Time for Baseball to Make a Radical Change: Blow Up the Ninth Inning and Let the Stars Shine

in sports •  8 months ago

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Baseball is a game of individual accomplishments, though it pretends to be a team sport. Basketball, world football (soccer), hockey, and American football all depend on teamwork and chemistry to a greater extent than baseball does. In baseball, the only real synergy needed is the pitcher-catcher relationship, along with fielders having good enough communication that they don’t crash into each other or throw the ball away. Beyond those things, players largely play their own games within the context of a team sport.

And yet, Major League Baseball in the United States has lost ground in today’s entertainment climate. It has fallen not only because one game can take four hours and seem deadly boring when compared with other entertainment options. It has failed because it is not doing the one thing these other sports do best: market the individuals. People around the world know Cristiano Ronaldo and they know LeBron James, but most baseball players are only known within their local markets.

How many Major League Baseball athletes appeared in ESPN’s 2017 ranking of the world’s 100 most popular athletes? Zero.

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The world’s 100 most popular athletes of 2017, according to ESPN, factoring in compensation, social media following, and other measures. Cristiano Ronaldo was # 1 and is not pictured, but these are the rest of the Top 25. Also not pictured because they did not make the 100 list: any baseball players. Source: http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/page/worldfame100/espn-world-fame-100-top-ranking-athletes

Where are the Stars? Sitting on the Bench

Today’s entertainment is built for stars. It’s built for those individual accomplishments that baseball produces so well. People want to see their stars go out and win a game. It’s those highlights and those personalities that sell a sport. Today, each one is packaged and sold as an entertainment option.

Baseball is mortgaging its future because the stars people love are sitting on the bench near the end of most games. That is not true in other comparable sports. In soccer/football, your star striker has a chance to put the ball in the goal, evening the score or moving ahead in the final minutes. In American football, game winning drives are orchestrated and executed by the quarterback and wide receivers, typically the sport’s best known stars. In basketball, when you need a score to even the game or pull ahead in the 4th quarter, you are you going to call? You’ll put the ball in the hands of your best shooter, who is the team’s brightest star.

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Would Texas fans really want Gallo and Beltre in the dugout rather than the batter’s box when there’s a chance to tie and win the game? Source: MLB.TV screenshot

But that’s not often true in baseball. Each team has nine players on the field and must progress through its lineup from start to finish each time. When the game is on the line in the ninth inning and one player has a chance to be a hero or succumb to the final out, baseball teams cannot bring in their best players because the lineup order is fixed. They are stuck running through the whole batting lineup in sequence (though they may substitute pinch hitters for some of the original players).

Using nine different hitters means that there is a greater than 88% chance that your best player will not be coming to bat when your team needs him the most (that percentage drops if there are fewer than two outs). The batter who comes up with a chance to tie or win the game in a clutch situation could easily be your team’s eighth or ninth place hitter, typically the worst hitters on your team. That doesn’t make sense in today’s entertainment market.

What if baseball changed the rules to allow the manager of the team that’s behind in the score to reset the lineup for the ninth inning (the last regular inning) of every game?

Major League Baseball’s Competition Committee (which recommends rule changes) has considered such a proposal. To be honest, it’s probably a fringe proposal they barely even considered, but this proposal has the power to bring the game to life in new ways. They should take a close look.

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Resetting the lineup so that Cody Bellinger could hit in the 9th inning against a top closer? I'd tune in. Creative Commons via Flickr by Minda Haas Kuhlman.

Positive Impacts of the Proposed Change

Yankee fans, picture this. Instead of going into the ninth inning having to rely on Ronald Torreyes and Danny Espinosa (who?), you could be looking at a “must watch” event. Imagine if the Yankees’ manager had the power to reset the lineup and send up hitters like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Greg Bird in the same inning. If any of them got on base (without hitting the ball over the fence and ending the game), then Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius would get their shots. Or maybe the manager would play the hot hand or start with a high on-base-percentage guy who could get a walk and steal a base to prepare for the big boppers.

Who wouldn’t want to see that? I’d be watching it every night and I’d pay for channels I’ve never seen the point of ordering before.

Who wouldn’t want to see J.D. Martinez come up in the 9th inning with a chance to tie the game with one swing?

Relief pitchers would need to be absolutely dominant. Closers would become an even more valuable commodity. And best of all, those daily confrontations would become the stuff of legend. A 50 home run hitter faces off against a stopper throwing 100 mile per hour gas. The best in the game, on display for all to see.

Best of all, baseball would have something (and someone) to sell. The ninth inning would become like American football’s red zone. People would tune in just to see what happens. And they would see their marketable stars being given a chance to become heroes. The only names in baseball that any fan can remember today would have a chance to trend on social media, dominate the highlights, and become the bankable faces that baseball lacks.

Negative Impacts of the Proposed Change

Tradition. The poetry of baseball is firmly rooted in tradition. The green grass, the smell of peanuts, the crack of the bat. As a true fan, I love every bit of that tradition. But tradition is the reason that the game has evolved at a glacial pace and now stands out of step with modern entertainment.

Major League Baseball’s average fan is 57 years old. The National Football League’s is 50. With more younger people to bring down the average, the National Basketball Association’s average viewer age is 42. Major League Soccer’s is 40.

Tradition needs to evolve, as it did when the American League (one of the two leagues in Major League Baseball) introduced the designated hitter to hit in place of the pitcher. That improves offense and it made the game more interesting for a lot of viewers. Personally, I am a longtime baseball fan and I love tradition. I love the way the game is now. I love the chess matches in the National League that involve using the pitcher’s spot in the batting order. But 95% of fans these days have no patience for that anymore.

