America’s Past time past it’s time?

Kiddies, pull yourself up a seat and let me tell you a story of the days gone by. There was a day that us in our 40s remember when music was good, if you said ‘internet’ you were talking about AOL, and Major League Baseball dominated the sports landscape. The Super Bowl would be the highest rated event of the year but back then baseball with its games each day and it’s long regular season was the favorite sport of most of America.


I tell you that to bring us to present day. I’m going to skip over the strike of 1994 even though that was the primary reason baseball saw it’s rapid decline. Some other changes they tried to bring it’s significance back like adding teams, the live ball era, and the introduction and expansion of the wildcard just didn’t help it’s popularity. Now baseball has transformed into a more regional sport. The Yankees and Dodgers and Red Sox might disagree but more teams live on their regional sports networks than their national TV deals.

(You said present day. When are you gonna get there old man? We’ve only got the attention span of a TikTok.)

Relax. I’ll hop in a DeLorean and be back in a sec…

(A what?)

DeLorean? Time machine? 88 miles an hour? Back to the Future? For the love of all things holy, the world did exist before you little leeches appeared. Now stop interrupting or I’ll shut off the WiFi.

(Cell service works without WiFi boomer!)

I’m not a boomer, I’m Gen-X. But again why would you care about anything pre 2000. Why on earth did I even want to try to teach y’all some history?

So here we are. September 2021. The NFL is in week 3 so let’s get ready for some pennant races. Oh wait, THERE AREN’T ANY!  MLB is now 6 divisions and entering the final week the closest division races are the Braves up 2 on the Phillies and the Giants up 2 over the Dodgers. And no matter who wins the NL West the other team makes and hosts a playoff game.

I’m sorry MLB, you have tried to interject some drama into the final weeks of the season with the expanded wild card but it just didn’t catch on. 2 teams play 1 game that basically decides who the real wild card team is. BORING! Baseball isn’t played as a single game. It’s played in series. Best of 5, best of 7. But you can’t do that with wild cards and have a longer layoff before the divisional round.

So that’s just something MLB inserted to make more late season drama then why hasn’t it worked? Lack of a true salary cap and more importantly salary floor. Without a salary floor you see trading deadline fire sales that ship talented players to contenders. The rich get richer. You can build a low or middle market team to compete for a year or two but then they mortgage the future for a chance to win and it’s over. Back to square one.

As a Washington Nationals fan 2019 was truly amazing seeing them win the World Series. And there were some exciting years leading up to that as they won the division a couple times. But this year, yuck! They were a trade deadline seller. And while their returns may not be able to be judged for a year or two their fans have to watch the 5th worst in baseball. It’s truly painful.

As I’m rooting for a terrible team the idea of down the stretch races is almost nonexistent. There is next to no reason to watch the end of the regular season save for who will be the home run or RBI king(while on the subject of RBI the plural of RBI is RBI not RBIs, runs batted in not run batted ins). And the season has been dragged into the early fall when night games can have temperatures drop to the 40s. I’m not sitting in the cold to watch the boys of summer.

Baseball is still a fun sport to watch but it’s broken maybe beyond repair. The NFL is just to entertaining in its very short season. I ever enjoy the NBA playoffs and Stanley Cup playoffs more than baseball. And to look at MLB playoff ratings decline, I’m not alone.

Catch up with me next spring and I’ll give out my ideas that could improve the product. In the meantime where were all those kids that were here when I started? Doubt they are watching Back to the Future, probably watching someone play a video game rather than play themselves. Dang I’m old.