With the dawn of the 2012 Major League Baseball Playoffs upon us, fans are faced with one of the most exciting playoff races ever, where the seeding will not be determined until the last day of the season, AND the possibility of the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. The addition of a second wild card will get it’s first run in these playoffs and a new 2-3 format will be trialed in the first round where the lower seed may actually have the scheduling advantage over the higher seed. But the real question is… Does anyone care?
Maybe I’m a jaded Mets fan, but interest in Baseball appears to be at an all time low. No longer is Baseball the bonding sport of choice for fathers and sons, the American “Pastime,” but the reality is that the sport has lost significant ground to the NFL and its cult-like following. Even in the New York area, where the Yankees are title contenders every year, baseball has lost its stigma. The radio waves are dominated by talk of the Tebow Circus and the Giants title hopes. Baseball has fallen to one rung above Hockey in the pecking order of sports. This all at a time when the sport is having one of its most interesting seasons in the past decade. But why? I think a lot can be attributed to these two factors: Long seasons and long game times. Let’s face it, Americans like things fast. Instant gratification. Fast food, Twitter, weight loss pills, online shopping, next day shipping. The list goes on and on. The Major League season is too long for Americans. The payout of the playoffs is diluted by the months of waiting to get there. For this same reason is why America grows to love football more and more. The length of the games may be the same as baseball, but the fact that it is just one game a week that holds so much more weight for the teams involved is what becomes attractive to fans. Would a shorter season bring back more fans? Could attendance actually rise because there is less supply? The law of supply and demand would say yes. But if the product isn’t something that enough people want, could Baseball fade into nothing as we are currently witnessing the NHL do?
Here is the counter argument that Baseball will always be America’s Pastime:
An article about American’s thirst for Instant Gratification Products: http://tinyurl.com/8swy65l