If Jose Altuve has three hits in a game, it would be magic to bring him up in the 9th inning with a chance to get a fourth hit + steal his way into scoring position.

Tradition evolved again in 1997 with the introduction of interleague play, something that should have happened decades earlier. Tradition evolved again when the wild card team was introduced to the playoffs and a second wild card team was added in 2012. Traditionalists screamed in opposition that their sport was being ruined. But ask anyone today and they’ll tell you those changes have been tremendously popular. They probably saved baseball from having an 80 year old average fan.

The other downside is that average players will not get the chance to step up and deliver in clutch situations. I will miss that. But it is a small price to pay for giving fans the stars they deserve. And that makes for better entertainment. Letting players wear retro uniforms one day and limiting the number of coaching visits to the pitching mound might be good ideas, but they won’t get people excited enough to save baseball.

Time to Get Radical

Baseball today has become a local and regional sport in the United States. It’s no longer a national one. And only 7% of Major League Baseball’s audience is below the age of 18. The team owners are making money today from local TV deals, but what about tomorrow? With an average fan age of 57, baseball will be gone tomorrow if the league does not make major changes. And if one change had the power to make this sport “must watch” on the national and even global stage, this is it.

Baseball should adopt the proposal to allow the team behind in the score to reset its lineup order for the ninth inning. It would change everything and reinvigorate the sport.

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Sources:
Proposal to change the 9th inning batting order: https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2018/02/21/mlb-exec-ninth-inning-batting-rule
Average age of fans: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-sports-with-the-oldest-and-youngest-tv-audiences-2017-06-30

Top photo: PNC Park, Pittsburgh. Public domain from Pixabay.

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You have made such an elegant analysis of baseball game...I couldn't dare to disagree...I always thought that I hated baseball cause I am an south asian and we south asians love cricket...But you did gave solid reasons about baseball's demise as a game.
Cricket and baseball are step brothers....

I would love to have your thoughts about Cricket...I believe the cricket is progressing very well despite being almost same as baseball...
Perhaps the introduction of 20/20 format is doing the trick for cricket...Any thoughts by you about cricket...???

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Cricket seems like a wonderful sport. It's good for patient fans, just like baseball's. Making changes is difficult, but sometimes it's the way to move the game forward.

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5 day cricket was killing the game, so they introduced 1 day formate and now realizing the need for change they introduced 20/20 format...
So you are right progressive changes are always necessary!!!

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Time will tell if 20/20 is the progressive change cricket needed. At the moment it is the flashy new toy and attracting a lot of attention. I would still like to see the 5 day tests continue at a high standard but the 2 formats are not complimentary at all!

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Everytime I watch a baseball game I fall asleep. This article should be forwarded to MLB head office I'm Twitter spamming this one.

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Sake of justice it is worth noting, that “relatives” cricket and paws there are around the world. In America it's baseball in Finland is pesapallo, Germany - slugball in Romania - Oina, Cuba - pilot, and certainly isn't everything. All these games share similarities in the rules and the main attributes: the bat and the ball.

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Yeh perhaps a shorter 20/20 style version of Baseball would help it to regain appeal!

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Experimenting isn't that bad afterall!

wow, we both are thinking about the sports. I haven't played baseball in my life but I have come to know about it from my friend who is visiting USA right now.
In Pakistan, we are having our Cricket Super leauge and everyone could be seen sitting in the front of TV screens and excited.

One thing I certainly know is that baseball has been in the shadow of most popular sport, because a lot of things isn't just right about the organization of the sport first, the sport needs re-branding, they need repacking of their system of operation, nobody wants to sit four hours for something not even more thrilling.

It's a make or Mar situation and things had gotta change for baseball to be something people want to reckon with

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One of the things that I think could help baseball be more competitive would be to have a hard salary cap again. Yes, they have some form of luxury tax, but if they had a hard cap like the NFL, one team wouldn't be able to stack the deck by having a disproportionate number of star players. Then any team would be more likely to have a shot at winning or reaching the playoffs. Having superteams like the Red Sox and Yankees is bad for the sport in the long-run. If the same teams win over and over, they get the international fans, but you don't have the local support for the other teams. People are not as interested because "the Yankees are going to win again, so who cares!"

Just my thoughts. :)

Remember Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Ken Griffey Jr, etc.? We need competitions and stars like these back in the game. Back in the day the Cubes could be 10 runs down but if Sosa hit a homer in the 9th inning it was a good day. I don’t know how to capture that energy but I’d love to see it come back to the game.

Maybe due to instant entertainment, Netflix and cell phones it’ll never happen but maybe we could tweak the game and bring back that energy.

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I'm guessing you didn't happen to catch the Astros last season. They did exactly what you are talking about time and time again. It was one of the most amazing baseball seasons I've ever followed as a diehard fan of the sport for over 35 years.

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Yes, last season was awesome. The Astros' rebuild was worth the wait. And every minute of the playoffs was worth watching with some great teams involved. But the point is to get people to watch it.

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I didn’t. Sadly I’ve been too busy to sit down and watch a game, plus I don’t have cable or an antenna.

That's a problem for Major League Baseball, which is struggling to attract younger fans. Not only that Baseball should adopt the proposal to allow the team behind in the score to reset its lineup order for the ninth inning, the league also recently announced another rule changes for the 2018 season intended to increase the speed of play and shorten games. I am hopeful that the changes they make will eventually get them into a spot where they would be comfortable with pace of play and the length of the game.

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All of that will help, but do you really think making games 6 minutes faster will attract a younger audience? They need some bigger changes.

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Yes, I would definately add some rewards for fans, somehow involve blockchain technology. Fans being rewarded for watching, just like steemiens being rewarded for coments.

