MLB Heading Down A Strange Path
Major League Baseball is getting ready to make wholesale changes to their game. MLB will look different for future generations. The Commissioner Rob Manfred is ready to change the game and put his stamp on baseball. It starts with the intentional walk which will be a signal from the dugout, rather, the pitcher throwing four balls to draw the walk. There are other ideas out there to shift the game’s direction to attract a younger audience without realizing the problem – Baseball got too smart.
Last week in a podcast featuring Bill Simmons and Sean Grande, Simmons mentioned how ‘Basketball’s analytic revolution led to more space in the game which lead to more scoring while baseball’s analytics led to more walks and taking more pitches slowing down the game even more.’ This is the problem. How can Manfred fight against the analytics that already ingrained with baseball? I’m not sure. That seems like an impossible task. This is also why Manfred is looking for solutions like this one where he can try to cut down time a little bit.
That being said, Manfred might be fighting an uphill battle he’ll never win. MLB might never have the TV ratings like NFL or NBA does, yet if the attendance is still there because people see it as an ‘event’ they’ll survive. I’m not sure Manfred believes that.