Updated: Apr 17, 2022
Much has been made in recent years by baseball fans about the slow, agonizing death of America’s pastime. While I pride myself as being a man of faith… And there’s a deep drive into left field by Castellanos and that will be a 4-0 ballgame.
Seriously though, I consider myself a casual baseball fan. I only got back into it last year when my friend convinced me to buy MLB The Show. Like most people, I don’t know what a slash line really means, I don’t know most of the top prospects in the minors, and I definitely don’t remember the golden age of baseball or even the steroid era. Here’s what I do know. Out of the big 3 in the United States, baseball is decidedly last in terms of popularity, especially among younger audiences. But that doesn’t mean that it’s dead or even dying. In fact, baseball might just have the brightest future of the bunch.
If you look at Instagram, baseball’s best player, Mike Trout, has 1.9 million followers. If you compare that to the NBA’s best players, whoever you want to say that is, they all have a much wider following. LeBron James has over 100 million and Steph Curry has 40. On the NFL side, Patrick Mahomes has 5 million followers. Even more of a travesty, the official MLB account only has about 8 million followers, compared to the NBA’s 65 million and NFL’s 25 million, despite far surpassing the two in terms of content. I know the number of Instagram followers isn’t the end all be all when it comes to the popularity of a sport, but it does say something about what fans are looking at.
Baseball also gets a lot of flack for how long the games are and having a whopping 162 game regular season. I won’t lie, I’m not going to sit down and watch a full 9 inning game of baseball every day. I don’t even watch full NBA regular-season games, and I only watch RedZone on Sundays. Baseball isn’t dead because fans don’t have the attention span to watch the games. If that were the case, basically every sport would be “dead”.
The main reason why baseball is still alive and well is because of the young talent in the game. A lot of people complain about how players get stuck in the minor leagues and don’t start until they’re at least 24, but that’s not the case anymore. Young players are coming up and not just playing, but becoming superstars. With players like Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr, Ronald Acuna Jr, Vladdy Jr, and Shohei Ohtani, the MLB is in the best hands out of the big 3 leagues in terms of talent, in my opinion.
The lockout could have been the nail in the coffin. Having these young stars sitting on the shelf for a year without playing, just as baseball was picking up momentum, would have been terrible. Although it looked dark, baseball made it out of the tunnel, we’re almost to opening day, and I couldn’t be more excited for this season.
I don’t know if it’s the long wait with no news or the fact that MLB the Show just came out, but I haven’t been this excited for a new season of any sport in a long time. What about you? Are you excited for the new MLB season? Do you think baseball is dying off, or does it have a bright future ahead? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments and as always, LFG!
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