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Ha ha ha, @rothberg! The fielders have to live-post articles on Steemit while they're playing. They get Steem based on how well they play. Heck, convert their salaries to Steem and see what they do. :)

You've provided a very interesting analysis on this hot-button topic. While it is very interesting from a hypothetical perspective, I don't believe the rule change will happen for two main reasons: 1. Despite the argument to the contrary, baseball is doing just fine, especially financially. Giancarlo Stanton, perhaps the games best young player, signed the richest contract in baseball history at 13years and $325 million. Yes 325 Million. No one in American Football or the NBA has a contract any where near that close. It's about profit, just like anything else, and MLB has plenty of it. I think it is certainly fair to say that MLB has dropped off below the NFL and NBA in popularity. The point you make about the popularity of baseball players in the world market is a very good one. I will admit I'm a bit surprised by that. But the point is, from a financial perspective, baseball is doing just fine. Take the Yankees for instance, their payroll is going to be somewhere around $157 million for this upcoming season. The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL at $169 million. The Golden State Warriors of the NBA - $137 million. All very healthy payrolls. The difference? Baseball plays such a long, tedious schedule that professional baseball teams get 81 home games throughout a season. Compare that to the NBA - 41 home games and the NFL 8 home games. While you can argue the popularity is dwindling, the revenue is not.

According to a Forbes report from Nov 22 of this past year, Major League baseball set a record revenue for industry revenues for the 15th consecutive year, passing $10 Billion for the first time. Both the NBA and NFL were around the $7 Billion mark. The money is still there, and as long as the owners are continuing to generate record amounts of income, they are not going to make a drastic change that will change the game fundamentally. Which brings me to my second reason this change won't happen. 2. Traditionalists/Strategy : Baseball has built into its very fabric an intricate strategy to it. Think of all the "situational" happenings of a single game. Left-handed pitcher vs left-handed batter? Leadoff hitter draws a walk in the 7th. He's the best base-runner, do you try to steal second? Bunt him over to second? Hit and run? If you start playing with this rule change, all of the strategy goes out the window. Anyone can be a manager of a team when you get the option of sending out your three best hitters to start the 9th inning. But what happens if the opposing pitcher has a no-hitter going or a perfect-game? The hardest accomplishment of any in all of the professional sports and now they effectively get penalized. It's not going to "fix" the game. Most people's argument against the current state of baseball is how long it takes. Using teams' best hitters in the 9th inning won't speed up a 4-hour long game, if anything, it's going to make it longer because of the possibilities of more batters reaching base in the 9th inning.
If baseball makes such a drastic change like this, it may attract new fans, and more youth to the game, but it would be a HUGE risk of alienating all of the die-hard "traditionalists". If you lose that large following, it doesn't matter how many new viewers you bring in. That is your bread and butter. Baseball has issues, I agree, but I don't think this will be the answer. Would more people tune in for the 9th-inning of games? Sure they would. But that doesn't guarantee that they are going to tune in for the previous 8-innings.

I do agree that the lack of youthful interest is a problem going forward. But if anything, baseball's problem is the lack of a salary cap. If you look at the popularity spikes of the NBA and NFL a lot of it can contributed to the implementing of the salary cap. In baseball, the teams with the largest and richest markets always have the highest payrolls. New York, Boston, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs are always right at the top in salary. Baseball is a constant cycle of "big" market clubs spending lavishly, and "small" market clubs having to home-grow their talent and then carefully trade them for other young prospects at the fear of losing them for nothing in free agency to one of the "big" market teams. A change in the salary cap, would level the playing field, and help invigorate new enthusiasm and hope into a large portion of the franchises. If your an Oakland A's fan whose team is sitting with a payroll of $30 million, while your division rival the Angels has a payroll of $140 million, how excited are you for the prospects of the coming season? I would start with the salary cap first. The salary cap has done wonders for the NFL especially, and I believe it could do the same for baseball.

Thank you for your article, it was well thought-out and researched and I appreciate the fresh perspective. I love the sport, I appreciate a fresh analysis. Sorry for the long response lol.

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Upvoted and resteemed thanks again for the insightful article!

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You've written a full post here. Thanks for the analysis! It's doing well regionally, but the future does not bode well without some changes.

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I know right lol, very long-winded. You're welcome! I do agree that regionally it is doing well, but the future well-being of the sport does need some changes.

Very well said and this post is amazing and hits the main issues, yes baseball is loosing its audience and popularity that it used to had,even in the US. Football ayers,basketball players and cricketers are know all around the world now and many of new comers are rising to popularity and stardom but i have never heard about baseball players,you have listed every issue and possible solutions that can be taken from it. In US NFL basketball are dominating more than anything and baseball loosing it’s place,yes things needs to change and they need to find ways to do it. I saw baseball few times and it does tends to get more boring.love your post and thanks for posting.

i am a girl and i am not interested in sports but i have always heard about famous players like leonel messi,ronaldo,michael jordan,sachin tendulkar,etc which are not related to baseball and i have never heard about baseball players.in america too football seems to be gaining more popularity than baseball.people are crazy about basketball where baseball has lost it previously owned popularity and stardom.its about time things needs to change and everything you have mentioned on this post is agreeable and thanks for sharing .upvoted

The high cost of American sports stands in stadiums, equipment and equipment, preventing them from spreading in countries with a medium and weak economic level.
As well as complex laws incomprehensible, the game of baseball is difficult to understand what it is and how to play on the non-American citizen, which was not to digest in turn if he had received the teachings over the years of his studies.
Historical Roots Baseball, American football and ice hockey are a part of the historical culture of the American people, like bullfights in Spain and cricket in Britain, so these sports have maintained their popularity there, unlike in other countries where sports have no historical roots .
Media and money: In addition to basketball, American sports and sports are unmatched by other rich American media, unlike most European countries and the world, where sports do not have much weight in comparison to football. Where there is media, there are funds and wealth and huge revenues, which contribute to support and promote those games to maintain their popularity and spread.

