Sunday, June 23, 2002
Today's The Boston Globe Magazine has a thoughtful expose on baseball's growing irrelevance within our culture:
All of baseball's current problems involve a world that has changed three or four times while baseball wasn't looking. Meanwhile, the fan base gets grayer, and the pace of the game seems less and less suited to a joystick world. The average baseball fan is a white male who is 38 years old. Sixty-seven percent of American teenagers count themselves as baseball fans, which may sound respectable but pales next to the 82 percent who identify themselves as fans of professional basketball. One Internet company even has offered to condense a baseball game down to a 20-minute video package, squeezing the sport into the dwindling cultural attention span by draining it of its essential, meandering charm (Pierce, The Boston Globe Magazine).
Some of you may recall a similar thread here at Bambino's back in late March: "What I'm getting at is relevancy. I worry that in the near future baseball will cease to matter" (March 27, 2002).
I know that many of you who love the game really bristle at the whole relevancy argument, but I think we discount it at our peril. No, I take that back, as I'm really not convinced there is anything one can do to stop it, at least without changing the game beyond recognition.