I love baseball. Always have. From the moment I started watching the Cubs on WGN as a kid, I was hooked. Loved playing. Loved going to games. One of the hardest parts of the pandemic was not being able to go to an Iowa Cubs game. We have season tickets and I make at least a dozen games a year, often a lot more than that. There is nothing like a great day at the ballpark. A cold beer, a hot dog, and the sounds of the game. There’s a bit of romance in baseball to me.
Yet, MLB is doing everything it can to end that. Rob Manfred is an absolute clown show joke of a commissioner. He’s so awful I’d take Bud Selig back in a heartbeat. We care about baseball. He doesn’t. The players care about baseball. He doesn’t. The OWNERS care about baseball. He doesn’t. I can’t believe a man so completely inept at his job still has it. He’s killing baseball and MLB seems fine with that.
To be fair, MLB has been doing this to themselves. They are always late to the party. They haven’t figured out streaming yet with blackouts. How the holy hell am I the local market for the Cubs, White Sox, Twins, Brewers, Royals, and Cardinals? That makes no sense. You have people saying “shut up and take my money” and you’re telling them no. It’s just bad business.
MLB is also horrible at the social media thing. The NBA is great at it. The NHL is figuring out. Even the NFL does a great job. (Though I find it odd the NFL is cracking down on taunting yet also having a Twitter poll every week for “Celly of the Week”. Maybe that’s another rant for another day.) Highlights are all over social media. Highlights are all over YouTube. Seems like MLB goes out of its way to prevent people from sharing content. Social media has gotten better but there’s still room for growth.
Formula 1 has a documentary series on Netflix that took a fringe sport and thrust it into the mainstream. How? It showed us personalities. It gave us a story. It gave us a reason to care. MLB doesn’t do ANY of that. Nothing. You’ve got some incredible personalities in the game, lets see them! People are getting up at 4 am to watch races and even practices. FORUMLA FREAKING ONE. MLB has such a larger footprint that it should be easy to do the same …but they won’t. The good ole boys club is too busy waiting for their print copies of Readers Digest and TV Guide to come in the mail to even consider thinking outside the box.
There is lockout in MLB and apathy for it is at an all time high. Not sure a steroid driving home run chase is going to save it this time. Even if it did, MLB would take all the money from it and then turn their backs on the players they rode and throw them under the bus like they did with Sosa and McGwire. Apathy is already there with casual fans and now the diehards like me. It’s really setting in. I’m to the point if MLB didn’t come back, I might not miss it. That’s bad. That shouldn’t be happening. I’m the dude that skipped college classes to watch the Cubs on Opening Day. For pretty much my entire life I’ve tried to catch Opening Day. There is nothing like Opening Day in MLB. For crying out loud I’ve got dozens of Cubs jerseys and an autographed ball of every member of the 2016 World Series team. I AM THEE fan that you want, MLB. And yet….meh. You’ve MLB’d yourself to the point that Brockmire is becoming prophetic. It’s pathetic.
Millionaires arguing with billionaires is a great way to alienate most of the world. Especially in a pandemic when people are struggling to make ends meet. On the flipside, people are yearning for content. We freaking watched MARBLE RACING with the lack of sports. Marble racing. If they can figure it out, why can’t MLB? To paraphrase a line from As Good As It Gets (great movie btw) “I take away reason and accountability”. I think of that line often with MLB. It’s just frustrating. I hope they figure it out but my optimism is slowly losing a battle to apathy. Apathy is death. But MLB doesn’t seem to care. It’s stubborn and self-destructing heading towards a cliff of irrelevance and it couldn’t care less.
MLB used to be America’s Pastime and now time is passing it by.