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That's a very good analysis. But most of these games can be played in some form on the street or in any neighborhood pitch that's dirt or grass. Obviously, ice hockey is not one of them, but in northern countries, that began on frozen lakes and rivers.

@donkeypong, You were nicely describe about baseball game using extra ordinary historical things. Very interesting to read blog and watch video clip. As my country in Sri Lanka play baseball school league and club league. But not improving national level. Baseball is a game played with a bat, ball and glove. The fundamentals of the game involve throwing the ball, hitting the ball, and catching the ball. I have only few like to baseball game and most of like Cricket.
Sri Lanka had shown international level through cricket sport. We won world cup. I can play cricket very well. Can you play Cricket? Currently with 20/20 cricket format have been very speedy and stronger game like as soccer and rugby football. However you shared brilliant baseball introduction.

Baseball should adopt the proposal to allow the team behind in the score to reset its lineup order for the ninth inning.

That sounds very interesting. I have never thought about that. If I think about it, it completely makes sense. At least it could make it more interesting if the loosing team is close enough to make these changes work. They would be able to do litle more than they can do now. And fans would be excided. I had been a huge fan of baseball, especially when there was a game between Yenkees and the Mets, or Yenkees and Boston Red Sox. It was soo exciding. Now, the spark has somehow died out. We need something new, something that completely changes the game, makes it more exciting to spends these to go to the stadium.

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Yes, that's what it's about: bringing back some spark.

Yes its time to bring some change in baseball. Now a days its not even heard by anyone in the news or anythings..Honestly just bcoz of this post I got to remember there is baseball game too...It is not famous like football, basketball or cricket etc because its not that enough entertainment and there is only the relationship between pitcher and catcher which makes 4hrs game waste of time when people are there to enjoy...
Its time to change due to change in time and generation where entertainment matter the most rather than a start...If you entertained enough then only you are star and people come to see you...I hope baseball federation will think on it...Thanks @donkeypong for sharing

I couldn't agree more with your analysis of the problems with baseball. I used to be a huge baseball fan and was someone who could actually sit through an entire game. Those days have gone away as the overall excitement of the product has diminished over time. The perspective of star players not being involved when it matters is a very valid point and one that I wish could change. I remember a time when I knew all the big stars in baseball and now I don't. The reason being that I don't watch games the same way I used to. Thinking on your statement about markieting stars gets me pondering how often I see advertising for baseball players. Only the local stuff for your own team but nothing from the league in general. How can people cheer for players they don't even know. Tradition is in my opinion the biggest straight jacket holding Major League Baseball back. The sport is so rooted in its past and being "America's Pastime" that its biggest heros are the heroes of the past. Someone is much more likely to know Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb or Mickey Mantle then any player in the game today. A big contributor to this is the statistics component to the "individual" players. Records have been set and they are standards for which the entire game is propped up on. This has led to a rigidity from the league that is very resistant to change. There has been a push from the public to both speed up the game and reduce the number of games for years but that would impact the chase for records and the statistical integrity of the league. As long as this attitude prevails then baseball is destined to continue its slide in ratings.

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I'm right there with you on those points. Tradition and statistics. At some point, they'll think about other things, but will it be too late?

Not a diehard baseball fan but it does appeal to me. I guess one of the reasons why they dont change the rules of baseball is because it is deeply rooted in tradition already. As you said, radical change will constitute a lot of adjustments but there is a price to pay for imprivemt all the time. If it makes things better then they definitely should consider resetting the lineup. Maybe it will ultimately prove to be a "winning run" after all

I see you are a great fan. Such proposals, although lofty, have a way of hanging out long on the table before they get incorporated into the game. I don't see such bends to the rules coming in a long while.

But @donkeypong, baseball is not very popular outside America, particularly in West Africa. It's a game I'd like to play but well, I'd be a lone ranger since not many people are passionate about starting a baseball academy here.

You have made such an elegant analysis of baseball game...I couldn't dare to disagree...I always thought that I hated baseball cause I am an south asian and we south asians love cricket...But you did gave solid reasons about baseball's demise as a game.
You did a great work my friend, keep it up

I respect your opinion, but I can't agree.

We're ruining ourselves with ever shorting attention spans and shallow thought patterns thanks to screen addiction. I can find any reason to "fix" a beautiful game to accommodate our downward spiral. Baseball is a game that provides an escape of instant everything and allows us to step back and relax at a different pace.

Honestly, you lost me when you said it isn't a team sport. There is nothing that says team more than an MLB team with good defense. It is 100% ALL about team. Everyone has to know their place and position in any given situation and react in a fraction of a second. If someone doesn't cover their spot it all falls apart.

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Defense is important, but that is one player doing his job and covering his section of the field. As far as your views on society's short attention spans, I agree, but that trend is not going away anytime soon. In that sports are entertainment, they need to find their place within the attention economy. I love baseball too much to watch it fade away in the coming decades.

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I hear where you are coming from and agree that baseball is at a crossroads. There is definitely an associated risk of both change and inaction. I'm of the opinion that baseball has the most upside by staying as is.

As a society, we will all come to realize what we are doing to ourselves with instant everything all the time. I expect to see a significant pull-back to re-claim our use of time and start checking out of the hectic pace. When that happens, baseball will be there. Unchanged and ready for all. It already serves that purpose for me and many other fans alike.

Changing to accomodate the fickle is a major risk of alienating the devoted core audience.

