The Dying Breed
By Foster Biggers
Can we be completely honest about something... Baseball is a dying breed.
It truly hurts me to say it, especially as a former baseball player and someone who was fortunate enough to play it in college. The sport I fell in love with and tried so hard to pursue is falling off the radar fast in this nation. And this past Monday and Tuesday is a prime example of it.
What used to be a couple of days that the nation would circle around and talk about for days prior and days after, the MLB All Star Weekend. What used to be a night where Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Griffey Jr. would drop bombs and light up the sky. But these bombs have quickly turned into duds. Giancarlo Stanton had one of the greatest, if not the greatest HR derby in history, but no one was talking about it. Social media wasn't lighting up. Sportscenter might've mentioned it only 2-3 times. No texts on my phone about it.
Then it only got worse the night of the All Star Game itself. According to Austin Karp, managing editor for Sports Management Daily, the All Star Game was a dud.
"Last night's MLB All-Star Game is going to be lowest-rated on record despite big year-over-year gains for Boston (+46%) and Chicago (+32)." - Austin Karp
And the only reason the viewership was so high in those cities was that fact that the Red Sox had Big Papi in his final All Star Game, and the Cubs had 4 starting infielders.
And it's not like the MLB isn't loaded with amazing young talent. The game has Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, and many others who are more than able to carry the game like Jeter once did. I mean, there were 27 fresh young new faces who made their first appearance at this years all star game. But still... Dud.
So what happened? Where did baseball go wrong? Why aren't kids outside playing baseball in the streets anymore? AND WHY DON'T ANY OF THESE YOUNG KIDS KNOW ABOUT The Sandlot?!?!
It seems like now my generation and younger are only talking about basketball, football, and soccer. Yes, you heard me.. soccer. Soccer is taking over the younger generation more than any other sport. It's obviously the worlds favorite game, and it wouldn't surprise me if it becomes one of the top 3-4 leagues/sports in the US.
I mean I've seen more soccer tweets and texts these last few years then I ever see about baseball... except during the World Series when everyone decides to be a "fan." And don't event get me started about tweets during the NFL and NBA seasons. It's clear that those two leagues are so much more above and beyond baseball when it comes to marketing and social media savvy.
For example, the moment KD announced he was going to the Warriors, the Internet almost broke. Tweets, videos, and all kinds of posts where flying across the Internet, along with about 50 text messages I received that day from friends and family.
Maybe baseball died when the steroid era died, who knows. All I know is that it's not what the kids down the block are playing anymore. They're playing Pokemon Go.
Foster Biggers is sooner born and bread, but loves the world of sports and entertainment both foreign and domestic. Not afraid to say things others might not like to hear, but has a touch of homer in him as well. Also willing and wanting to chat movies, tv, and video games.