The sport of baseball was once known as America’s pastime, but is now regarded as an afterthought in today’s society. The “old” game of baseball was filled with legendary players, lore, and long running traditions. Today it is known as a boring sport with limited action and a very long season. A baseball season usually runs from April until October, including the playoffs. With such a long time span of games, it can be hard to keep fans entertained and engaged during the season. For many spectators, baseball has become too slow to keep fans immersed in the little action that takes place.
Baseball is losing fans fast. According to Joey Spitz of the Huffington Post, only ten percent of Americans claim that their favorite sport is baseball.
Fans have even taken to Twitter to voice their concerns about how much popularity “America’s Pastime” is losing.
For other sports, playoffs games are almost always sold out, no matter the venue. If there are some empty seats left, there certainly are not many. In addition to seats being left empty at important games, like the one above, but television ratings are also suffering. Spitz pointed out just how far Major League Baseball ratings have fallen recently:
Just last season, the MLB’s television ratings reached an all-time low, collapsing by as much as 50 percent since the early 1990s. Likewise, the World Series, which for close to a century served as America’s preeminent sporting event, had its lowest television rating in history. Even the vaunted Yankees are not immune, as the team’s ratings dropped 39 percent just a season after plunging record lows.
One suggestion that Stephen Moore has for the MLB in the video is that games should air earlier on television. He notes that some games do not even get finished until after midnight. Late night games isolate children, a large group of the fan-base, from watching the games. Kids cannot stay up that late to watch games, especially when their bedtime may even fall before the start of some games. This lack of viewership from kids can be responsible some of the hits in ratings, but cannot be the full blame.
The pace of play during a baseball game can be compared to watching paint dry. Sports like basketball and football are high scoring and exciting to watch, while baseball is long and drawn-out, with not many points scored. Not only is baseball slow to begin with, but has gotten even longer with the introduction of instant replay. Major League Baseball is shooting themselves in the foot by increasing down-time in games even more than what it already was.
Losing popularity every moment, the sport of baseball has faded out of American society’s spot reserved for the national pastime. The sport has become too boring and time-consuming to keep up with the interests of the fans it used to have. Television ratings are down, and fans are declining, but that is just the beginning of the decline of what was once America’s pastime.
“An Image” Bronx Baseball Daily. Bronx Baseball Daily. 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2014
Baudoin, Alex. “4 Reasons Football, Not Baseball, is the New American Pastime.” Mic. Mic. 11 April 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014
Brower, Brooke (brookebrower). “I’m a casual baseball fan, but as an American I am saddened by empty seats behind home plate during #WorldSeriesGame2.” 22 Oct. 2014, 7:47 p.m. Tweet.
Fox News. “Stephen Moore: Baseball is a dying sport.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Meeker, Edward. Take Me Out to the Ball Game. 1908. MP3.
Spitz, Joey. “Is America’s Pastime Dying a Slow Death?” The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post. 1 Aug. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2014