— Couch Guy Sports (@CouchGuySports) July 13, 2018
I feel like we’ve been talking about this for years now. Baseball is a “dying sport” and it needs to figure out a way to reach the young demographic. How are they going to do that? The NBA, in my opinion, is the best at marketing their product out of the four major sports in the US. The NFL is clearly the countries favorite sport and in my mind, it isn’t even close. Sundays in the fall are essentially a holiday. The NHL is a niche sport that only certain people can find enjoyment out of for whatever reason, and then there’s baseball.
The way I see it, if you don’t live in a baseball town, then you aren’t going to understand that people just don’t give a damn about the sport like they used to. I’m from Massachusetts and spend most of my time around the Boston area. It’s been brought up on sports radio recently and people can’t comprehend the possibility of baseball becoming the countries least favorite sport to watch or attend. And that’s because here, we’re blinded. Boston is a baseball town first and foremost in my opinion. I mean, it may not be right now but that’s because we’re still living in the Bill Belichick, Tom Brady era of the Patriots. But once they leave and the team becomes, well, dare I say, mediocre, the area’s main focus will be back on the Boston Red Sox.
No matter what, people are paying attention to the Red Sox. Especially right now. I’ve never seen a time where a majority of the people I talk to do not know at least slightly about what’s going on down at Fenway Park. At the end of the day, we care about our baseball team here.
But the problem is with the rest of the country. And when I say problem, I don’t think that it’s the viewer’s issue at all. I think it’s Major League Baseball’s problem and it’s old fanbase. If you’re not from a baseball-centric city, what would draw you to the game? Let me answer that, nothing. It’s slow. It’s boring. And I’m a guy who lives and dies by the Red Sox, but I understand why people hate the sport.
One thing that the NBA and the NFL allow their players to do is express themselves on the court/field. The NFL lets players dance all over the graves of their opponents. The NBA is the pettiest league there is and it isn’t even close in regards to celebrating right down the other team’s throats. While the MLB has this “unwritten rulebook” that straight up needs to get lit on fire and tossed in a well. Throw it out because it’s part of the reason as to why the league’s dying.
The fact that there are clowns who HATE what Mookie Betts did last night is flat out pathetic. Mookie Betts battled through a THIRTEEN pitch at-bat last night with the bases loaded and ended it by taking JA Happ to the moon for a go-ahead grandslam. You expect him to keep his mouth shut and just trot the bases? What kind of excitement does the viewer get out of that? What? Do you want to golf clap and go, “Wow mmmm yupp that was a grand hit right there.”
The way that you bring fans back to the game is by making them excited and by giving them moments like Mookie Betts did last night. Major Leauge Baseball already struggles enough with marketing their players. Actually, to put it frankly, they suck at it. If you don’t pay attention to the sport what would entice you to even remotely know who Mike Trout is? Absolutely nothing. While if you don’t know anything about the NBA or NFL, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you know who LeBron James and Tom Brady are.
If the MLB can’t market their guys, let them do it themselves by expressing themselves on the field. Let Christian Vazquez scream and fist pump behind the batter after a big strikeout. Let Betts pound his chest after a big home run. Let Chris Sale slam his glove after mowing down the final batter of the inning when he’s in a jam. It may not turn the league around entirely, but it will certainly be a massive step in the right direction. People need passion to be into something in today’s fast-paced world. And if they don’t have that passion, they won’t care about it enough to pay attention to it.
Baseball needs more of what Mookie Betts did last night. And fans who don’t want that to happen are a large part of the problem.
-Nick Quaglia (@NickQuag)