There were also fluctuations in fan interest within the past decade because the steroid era. For the majority of the second half of the twentieth century, baseball was a slow paced, low scoring game that favored pitchers. Fans became more interested in basketball games that finished 100-98 or football games that finished 28-21, not baseball games that took three hours to finish 1-0. What the steroid era did was make baseball a high scoring game. Players like Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, and Jose Canseco were smashing out home runs and driving up scores. Baseball suddenly became more fast paced and impressive with balls flying out of stadiums left and right. But in the mid 2000s baseball commissioner Bud Selig really cracked down on performance enhancing drugs and drove out all steroid users. Baseball fell back into a low scoring affair and fan interest yet again started to decrease. Continue reading What’s Happened To Baseball? PART 3
The Chicago Cubs have always been a big market team. They also however have been reluctant to spend their money on new signings. For the first time in a long time, the Cubs dropped some money on signing Jon Lester to a 6-year, $155M contract and the cheers from Wrigleyville could be heard across the world. While Jon Lester is one of the best pitchers in baseball today, does the signing make much sense financially for the Cubs? Just ask the Yankees how their big money, long term contracts are panning out. Continue reading Financially Smart Move For The Cubs?
Another reason fans started to lose interest in baseball was because of the growing gap between the good and bad teams. Baseball was alive and well in New York because they were constantly a winning team and had a lot of money. But in cities like Kansas City and Pittsburgh fans began to lose interest as their teams continued to be bad and get worse because they had no money to pay for better talent. This trend has continued all the way to the present day when the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees have some of the biggest fan bases in baseball, and they are paying $241M and $208M respectively for their teams. The Houston Astros and Miami Marlins have some the emptiest stadiums and smallest fan bases and they are paying $45M and $42M respectively for their teams (MLB Top Teams Payroll). Continue reading What’s Happened To Baseball? PART 2
Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and Joe DiMaggio. All of these names are American sports legends produced by baseball, but they also all played before 1950. Baseball was the sport to watch and follow in the early twentieth century and no other sport rivaled it. Walt Whitman, one of the great American poets and journalists, said that “[he saw] great things in baseball. It’s our game – the American game”. But by the mid 1900s, football and basketball emerged and baseball was forced to act to fight these new sports. Baseball was not able to act appropriately, efficiently, or intelligently and they started to lose fan interest and viewers. Baseball has been on a decline since the mid 1900s and there were huge effects felt from outside forces and society. New technology changed how baseball was played as well as the competing sports and each sport was able to use the new technology to their advantage except for baseball. Finally, baseball had several internal issues that led to its fallout and it is still recovering to this day. Continue reading What’s Happened To Baseball? PART 1