It will shock no one who's paid attention to these conversations over the years that I fall into the traditionalist camp more than not. I do try to keep an open mind, though.
Lorini wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:33 am
Great article on the rules changes for 2020 and where MLB is heading
. These are the writer's opinions based on his knowledge. Basically the reason the NL got the DH is to allow for conferences instead of the AL-NL. Other leagues have been very successful with regional conferences and MLB feels the same could happen with their game. This would mean for example that the Astros wouldn't be the only AL West team outside of the Pacific time zone, and that there could be intrastate rivalries that aren't happening now. Shorter season with more playoff games like we're getting this year. MLB has the fewest playoff game participation than any other major sport franchise. The runner on second after nine innings came from college football where the ball is placed closer to the endzone.
I would eventually adapt to the idea of regional conferences, although I hope they would still keep a decent amount of non-conference play. The Cubs would keep their most important rivalries with the Cardinals and Brewers (which is a relatively recent addition to the rivalry list, but has been a lot of fun lately), plus they could add other AL teams to the list (besides the White Sox, who are already rivals despite being in the other league). I have to admit that I don't hate the DH this year as much as I thought I would. I do think it's a bit counterproductive to the goal of shortening games and it still bugs my sensibilities that there's a non-hitting player, but it doesn't bug me during game play. I'll talk about shorter season later. I don't like the runner on second to start extra innings. I just watched that play out last night with the Cubs vs. the Pirates, and I was not a fan. I saw in that article that one person suggested bringing in that ghost runner to start the 12th - I could probably get behind that idea.
Lorini wrote:[Me]The bottom line is that MLB is losing fans. Attendance has been down since 2015 (excluding this year of course). Ratings have been falling for awhile. They know that their core audience is going to be unhappy but their core audience is over 50 and that audience apparently isn't enough to sustain growth. In my opinion, their real problem can't be fixed, and that's the lack of stars. Their best player is on a team that's only gone to the playoffs once since he's been on the team, Mike Trout. No baseball player makes the top 50 of the most popular players in US sports. The NBA has stars that can take over a game and seem to will their teams to win. Or Tom Brady throwing that miracle TD that wins the game. The nature of baseball is that it's a true team game, no one player can dominate like the other leagues. So maybe they need to emphasize more of who they are, a team game where the players all make a difference.
It hasn't been that long since players were the stars, though. McGuire/Sosa was obviously huge. I remember even before Bonds became a steroid swollen caricature that it was an event
when he would come into town. I don't know how to get back to that level. You're right that it doesn't help that Trout rarely reaches the postseason (and he really seems content to fly below the radar), but why weren't Bryant, Rizzo, and Baez (to name a trio just from the Cubs) a bigger deal nationally? They were playing at elite levels and had great, magnetic personalities (well, Rizzo and Baez, anyway), but I don't think they got much traction outside of Chicago.
stessier wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:50 am
I think MLB's biggest problems are (in no particular order):
- Inventory - too many games make missing one not such a big deal
- Game Start Time - Kids aren't staying up until 11pm on weeknights to watch games
- Playoff Game Start Time - This makes watching the World Series nearly impossible.
- Games last too long with too little action - Hard to keep a kids attention when a pitcher throws to first 3 or 4 times
I get why things are the way they are. In the early '00s, I even had the MLB package for 2 years and got to see every Red Sox game. But there are too many things vying for kids' attention these days to make that kind of commitment work for most people.
- Inventory - I don't think that's solvable. Even if they reduce the number of games (whether it's back to 154 or something even more radical), they are still going to have the most games by a good shot. And it's not like you have to catch every NBA or NHL game - they've got plenty of inventory, too.
- Game Start Time - Yes. I'd love to see more daytime games on weekends in particular.
- Playoff Game Start Time - They're not going to move the games up to noon to meet your schedule. Seriously, though, I can't imagine letting my kids stay up to watch the World Series in 2016 when the Cubs won (does anyone remember that?).
- Games last too long with too little action - I'm an old, but how isn't this a benefit? Keep the game on in the background while you Tik Tok or Fortnite or Floss or whatever. [insert abesimpsonyellingatcloud pic]