MMO Fan Shot: Is Baseball Too Long for Most Fans?

An article by posted on January 10, 2014

kids baseball fence

An MMO Fan Shot by Peter Miles

Baseball is a classic sport that has often been called “America’s pastime”, and rightly so. Baseball fits right in with apple pie, fireworks on the Fourth of July, and picnics in the summer. Many people still tune into baseball, but the younger generation is starting to tune out. What is causing the younger generation to be disinterested in a sport that has been a young person’s game for so long? The baseball games of the past were much shorter, and some posit that today’s long, drawn out games might be off-putting to some people. A few simple changes to the game could make it faster and more accessible for people’s attention spans and schedules.

Why is the Game So Long?

Many people delight in analysis of baseball and other sports. People like Kevin Kerekes in Florham Park are well acquainted with the game, and have seen how it can positively affect the lives of youths and adults alike. But as much as people love the game, they have also started to analyze why the game is so long. Two main problems have come to the forefront; the batter continually steps in and out of the batter’s box, and the pitcher takes eons to decide which pitch to throw.

Repercussions of a Long Game

It’s no secret that kids have shorter attention spans now, and with the average World Series viewer being 54 years of age, it’s clear that kids are falling away from the sport. In fact, kids watch more hockey, basketball, football, and even English Professional League soccer than baseball. America’s Pastime is starting to past most Americans’ bedtimes, with three and four hour games being the norm. Not only does this affect kids, who don’t want to sit for three hours to watch a ball game, but it also affects those who can’t stay up all night to watch a game due to work or other obligations. The repercussions of a long game seem to be the loss of young fans, and the overall boredom of even the most passionate viewers.

How to Fix the Problem

It would be relatively simple to fix baseball’s current game length by making two minor changes. For one thing, if the batter steps out of the box, it should be a strike. There’s no need to go back and forth; once the batter is in the box, he needs to stay there. Secondly, the pitcher should have 7 seconds to throw the ball if nobody is on base; otherwise, it’s a ball.

The Positive Impact of Change

Changing just these two simple things could shorten the game dramatically, and could help the game last for generations to come. Of course, changing the game could also pose some challenges to players and viewers alike, such as having to get used to new rules and adjust game play strategy. But overall, it could help encourage the younger generation to be more engaged, drive sales, and make the game more enjoyable. And if less time were required to watch a baseball game, more people may be able to go to the stadiums and enjoy the pastime that has so long been a part of America’s culture.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Peter Miles, who writes about investment and baseball, but prefers baseball. He’s active, spending time exercising outdoors with his two daughters several times per week.

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