We got these same stories around the All-Star Break and they are all a broken record about how nobody cares about baseball anymore and how nobody plays the game anymore, and how ratings are down and attendance is down, and how no one knows the names of the star players any more, all that bull. Here’s a typical example of that sentiment here.
Well, I can believe it if people in New York say they are less interested, because their teams aren’t in it! But ask fans in Kansas City, where the Royals just swept the Orioles to make the World Series for the first time in 29 years. Ask folks in San Francisco, where the Giants made the World Series on a three-run homer by Travis Ishikawa.
Even in St. Louis, where they just lost, interest in the baseball Cardinals is higher than it is for the NFL football Rams, who are apparently making noises about moving.
I would say interest is high in those three markets, at least. Honestly, it ought to have been, because these playoff games have been dynamite with plenty of extra-inning games and walk-off wins.
Frankly, I think there ought to be a rebuttal to all this negativism, because having been to ball games at various major-league stadiums in recent years, and having experienced the atmosphere there, I think there’s a lot of life left in the sport. I think the recent boom in brand-new stadiums in particular have revived a lot of interest, plus the new playoff format has made things a bit more competitive with more teams staying in the race longer. Around our area here in Saskatchewan, there was a lot of interest last year in pitcher Andrew Albers, a local product who made the Minnesota Twins. Because of that, there was more baseball interest here than there had been in a long time.
Albers went on to Korea this season, which leads into my next point, which is that baseball is very much alive and well with international audiences. Fans in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Venezuela, in Caribbean countries such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic and elsewhere are very much interested in baseball and the major leagues.
I would also add that interest in the minor leagues is also pretty strong. And there seems to always be lots of interest in the Little League World Series when it airs on TV. So I think things are a lot better than some folks say it is. I’m guessing the real reason you see all these negative stories from people so down on baseball is simply to provide content for these web sites.
I’ve found this piece in Forbes which I think does a good job countering all this negative baloney about the supposed impending death of baseball, and you can read it here.