Steroids, the least of baseball's issues

Ratings show baseball fails to cater to the new school fan

August 24, 2009, 2:15 PM

By: Jonathan Hood

I am an assistant youth coach at my church for a basketball team of kids between the ages of 12 and 18. Occasionally, I've asked the youngsters what sports they like. Some of their answers are NBA, Mixed Martial Arts and professional wrestling entertainment. They also enthuse over professional and college football.

I've asked why baseball isn't on their list. Is it because there is a history of steroid use in baseball? Not at all. The kids just aren't interested in baseball.

That is a major problem.

The kids that I coach are indifferent to performance enhancing drugs and to the players themselves. They shrug their shoulders when I ask them about Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter, Mark Buehrle and Alfonso Soriano. Instead, they ask me about Brock Lesnar, LeBron James and even Michael Vick. Some of the kids are more inquisitive about Vick's future than the future of baseball.

Baseball has always been my favorite sport to play and watch. I'm a baseball fan from Generation X. I grew up in the 70s and I really came to understand baseball in the 80s. Now we have a new generation of sports fans, some of which might completely turn their back on the grand 'ol game.

We live in a microwave society where people want instant results and the final score quickly. For this reason, baseball fails to cater to the new school fan.

When World Series games end at 1:30 a.m., like Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Rays/Philadelphia Phillies, you are not going to make baseball fans happy -- especially those potential young fans that can't stay up past 9:30 p.m.

As much as I love baseball, the sport could start putting a gauze pad over the major issues, which are causing low television ratings and dwindling interest among fans.

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