Baseball is striking out

I’m not interested in opining about Dan Shaunessey. I’m interested in views on his points. The Red Sox are 62-29. They’re 52-19 against teams not named Yankees, Astros and Mariners. 

I find the games so noncompetitive and boring I watch one game per series unless they’re playing the Yankees or Astros. I’ve been to one game (home opener) with free access to a box. I can’t imagine what it’s like for fans of noncompetitive teams.

MLB attendance is on pace to be the lowest since 2003. 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sp...uJQZgblAM/story.html

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Original Post

Interesting take on the topic on ESPN: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/...m-mlb-next-big-thing

Excerpt:

For me, the minor league attendance trends are as important as those of the big leagues. That's because they speak to a more fundamental issue when we ask about the future patronage of MLB: Does baseball still occupy a central place in the cultural landscape of 21st century America? Because if it doesn't, the sport has bigger problems than the length of games. However, the trends in minor league ball are highly encouraging. Baseball, as an industry, must continue to strive for growth, but the base is still there, arguably as strong as ever.

As for the big league attendance issues, those have become less pronounced as the season has progressed:

MLB Per-Game Attendance

MONTH20172018DIFF
March/April29,67326,9132,760
May29,17527,2471,928
June30,75430,162592
Source: Baseball-Reference.com

The gap has closed with each full month that has gone into the books. That doesn't make up for the fans missing from the first two months. And the numbers, even in June, were still down. But the problem looks less urgent as the season progresses.

RJM - I have the MLB package and I've been finding myself drifting to watch other games because the Red Sox games just aren't interesting.....honestly I like it that way and I'm fine with it as long as they keep winning!  I will tune in to watch pitching matchups not necessarily the team they are playing.   Chris Sale is must watch TV or me.  He is just flat out filthy.

Your point is taken about the haves and have nots in MLB with regard to attendance.  We can all hit the snooze button in the AL.  The playoff races are pretty much set but the seeding has yet to be determined.   The NL race is competitive across the board with nobody running away with it yet.   I think if we were to dive deeper into the numbers you'd see better overall attendance for the competitive NL teams...just a guess.

2019Dad posted:

Interesting take on the topic on ESPN: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/...m-mlb-next-big-thing

Excerpt:

For me, the minor league attendance trends are as important as those of the big leagues. That's because they speak to a more fundamental issue when we ask about the future patronage of MLB: Does baseball still occupy a central place in the cultural landscape of 21st century America? Because if it doesn't, the sport has bigger problems than the length of games. However, the trends in minor league ball are highly encouraging. Baseball, as an industry, must continue to strive for growth, but the base is still there, arguably as strong as ever.

As for the big league attendance issues, those have become less pronounced as the season has progressed:

MLB Per-Game Attendance

MONTH20172018DIFF
March/April29,67326,9132,760
May29,17527,2471,928
June30,75430,162592
Source: Baseball-Reference.com

The gap has closed with each full month that has gone into the books. That doesn't make up for the fans missing from the first two months. And the numbers, even in June, were still down. But the problem looks less urgent as the season progresses.

I would be interested to see it broken  down by teams...or at least northern vs southern.  March and April in Ohio were brutal as was most of the northern half of the country.  Nobody, even the biggest fan is going to go to a game in Cleveland when it's 32 degrees.   I've got to think that the Reds, Indians, Tigers & both Chicago teams contributed heavily to that drop in attendance for March-April. 

In my view the issue with Baseball is much broader and much bigger than the current MLB standings.  In the old days, Dads passed down their love of Baseball to their kids.  Baseball was uniquely American, and everyone desired to play American sports.  The kids played and developed a love for the game.  Immigrant kids also attached themselves to the game (think DiMaggio brothers) to join the crowd of kids playing the game and demonstrate their integration with the American culture.  Nowadays, with everything in Baseball done through adult organized leagues (Little League, Travel ball etc.), there is a smaller and smaller group of kids interested in the sport.  There is less influence from Dad (as kids have too many other influences and entertainment options).  Immigrant kids generally are much more interested in soccer and basketball.  Baseball is a hard sell for them.  In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year.  Overall the culture is much more global and less devoted to all things American (not necessarily a bad thing...but maybe not so good for Baseball).  Add to this the 'focus group decree' that no national talk show is allowed to talk about Baseball (only NFL and NBA are allowed) and it feels like the sport is drifting further from cultural importance.  

"In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year. "

Do you have references to support the position that

1.) there is a "huge influx of Asian immigrants" in Silicon Valley?

2.) Little leagues in Silicon Valley are folding each year?

3.) the above 2 have a proven connection?

I live part time in Maine. My mother is in assisted living in Maine. It’s where I lived from age 7-13. Maine is diehard Red Sox country. People think nothing of driving two hours to Boston on a regular basis for games and getting home after midnight. The Sea Dogs (AA Red Sox) typically draw well despite their fifth straight losing season. 

