Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Sports' started by LeHab, May 31, 2019.
As far as MLS goes tickets have gone up alot so you can expect a decrease in attendance.
The problem with MLB is they don't get that they need to rework how they deliver content.
My personal request is if I could simply track 1 player, not a full team and certainly not for 180 odd games a year.
They need to get with the Iphone age and offer things like the ability to watch select players with ease on your phone.
Statistics that are more than just charts of numbers.
I.e. 3d dimensional models of all pitches etc.
Baseball is a big data sport, that's the sales pitch, and yet they support is as some cultural artifact of the late 1800s.
Your target audience is those technical folk in silicon valley etc.
You need to sell the data, not the activity itself.
Why don't kids want to play sports anymore?
Wow that’s awful. 7 years old.......
And a 13 year old umpire that they were pissed at.
FanGraphs Baseball | Baseball Statistics and Analysis
Out of Right Field: Baseball must find a way to avoid becoming irrelevant in sports-culture landscape
Baseball is awful. The same teams spend a gazillion dollars every year soaking up all the talent. And while I concede that spending the most doesn’t always translate into a title, it’s heavily tilted. Then take into account that one third of the way into the season, 3/4 of the teams are out of contention, and it’s amazing anyone shows up to their games. Major League Baseball has two leagues, and it’s not the American and National. One consists of the Yankees, Res Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, and a couple other big spenders. The other consists of the rest of the league which do little more than serve as their farm systems. The TV contract is so rich, that teams are in the Black off that alone. There’s no incentive for some teams to ever actually field a good ball club, and when they do, their good players get poached by the teams spending a half billion annually on salary. It’s disgusting.
Honestly, I can’t watch baseball. It’s too slow. Even when I’m at a live game, I’m walking around the park. I don’t need a seat. There are at least 16 TV breaks between innings, and more for pitching changes. I just want to drink beer and eat ballpark food and occasionally lean against a rail and watch the game. Double headers were great before they made them all day-night affairs. I could even take a nap and know there was a lot of baseball left to stare absentmindedly at later.
At home, I find it best to listen to on the radio. He’ll, I like most sports on the radio better. More anticipation, better commentating, and i can do something else at the same time.
Why No One Watches Baseball Anymore
Have you seen last 10 World Series winners?
Yeah. The farm clubs for the Yankees and Red Sox have done well.
This was true in the past back in the steroid era but not anymore.
The Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox are mostly home grown talent. Look at the Dodgers roster. It's not made up of 1 big free agent signing or major trades of absorbing a guy with big money. The Dodgers wouldn't even retain Grienke. The Cubs only major signings are Lester and to an extend Zobrist. Darvish is a bust, Heyward has mostly been a bust. Yankees only major outsiders are Chapman, the injury plagued Giancarlo Stanton through trade and the under the radar cheap signing of DJ LeMahieu. Red Sox are a little worst because they signed Price and JD Martinez. Still though mostly a home grown roster.
The smallest market Brewers were one of the 4 last teams a year ago and are half a game out of 1st this year, the lowly Rays would be a wild card today, the small market Twins are killing it in the AL central, the Padres are on the rise, the A's made the wild card last year and could again this year.
It's rare for a major free agent post steroid era to switch teams and have the signings work. MLB teams own a players rights for up to 7 years so players don't hit free agency until they are around 30.
If you want to talk about an noncompetitive sport look at the NBA. The only players to sign a 3rd contract/post rookie extension contract with a small/foreign market are Russell Westbrook, Damien Lillard and Paul George. George still requested a trade to the big market Clippers after 1 year of his contract, Westbrook may be traded too. Next year the Raptors PA announcer probably won't be able to even introduce the team as your world champion Toronto Raptors.
This is a great take on the current MLB except I think the White Sox are closer than you think and one of the few teams with improved attendance. They are kind of in fringe contention this year for the last wild card. They just got up Dillon Cease and Michael Koepech will be back next year from Tommy John. Luis Robert will be ready next year in center field. Moncada really has made a huge leap this year. Giolito has been an ace. Jimenez will be a stud. Reynaldo Lopez has enough talent to bounce back even though he really sucks this season. I could see the Sox spending on a Nick Castellanos next off season and going for it.
what teams are demanding those prices? You can easily find Dodger tickets for $10. I never thought baseball games were expensive, especially when compared to basketball games (Laker games).
Being in Nashville, I was very much into the recent College World Series and really enjoyed watching the games with the strategies and effort those kids exerted on the field. The last time I went to a Nashville Sounds game (MiBL AAA), I went when there were $3 beers and so much else to do around the bar in right field, I almost forgot there was a game being played until the 7th inning when the bar was getting closed because it really was not that great of a game to watch that night! Everything is a party these days in Nashville; but it amazed me how much of a game could become background noise when I was so into it in the 80's in StL...
Maybe the heretical idea of aluminum bats should be considered? Maybe defensive shifts have curbed offense too much and forced reliance on home runs that make games boring to most? Where are the speedy base stealers anymore?
