The first thing every father tells their son about playing baseball is keep your eye on the ball. Until the age of 16 or so, I lived that rule. I was extremely captivated by the game of baseball and just like the big leagues, baseball was an everyday activity of mine. I knew all the players, managers, stadiums and statistics of the game. But as I grew older, I slowly took my eye off the ball.
Sadly, I've almost become indifferent to baseball. I don't watch nearly as many games as I once did and feel almost zero investment in them. When I do watch baseball I often fall asleep with the remote in my hand. I've shrugged off several years of big playoff contests and World Series games. Now, I can only name about half the players on my childhood "favorite" team and far fewer on all the rest.
More troubling for baseball is that I have plenty of company joining me in the baseball indifferent crowd. Sure I did change. I live at a far different pace than I did ten years ago; however, I haven't dramatically changed my consumption of other sports.
This postseason I made "an effort" to watch more baseball. I forced myself to watch and was pleasantly entertained by a great postseason which was capped off by a spectacular World Series. This resulted in the most watched baseball game since 2004 - when the Boston Red Sox were chasing down their first World Series Championship in 86 years.
Despite strong numbers for the finale, baseball has been quietly losing it's place in America's sporting heart over the past thirty years or so. Today, people often site football as the reason baseball is losing prominence in America. However, I think it would be shortsighted to forget the nearly two decades Michael Jordan played basketball and what he did for growing his game. He too is to blame I would say.
I'd want to know what you think. First, diagnose baseball biggest problem with losing share to other sports. Secondly, offer your solutions. How would help baseball regain prominence in America?
I will share my thoughts along with all of the reader feedback in the forthcoming post, Baseball Should Do This. Please respond via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), in the comments section or via Twitter @AlexVilleneuve.