Is Major League Baseball Dead?

It’s the beginning of the season, a beautiful Mother’s Day in Oakland. Perfect weather and a Sunday. I only know all this because Dallas Braden just threw Major League Baseball’s 19th perfect game.

This was the first time mainstream America got a glimpse of baseball since the World Series last season When George Steinbrenner’s Yankees just purchased their 27th world Championship. Yawn!!

Everything else is just a foot note on the bottom of the television. Oh, so and so tests positive for performance enhancing drugs. So and so signs a huge contract.

So, for the first time in over five months, the mainstream got to tune in and see a baseball story worth mentioning. Most non-baseball fans damn near forgot what a baseball diamond even looked like.

But a no hitter, yeah, most people know that’s special, and worth tuning in to. Myself included.

Watching the highlights, I noticed immediately how many empty seats there were. Whoa!! This was a bigger eye opener than the actual pitching. I read only 12,228 fans in attendance to watch the historic event. Also 21,849 empty seats were on hand.

If the average ticket price was 37 dollars, this only adds up to $452,436. Sure those fans are getting stuck with huge concession prices, but 10,000 people drinking sodas could hardly cover security prices.

Is baseball really this dead?
Faint heartbeat, weak vital signs, and damn near flatline, but it’s still alive. Just barely.

What can save it? I will play devil’s advocate here and piss some people off in the process.

1. Less games: Is it necessary to see teams play nearly 200 games to crown a champion? No. It could easily be done with an 80 game regular season.

2. Allow performance enhancing drugs. I’m not talking about shooting ‘roids into players, but stop all the silly testing. Most suspensions are because of supplements any accountant or janitor can buy over the counter at the local GNC to improve their workouts.

Think of it this way. The game of baseball was as strong as ever when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were swinging for the fences every game. If they were juiced or not doesn’t concern me. But it did breathe a breath of life back into baseball.

3. Put up a salary cap like football. Really, who likes to see their favorite player get bought out by the highest bidder following a good season? Nobody.

With a shorter season the games will be taken more seriously. As a player, I would rather play once and pack the stands than play three games to a third of its capacity.

If the MLB wants to keep testing these guys for every little supplement, they are only going to further tarnish the image of baseball and move people further away from it.

You challenge not only the players recovery by burning them out, but the fan’s patience sitting through 162 games to see if they get a shot at the playoffs.

Let them take supplements, and realize these aren’t machines, and get no time to heal and recover as it is.  If you don’t do that, At least shorten the fields, because when home runs go up, so do ticket sales.


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