids to the World Series. Why? Because the game is boring.
Pitchers that take forever on the mound, batters that step in and out of the batters box after every pitch to adjust their batting gloves, excessive home runs, excessive strike outs, and situational pitching have made the game slow and boring. The things that made the game exciting like the hit-and-run, the bunt, and hitting behind a runner have gone the way of the Dodo. Who wants to sit through 3 hours of pitching changes, strike outs, with a sprinkling of home runs?
Some of the most exciting games I ever saw, in person or on TV, where games pitched by Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox. The games were sometimes less that 2 1/2 hours long and the ball was usually put in play. Most of the time he didn’t over power hitters and he didn’t strike too many out. He got the ball from the catcher and pitched. If the batter hit the ball it was assumed the men in the field would do their job. And they did. The drama during his no-hitter and perfect game were incredible because the ball was put into play.
If MLB is to bring fans back they need to bring the action and strategy back to the game. Home runs, strikeouts, and exploding scoreboards won’t do it.