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You have my respect, but people said the same thing before the DH, wild card, and interleague. It's possible to maintain tradition and make a few tweaks to see if they help.

You make some very valid points to raising the interest level, and if you're willing to throw tradition out the window, I think this would definitely bring in more eyes. May bring a negative impact by the purists. I don't think the offset of people being upset would cancel out the larger # of people watching though.

Personally, I am a longtime baseball fan and I love tradition. I love the way the game is now. I love the chess matches in the National League that involve using the pitcher’s spot in the batting order.

This is me too. Every single pitch is a new game. The biggest problem I see is that people don't see it this way. They see it as non-action, when in my view, every pitch changes the plan for the next pitch. 3-0 count, bet fastball. 0-2 count, bet breaking ball. Runner on 1st against a pitcher with a slow delivery, bet on a steal. The scenarios and strategies are endless. People who don't know the game aren't playing these out in their head like myself. I can sit and watch a 9 inning (if there are extra innings, well that's just free baseball) game all by myself and enjoy every minute of it. It saddens me to know that I am in the minority because I love the game so much.

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Absolutely. Extra innings and one team runs out of bench players. The manager brings in their best hitting pitcher to pinch hit. Now that's a game.

Baseball is/was only a popular sport because so many americans played it. When you play it, what is happening on the diamond is entertaining. Else, you just cannot appreciate how easy these professionals make it look.

Without baseball being the great american passtime, baseball as a professional sport will continue to wane. One more generation, and I anticipate that it may be complete gone.

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Exactly. And that's what I want to prevent. It needs to do something radical to remain relevant.

its an interesting idea - to bring them in at the end. and definitely a true comparison! you'd never see lebron sitting out at the end of the game unless they were up by A LOT of points. but baseball is a totally different structured game. and some part of me just thinks that its meant to be slow and boring so you can focus on shooting the sh** with your friends and having a few beers.

thats just the good ole american in me though;p maybe if we did apply your lineup changes, it'd be worth paying attention to the game a bit more!

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I'm a traditionalist mostly and reluctant to change, but I've recognized in the last few years that it's inevitable. They need to do something (besides juicing the balls, which has helped) to bring in some new fans.

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i definitely agree on that level. going to a baseball game has become a novelty or nostalgic family passtime moreso than an action-packed sports night. for many people i know (as well as myself), its something to "Check off the list" just to say you've done it. It has to take strides in order to get the fan base, like you mentioned.

That could help to make things more interesting. There could be a whole new system where you give up a run or two in the either so you could be the losing team and get to reset your lineup for the 9th.

I don't know if it would work though. We live in a fast-paced world where action is in demand. Baseball doesn't have action except for 3 second bursts. For most people, it's not worth it to sit for 3-4 hours (much less pay to go to a game!) where there's a total of 30, 60 seconds of action.

I think baseball had its place, but I haven't watched in almost 20 years. When they had their strike back in the day, I switched to football and never looked back. Granted, I didn't watch a lot of NFL this last year because of its own issues, but I still think any of the other major sports are more entertaining.

I'd rather watch soccer and the score there can be 0-0 at the end. :)

*Just my opinions. I mean no offense to any baseball lovers. I understand tradition and nostalgia, so there's no judgement if you enjoy watching it. Who knows, maybe I just need to find a good team to root for!

I think its time for baseball to expand beyond the united states. china for instance has started to adopt the sport, but it has not really spread to the grassroots. In my country the most popular sport is football, and that's because we get to see some of our home based stars play in top leagues european, we like ronaldo, but seeing our boys play makes us proud.

Baseball needs to do the same, if it has to survive then it needs to move beyond the US to other parts of the world, and create an environment where players from other parts of the world can also play in the US.

Awesome post even tho I don't think it would ever happen. MLB is so worried about keeping the game how it always was that they seem to be digging their own grave. The only thing saving baseball now is young freakish athletes parents will push them to play baseball or basketball because of all the brain damage football has caused. It would be cool if they did a reset after the 9th inning and each team had an extra innings lineup kind of like a shootout. Heavy hitters up top to try and prevent super long games that go to 12+ innings. I clicked on your post because of the PNC park pic. Great choice for a photo to get peoples attention, its a beautiful ballpark.

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Sorry, but isn't that "Ronaldo"? :D

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Thanks. I'll fix it!

Baseball is a smart persons game! It's not meant to entertain people that don't have the brain power to understand what's "not happening" during active play. I totally understand what you are saying though. If you want to grow you have to bring excitement a la 1998's homerun race. Bring back the juice and let the players loose.

Funny coincidence. I was in Lawrence this week, the town where baseball was invented. And I still don't know the rules. Which means I understood the problematics you mention in your post, but I still have no clue how baseball works :D

first what a spectacular view of that stadium in your photo, and this proposal could make a more interesting dynamic in a baseball game that is often so boring

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That is a pretty park. It's PNC in Pittsburgh, where I've never been. Thanks for the comment.

First of all, congrats on getting so much engagement on a sports post. That is no small feat around here.

I too think MLB needs to do something radical. My students don't watch baseball at all. The way people consume sports has changed. It seems everything has to be a 3 second clip. Even with basketball dunks they don't show the pass or action leading up to it. Just the finish.

I think step one is getting rid of anything that makes the game slower. It is already too slow for young people. The addition of replay has made it worse.

Although I think the change you propose definitely diminishes some of the strategy leading up to the ninth inning, I don't know if it matters any more. It it doesn't change it will die. Creating a must see 9th inning is a pretty interesting idea. I know I find myself tuning in for the very last 5 minutes of an NBA game (it's all I have time for).

Going to ponder this one. Definitely interesting.

