Testing the Waters
Sports radio has this interesting phenomenon where seemingly innocuous comments can turn into full on debates. Such an event took place on Monday’s version of Sportstalk. Steve and I were speculating where Keith Olbermann might land now that he has been fired by MSNBC. The consensus is that Olbermann would be a good fit for the MLB network. I jokingly said, “Just what MLB network needs, another blowhard baseball purist like Bob Costas.” For some reason that struck a nerve with Steve and he took the role of baseball purist and badgered me, soliciting my opinion how baseball should be fixed. I suggested expanding instant replay to include plays at the bags, expanding the number of playoff teams from eight to ten, and lowering the number of games from 162 to 140. No baseball purist ever wants to hear these ‘radical’ ideas because they are stuck in 1955.
In a lot of ways, I was playing devils advocate. I love Major League Baseball in its current form (minus the lack of expanded replay), but for a 26 year old I am in the minority. Whether they want to admit it or not, Major League Baseball is losing a generation of fans to the NFL. A lot of that simply has to do with the time we live in. Unlike baseball, football is the perfect television sport. It is fast and utilizes cameras the best (overhead and behind the huddle shots are tremendous). I understand there is nothing Bud Selig can do about HD cameras and televisions, but he is not being as proactive and aggressive as Roger Goodell and David Stern to capture young fans.
There is no quick fix, but there is one thing Bud Selig could do to try and gain some market share. For the love of God, allow highlights and copyrighted material on YouTube. When people want to watch videos and highlights of games they missed they think YouTube and not MLB.com. This is another frustrating example of Bud Selig and Major League Baseball not getting it. Sure, the 75 year old men that love major league baseball probably think YouTube is an actual tube, but teenagers might appreciate baseball more if they could see a filthy Tim Lincecum slider or Albert Pujols bomb on their favorite website, YOUTUBE!!!