I played LL in Portland. The population was 60K then. It’s 65K now. We had to make teams. The definition of a weak player who had to make a team is much different than now where everyone makes a team. There was LL Farms for those who didn’t make LL. There were ten LL’s with four to six teams.  Over time the ten LL’s have folded into one LL with six teams. How do you eventually roster three high school baseball programs from six LL teams?

One afternoon I was watching a high school game. I chatted with a high school coach. He was scouting. The winner was his next opponent. I asked him if travel is killing LL or is lacrosse killing baseball. He said the baseball kids play LL and travel. Lacrosse and summer soccer are killing baseball. Bad baseball coaching and boring practices drives kids to lacrosse and soccer. 

There are only two travel programs I’m aware of in Southern Maine (pop 600k). They have multiple teams in each age group. They have to go to NH and MA for games in a Northern New England AAU League.

 

infielddad posted:

"In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year. "

Do you have references to support the position that

1.) there is a "huge influx of Asian immigrants" in Silicon Valley?

2.) Little leagues in Silicon Valley are folding each year?

3.) the above 2 have a proven connection?

Here's one example:  Cupertino, CA census (2000 -- 50% White, 44% Asian; 2010 -- 31% White, 63% Asian).  Little Leagues -- 2000 (Cupertino National, Cupertino American, Tri-Cities).  2018 -- (Cupertino National/Tri-Cities merged, Cupertino American merged with Moreland).  Obviously, now way to prove any connection between 1 and 2.  Can only show stats.  But 4 leagues down to 2.  From what I know...might have 1-2 kids in a 30 kid Elementary school classroom playing Little League (Soccer would be at least 5-6 maybe more).

AD2018 posted:
infielddad posted:

"In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year. "

Do you have references to support the position that

1.) there is a "huge influx of Asian immigrants" in Silicon Valley?

2.) Little leagues in Silicon Valley are folding each year?

3.) the above 2 have a proven connection?

Here's one example:  Cupertino, CA census (2000 -- 50% White, 44% Asian; 2010 -- 31% White, 63% Asian).  Little Leagues -- 2000 (Cupertino National, Cupertino American, Tri-Cities).  2018 -- (Cupertino National/Tri-Cities merged, Cupertino American merged with Moreland).  Obviously, now way to prove any connection between 1 and 2.  Can only show stats.  But 4 leagues down to 2.  From what I know...might have 1-2 kids in a 30 kid Elementary school classroom playing Little League (Soccer would be at least 5-6 maybe more).

"In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year."

Your point related to "Asian Immigrant" population changes not changes in Asian census figures. Those  census numbers you posted say nothing about "immigrant" status.

AD2018 posted:
infielddad posted:

"In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year. "

Do you have references to support the position that

1.) there is a "huge influx of Asian immigrants" in Silicon Valley?

2.) Little leagues in Silicon Valley are folding each year?

3.) the above 2 have a proven connection?

Here's one example:  Cupertino, CA census (2000 -- 50% White, 44% Asian; 2010 -- 31% White, 63% Asian).  Little Leagues -- 2000 (Cupertino National, Cupertino American, Tri-Cities).  2018 -- (Cupertino National/Tri-Cities merged, Cupertino American merged with Moreland).  Obviously, now way to prove any connection between 1 and 2.  Can only show stats.  But 4 leagues down to 2.  From what I know...might have 1-2 kids in a 30 kid Elementary school classroom playing Little League (Soccer would be at least 5-6 maybe more).

Maybe they figured out a high GPA and extracurriculars are going to garner more scholarship $$$ than a .375 BA or 90 MPH fastball?

I was watching a show on youth sports. The host asked the viewers why video games are so popular with kids. Then he provided the answer. They’re built to be fun. Parents don’t understand them. They don’t watch and criticize. 

GaryMe posted:
AD2018 posted:
infielddad posted:

"In Silicon Valley, with the huge influx of Asian immigrants, Little Leagues are folding each year. "

Do you have references to support the position that

1.) there is a "huge influx of Asian immigrants" in Silicon Valley?

2.) Little leagues in Silicon Valley are folding each year?

3.) the above 2 have a proven connection?

Here's one example:  Cupertino, CA census (2000 -- 50% White, 44% Asian; 2010 -- 31% White, 63% Asian).  Little Leagues -- 2000 (Cupertino National, Cupertino American, Tri-Cities).  2018 -- (Cupertino National/Tri-Cities merged, Cupertino American merged with Moreland).  Obviously, now way to prove any connection between 1 and 2.  Can only show stats.  But 4 leagues down to 2.  From what I know...might have 1-2 kids in a 30 kid Elementary school classroom playing Little League (Soccer would be at least 5-6 maybe more).

Maybe they figured out a high GPA and extracurriculars are going to garner more scholarship $$$ than a .375 BA or 90 MPH fastball?

The comments I've heard are that parents don't see Baseball as a good, efficient use of recreational time...too much standing around, not enough exercise, too many players sitting on the bench, games/practices are too long (takes too much time away from school).  Again, if the love of the game is not handed down...it's hard to make an argument to parents (and kids) who didn't grow up with sport.  

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