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It's a sacrifice. There's no question something would be lost with this change. But they need some radical steps to encourage more fans. The more I've thought about this one (which I heard about yesterday), the more I think it's the best proposal I've heard do far.

I like that idea! Would make things exciting at the end of games!

Good evening @donkeypong

Baseball is a game of individual accomplishments, though it pretends to be a team sport.

Didn't really know about this, and yes you put it right that the game needs a radical change.

To be honest, I really don't know about the rules of this game and sometimes I can't differentiate between baseball and cricket.

But for such a game, and the stars are on the bench, and can't be substituted because of some prescribed sort of rules. Wow, that's not cool at all, I can't imagine a game of football where, when Ronaldo, Salah or Messi is needed the most, and they don't put them to be the game changers. That's the joy of soccer for me, the dynamism it carries and I'm sure that for baseball to thrive in this present era, they'll need to seriously adopt this proposal and not only make it a local sport, but a national one and even and international one.

Yeah, and the downsides, I guess they'll surely find a way to fix them, but I seriously think this radical step should be adopted because all sports are evolving, and in soccer now, the referees decision isn't at all much final again due to the adoption of Video Assistant Referees (VARs).

For anything to thrive, change it must adopt to.

Thank you for enlightening me on this sport, hope to look into it more in the future.

It's definitely a radical idea, and because of that it will never happen. As a traditionalist, I'm against this idea for the most part, though I do understand the increased interest it would bring in for the casual fans.

You would think they would know this. Zachary Hubbard has some very interesting insights on this. (note) He takes the red pill route. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Zachary+hubbard+scripted+baseball&view=detail&mid=0991CDD4C2FD7DF208EF0991CDD4C2FD7DF208EF&FORM=VIRE

I think what you bring up regarding lineup changes for 9th inning is fair. Although most games usually at the late innings change pitchers. Adjustments at the end on the pitching is more likely than not while having the best hitters in the ninth is one way of trying to neutralize the closer. It may make game interesting but it ruins the later innings for pitching.

For what its worth I think the game is pretty balance. When the managers set their lineups they plan based on starting pitching. Whether it goes according to plan will depend on the batters skills and team effort in collaborating hits. While on the pitching side it would be mostly on one player's shoulder to burden if the team's win or lose. Of course the players that field the ball needs to do their job too, but if team has a solid pitching then likelihood of relying on others lessens. 9 batters versus 1 pitcher. Seems a tall order to play against, and to allow batters additional advantage of rearranging their batting orders seems to favor the batters even more.

The is a reason why a closer or a pitcher that comes to the mound at the last inning of a game. It is magical when one witnesses the closing shutout. Have to look at both sides of the ball to make the call. I personally enjoy how the game plays out even though the lineup does not change at the ninth. The closing pitcher of every team has a tall order to make sure no runs score and some have to do many back to back games. Pitching takes a toll more on the body than batting, why give batters more advantage? So to make more hits and runs on purpose? A low scoring game but great pitching is also exciting to watch.

Just my baseball mumbling. What do I know? Thanks.

Very interesting idea...I kind of like it. Excellent point about the poor marketing of individual players by the MLB. Part of the reason the younger generation doesn’t care as much about baseball.

This is a serious one. Just as you have rightly said, baseball can be very boring. It also has some moves that just seem weird to me. I guess that is because it is not popular enough. When people accept a sport generally, it is their interest in it that make them flowers with it and make it not boring to them.

Bringing in younger people's interest will go a long way in promoting the viewership or fan base of the sport even world wide.

So unfortunate, base-ball used to be a very glamorous and popular game.

I'm a die-hard baseball, have been since I was 8 years old. I value the tradition and acknowledge the average fan needs to be younger. I think it is a little more complex than what you laid out (thought I do appreciate you ananlysis) and it relies on a bunch of factors. https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2017/11/22/mlb-sets-record-for-revenues-in-2017-increasing-more-than-500-million-since-2015/#2a8a2c9d7880

Revenues are increasing in baseball. The TV Contracts are bigger than ever, they embrace ditial distribution and marketing more so than any other Major League sport, and because of it's somewhat wholesome nature, they can rope in HUGE sponsorships.

What I am saying is the money is there. I think they need to focus on promotions like you said in your individual angle, and ways to expose the game to younger kids. The lack of people allowing their kids to play football will help direct them to less concussion-prone sports like baseball, but that is hwere it starts.

Once you fall in love with the game, you're a fan for life. No need for drastic rule changes, MLB just needs to spend this money to expand little league and get players more involved.

Thanks for sharing this post which is stating the concrete facts about the problems in the sport baseball.i am interested in sports and i watch cricket alot.my brothers are cricket and football fan.baseball has lost to other sports now and we don’t hear about it alot now. Baseball used to be a epic game but things needs to be changed which is positive changes.thanks again.

football is the only sport i watch and i watch some cricket too,people in my country are crazy about football .i have never seen baseball matches.i dont know any baseball players but i know players from the sports i dont watch.baseball has lost its popularity and its boring as i have heard from people. america has sports which they are more interested in than baseball now.they need their star players to not sit on bench and play in the field.i agree with your post and thanks.

This is a good info. I dont really know much about baseball, i just watch it once a while but with this your post i will give it more time now... and see how it goes

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I invite you to visit my blog, follow me and vote my last post, please. Regards.

True shit. And it's not even a bad thing. Like you said, stars run the show. And even all these team sports, soccer, basketball, etc, they are much more about individual prowess than we think. What are the Cavs without Lebron James? What is Barcelona without Lionel Messi? Nothing!