However, I think the answer is simple why kid's are not interested and is ultimately tied to the almighty dollar. Kids that play are interested in the game at all levels. However, it costs a LOT to play competitively. Bats, gloves, helmets, shoes, private lessons. All that adds up in a hurry. Then there's the cost of travel and having time to make all of the games for parents... add in all of the single-parents and split households where custody adds into what kids can/can't do on weekends. Look at the inner-cities where kids don't have the resources to get the gloves and bats the MLB players have; but they can get an NBA player's branded shoes and play on a court with a hoop... If they play baseball a couple of months and get hammered by kids on travel teams, that further makes them less interested in the sport and will move on from it. Plus even kids with parents of means do not have hours of unsupervised time on their hands anymore to play out games in open lots, parks, wherever like in the movie 'The Sandlot'. Schools have short controlled recesses and a bat is often looked at as an 'offensive weapon potentially in the hands of a delinquent' by underwriters insuring schools. I often joke that my kids get extra 'yard-time' like in a prison when they behave and get longer recesses... It's also cheaper to throw up a net and give the kids A ball or two.
IMO what MLB lacks is substantial re-investment in youth sports, particularly in the inner-cities. Sure they have the RBI program they tout (RBI | Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), but it is almost never heard about outside of a discussion of why baseball has declining interest from the youth and really is just a band-aid in its current state. If they would do more with that charitable organization and give it the backing it really needs to allow kids to participate with some modicum of success that makes them care about the game, then I think kids would flock to the sport again in droves and carry their parents along with them.
I don't think the actual offense/defense balance is an issue. Looking at scores from yestrday -- out of 30 teams in action, 3 broke double-digit runs, 12 scored at least 5 runs, 6 were held to only 1 run, and only one was shut out. Compare to the final 15 games of the NHL regular season -- out of 30 teams, no team broke double digits, 7 scored at least 5 goals, 2 were held to only 1 goal, and 2 were shut out.
The bigger issue IMO is a lack of atmosphere and pace to the games. Regardless of scoring, most other sports maintain a steady flow of real action up and down the field of play. Things are happening, plays are being made. In baseball you might see a real play every 5 minutes if you're lucky. Sometimes you see 2-3 innings go by with nothing more than a pop fly. The rest of it is just sitting there listening to the crowd murmur and watching players scratch themselves. Maybe if the game is particularly meaningful there's a bit of artificial tension, but most of the time it's just plain boring to watch.
I agree that if a kid is raised into this, s/he picks up a cultural appreciation for the tiny little nuances that hardcore fans obsess over. But it takes an awful lot of investment to raise a fan like that. Only a small minority will throw themselves full-force into a sport in that manner. For everyone else, it's an excuse to drink beer and shoot the breeze with your buddies, but it's not a passionate experience. When football season comes around, those same guys are all face paint and shirtless in 40 degree weather. There's an energy around other team sports, which is absent in 95% of the baseball experience.
There's no easy solution here... I don't know how you inject adrenaline into baseball without changing the sport at a fundamental level. Most likely it's just going to continue in the direction of being mostly about the "event" of going to a ballpark and enjoying the facilities rather than watching the game. That still leaves it a moneymaker, just not the cultural phenomenon it once was.
The MLB needs to expand their playoff format. There are too few teams that can compete for a spot, making their season irrelevant to the casual fan. If you saw more teams fighting for the playoffs, you'd see far more people attending MLB games.
Also, time to get baseball out of Florida. Terrible attendance down there for both teams, regardless of how well they do.
I think the larger schedule has more to do with it than the playoff format. There's so many games its not a big deal to miss some.
there is literally nothing stopping them from competing for a spot. there is no salary cap. most of baseball decided to take the last two offseasons off, save their tens of millions from national and local tv as well as bam and not spend it.
teams treat the cbt like a cap but it's really not. it's just a further way for owners to pretend they spend too much money. the draft is capped. international signings are capped...all of this money goes right to the owners who have no reason to pay players when they're getting close to 100 million before anyone comes in to watch games.
"expand their playoff format" to what exactly? they play 162 games! if you're not good enough to make it after 162 games in 185 days, you're not good enough. the idea that we watch this many games only to have two teams "make the playoffs" in the form of a one-game play-in game trying to recapture the magic of a night that happened 8 years ago is ridiculous. the idea that the world series is now pushing halloween is ridiculous.
they don't need more playoff teams.
Haven’t watched since ~97 when the expos got f***ed, but no one bunts, no one steals?
I can tell you that the casual fan of a middle of the road team would be far more inclined to watch and attend baseball games if there was a buzz that their team may make the playoffs. Your argument is a true and solid knock against owners, however it doesn't solve the fact that only 10 teams play a playoff game in baseball. There are plenty of markets that have good teams, but their team is out of contention before September starts. At that point, there's nothing to keep the casual fan watching the game.
In my opinion, the MLB should expand their playoff format and lower the amount of regular seasons games played to accommodate. There's no reason to watch a team that's been out of contention for two months, even if they're playing above-.500 baseball. People want to watch games that mean something, so the MLB should create an environment in which there are more exciting games.
People will still steal, but it's not very frequent. The odds of getting tossed out at 2nd (I cant remember the last time I saw someone try to steal 3rd) outweigh the option to stand there and wait for someone to hit a dinger.
Bunting, again, not really. And what's worse, is that when it is called on for a specific time in a game, sooo many players don't have the skill to do it.
so cheapen the regular season even more and make the playoffs even more of a crapshoot that doesn't reward good teams?
that honestly sounds like something they'd consider.
The format already got pushback for adding the stupid wild card game in. It was fine as is.
There is no need for playoff expansion.
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