This is the end of baseball.
OK so that might be a bit extreme. Yes there will be another season of baseball, maybe even 20 more years of baseball, but this is the end of baseball being a well respected sport. On Friday barring an emergency appeal we are going to receive the full explanation of how the Yankees, arguably the most well known team in sports, cheated via sign stealing. They say that it would cause “significant reputational injury.” Let’s not forget this comes on the heels of arduous back and forths of players and owners disagreeing on how much of their millions of dollars they are going to split. AND that comes off the heels of another two sign stealing scandals from the elite teams in baseball at the time, the Astros and the Red Sox.
If my math is correct, that’s a scandal from a major team every single year the past 4 years. When was the last time the NFL or the NBA had a scandal EVERY SINGLE YEAR? The last NBA scandal was their dealings with China, something that has nothing to do with what happens on the court. And other than the Patriots plethora of scandals, what was the last big NFL scandal? Bounty gate? Kaepernick kneeling? Maybe bad looks but they were isolated incidents in an otherwise respectable league.
Add onto all of that, attendance has dropped every year with last year’s being the lowest since 2003. Why? Because the game takes too long. The average major league baseball game is over 3 hours and 10 minutes now. That’s creeping toward NASCAR levels of time. Our world is speeding up. We can watch highlights on our phones, see the best stories at a moments notice, but to enjoy the whole game would take 3 hours? We just don’t have the time.
So what are we left with? We are left with a boring sport that is wrot with cheaters. Why would I watch that? Why would I put my money toward that? If it weren’t for my job, I wouldn’t. Especially with the NBA and the NFL coming up with offseason stories to wet my sports appetite and having access to every sport out there thanks to the internet, I don’t need this antiquated sport to entertain me.
That is why maybe not this year, or next, but someday soon we will think of Major League Baseball the same way many people think about NASCAR. It’s a niche sport for old people who only remember the glory days.