And what these guys--the NBA and FIFA--understand is that star sells! I repeat, star sells! That baseball, a game which is so dependent on individual prowess, decides to ignore this credo, is more than baffling!

Something definitely ought to be done, yesterday!

Wow.. very amazing post. I really like. Thanks for sharing my friend.

Love is most important thing in world but the love for baseball is even better

For many Americans, this is not just a lifestyle, it is a religion, an integral and constant variable of all existence. Of course, there are always those who are not interested in baseball, but it's so miserly that it's even frightening sometimes :) So I think it's not so bad that it's better to attract young people just not to play in the computer.

Nice post

Amazing and very interesting post. Thank you for sharing. I never played Baseball but i saw some movies based on some baseball superstar, like Field of Dreams, Money Ball, The Natural, 42.

l love sports and l love playing baseball.thank you for sharing post.

The rules were once made by men and that rule can be changed by another, evolution has been built on change and improvements, advancements are because of change i rules and improvements, there are consequences but mostly the positive is always better than the negative, the positive impact of a change will mostly overshadow the negative effect. I think they should really look into changing or bending the rules to revive the game. Thanks to @donkeypong for this post.

@donkeypong Its very interesting post for me...great dear go ahead
information##Upvote/Resteem###

I agree with you on everything said about Baseball . This makes me remember the movie “ A million dollar arm” this is amazing. Thanks for sharing

It is one of the few sports that never really gained popularity. There is need to reinvent the sport a little bit and introduce more of the youth

I like playing baseball...thanks for sharing the post...

Very interesting :) And difficult.

Hey. About the proposal of changing games, I think the output result should be expected. I imagine a certain christano Ronaldo hitting the balls.

The point is that all teams and companies would wish to work with someone who is ready, I mean a person who is able to bring out his best and serves to entertain people. This is a person who live by entertaining with people

Finally, the idea of a team brings out the best to reach a high table. A team reveal the best player and prepares ground for the upcoming best guys.

@jona12/Uganda

Baseball today has become a local and regional sport in the United States. It’s no longer a national one.

I remember when I was younger, I desperately wanted to be a base baller, it had class, great followership and glamour then but it's like it's gradually fading. Too bad!

I agree with you and you Trully said sir,Baseball is a game of individual accomplishments.baseball is an excellent game and is interested in it not only in the US and the rest of the world.
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Thanks for this sports sharing....i appreciate your all post. personally i like this baseball.resteemit

The poetry of baseball is firmly rooted in tradition. The green grass, the smell of peanuts, the crack of the bat.

yeah, i think that would be one of the major drawbacks it would face.

Baseball hasnt really received the kind of recognition it deserves. And i support a little change or partial overhaul.

thanks for sharing @donkeypong

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Your absolutely right on this @donkeypong.. Baseball is losing ground when you compare it to other entertaining sports. The pitcher-catcher relationship, the fielders having good enough communication, are the most areas to look out for to have a good game.. A once most sought out game is becoming more boring, and yet it takes longer to complete the game.
Not even having a major League Baseball athlete appearing in ESPN’s 2017 ranking of the world’s 100 most popular athletes!!! where is the sport heading to. Almost all disciplines have players making this list, how would baseball which attracts huge numbers to watch games miss out.
A lot needs to be done to add value to the game to keep it trending with other sports which are marketting players and reaping big when these players sell out to other clubs. This post @donkeypong could rejuvenise the sport if the heads leading it analysed it and adjusted accordingly.

Small adjustments like having the manager of the team that’s behind in the score to reset the lineup for the ninth inning would bring the entertainment aspect out of the sport as we would have the big name hitters in the same inning. These players alone would get marketted when they get seen taking up roles like this.. thus having something to sell.. And these same players attracting big price tags alone would persuade the supporters to attend the games expecting to watch something different from each game.

MLB I imagine would resist this change, because it would invalidate some of the stats. Maybe they could try it in special games outside the regular season, like a test market?

hahaha nice to know somthing about basball but i think its a crazy game and really its amainzing how they play it many time i cannot understand its rules and its playing methods there for really i dont like baseball and this game make me boring when in watch matches of basball other side the football and Reynaldo is best
i think what will good if you are good plyers and play vs reynaldo @donkeypong

Amazing and very interessing post thank you for sharing
resteemed and shared in the steemit

The weather is always like this here. ;)

Take a Tip! and have a good day. :

Love the layout man. Keep it up!

Upvoted.

Yeah, baseball is definitely not the most popular sport. I haven't heard about a single baseball start when I come to think about it. They indeed do "market" their stars right. Not having the best players in the last minutes is really bad, because people love watching their favorite stars in clutch moments. Changes have to come baseball!

This is really amazing and interesting.
@abel04

Owk this is cool though but I don't know so much about base Ball...here in Africa we dont really hold in high esteem the game of base Ball and infact I don't think I have ever seen one being played here. But I think that since you deem it fit for thses changes to be made, them they must be important to you.

No offense to people who love baseball, but it's just cricket made simpler

great one inform and post...
i like the baseball most>>>>>>>

I didn't know baseball had a dying fan base, probably because I'm not a fan of watching sports. I will be keeping an eye on how this story develops because it seems that generational preferences change faster than some sports can adapt.

Baseball should adopt the proposal to allow the team behind in the score to reset its lineup order for the ninth inning. It would change everything and reinvigorate the sport.

Yea, sure. Baseball is not really getting the reception and recognition it deserves.

i think this would be a great idea if the governing body gets to adopt it

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Baseball professionals should not worry at all. If baseball will be gone tomorrow we still have Сurling. it's a very fun and interactive game.
So they can just go and become professionals in curling!

Hi donkeypong
I totally agree with that Jackie Robinson quote.
Have a fantastic day.

There is something about true events the facts that are satirically very funny thanks for the smile ! :))
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Zachary Hubbard has a unique take on this subject, through numbers. He has been at it for a while. It raises a brow.

Well, I've never really liked baseball because of a movie I watched when I was young and an athlete was greatly injured.

But I do agree with you on some points though.

Hi I'm from venezuela! Could you help me in this community? Enchanted with your content, I am also an athlete! A hug and I hope you check my blog! A hug!

I am a young lady and I am not intrigued by sports but rather I have constantly found out about renowned players like leonel messi,ronaldo,michael jordan,sachin tendulkar,etc which are not identified with baseball and I have never caught wind of baseball players.in america too football is by all accounts increasing more prevalence than baseball.

HOUSTON - Major League Baseball, alarmed by the game’s lack of action this season is considering making the most radical changes to the game in more than a century.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said that baseball is contemplating everything from altering the strike zone to limiting the number of pitching changes in a game, to curtailing the number of shifts, to even installing 20-second time clocks for pitchers.

If these changes are implemented, it would lead to perhaps the most radical rule changes since baseball reduced the number of balls to four in 1889 to constitute a walk. Certainly, it would have more impact than the American League installing the DH in 1973.

When I think about your words, I've never watched a baseball game ever in my life on TV. You're actually right, you are too smart sensei pong-pong!
We should save baseball! Let's make a plan!

your post is very useful for athletes and I am very interested to read it.Good post @donkeypong

you are right @donkeypong.
I really like baseball
but in my country there is no this sport.

My country indonesia .

Baseball is one of the greatest sports known to human race. I watched a lot of it back in high school and every moment of it was captivating. It was exactly this same challenge. Each player focuses mostly on hi,self instead of embracing teamwork as palpable in other stars in other Sports like Christiano Ronaldo in football. Moreover, the best guys are restricted to the bench due to non-malleable rules.

I see great prospects in baseball, it might have been somehow converted to a regional game instead of a national one as it was formerly reputed for, but I still believe it can rise and shine again.

More and more is changing in other games like football and basketball and they are gradually becoming world class sports, Baseball should not be left behind. The rigid rules of this amazing game of passion should be looked into and atleast slightly reviewed. Then Baseball will bot only rise to the height of football but will soar even higher. Their players will become international stars like players of other sports.

Thanks for putting up this post @donkeypong

This one of the game/sports i never under the ethics guiding it

I love reading from you. You really know your game. I am not really a baseball fan but i enjoyed the way you linked other sports to drive home your point sir.

El beisbol es un deporte grupal, algunos juegan en equipo y para el equipo, mientras otros solo aprovechan su momento para brillar. No es nuevo esto, en cualquier diciplina se observa, y no es cuestion de brillar. El ser humano por naturaleza busca la manera de llamar la atencion y sobresalir, es por ello que hoy dia tenemos atletas tan exepcionales como cristiano ronaldo, lebron james y hasta miguel cabrera. Me gusta tu post, sigue subiendo esta clase de publicaciones.

@donkeypong no matter how baseball make a radical change, it can never outshine soccer.
Though as you said baseball is more of an individual game than team work like soccer.
Great post

Wish I could contribute to this. But since when I was a kid till now, I never understood the game of baseball. But I love watching it though. Soccer was what I understood easily.
Maybe the sports( baseball) needs a reformation

I understand how you feel. Baseball has always been one of those games that starts and stops so much that it gets rather banal and boring (unless accompanied with beer). I think it's hard to see a team go down because they were late in the batting order and couldn't bring up their power hitters.
However, I think that's where the good managing comes in handy. A baseball team should not be defined by one person. It takes a whole team effort to win games.
These sports organizations (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.) are so concerned with ratings that they try to adapt the game. Take the NHL for example. Since the turn of the century, the NHL has made some pretty big changes to the game. After the introduction of shootouts in 2005-06, the dynamics of the game changed completely. Some of the changes are well-met and make sense (stupid 2-line pass rule!), but we should be mindful of how these changes alter the game.
Baseball might get a make-over one day. But after it gets so many changes, is it still the game we fell in love with? Or has it become something different entirely?
There was a really good article about the future of baseball in the New York Post.
Here’s the link - https://nypost.com/2017/07/12/its-time-to-debate-the-future-of-baseball/

Buen post, me gusto mucho. Gran trabajo el que hiciste.

Very nice sports post....bassball most popular games...

Love the first photo of my beloved PNC Park but I'm against pretty much all rule changes to baseball aside from speeding up the game by cutting down on rituals and superstitions in the batters box.

i really don't have idea on how baseball is been govern. But when you talk about soccer am 100% in support. I can talk and talk till their is know more time left.

On your last post about the donkey post. I saw an incident few days after about an hunter that was headbutted by kangaroo. It was funny although not mauled. It is there on my blog

I love watching baseball game it's feel me good and heart bit faster when i'm at high school time i pay football and baseball it's makes me motivated to dig deep in my life game

@donkeypong. menurut saya pemain beseball memang tidak terkenal seperti pemain sepak bola misalkan cristiano ronaldo dan banyak lagi pemain lainnya.tapi pemain baseball juga sangat terkenal di hati penggemar nya masing masing

if they could have make it more interesting than it would have not stopped that's going to be rocking

i like baseball but football have never ending 😊
please vote and follow me back @sarine. thanks

Is this baseball famous in US? I take a resteem.

Is this baseball famous in US?

seems like a no brainer of a rule change and will prove the mettle of some of the baseball superstars.Not a baseball fan whatsoever but after having recently read Moneyball it does appear to be a sport that lends itself to be written about in captivating ways.

Wow it would be so rad to play baseball myself !