Don't Keep Them Wanting
You know what really gets the people going? What’s really good for business? Not doing anything.
As all 9 of the Blind Owl Blogs fans know, absence makes the heart grow fonder. We haven’t posted in almost a month and the clicks have never been more numerous. To those who think I’m serious, well, you’re an idiot. And you have nothing else to blame but an allergic reaction to laundry detergent, a honeymoon in Aruba and a nasty week-long case of the Hershey squirts. But my rash and toilet bowl Jackson Pollock paintings aren’t the real point here.
If you haven’t noticed, Major League Baseball is currently not playing games and the owners and MLBPA are holding what seems to be almost daily “negotiation meetings” to try and get on the field. It is yet another case of the old adage, millionaires fighting with billionaires.
I know little to nothing about the nuts and bolts of what the real division is here. But anyone with a brain knows it has everything to do with money. That is what it all comes down to in the end. I have no intention of getting deep into the weeds of collective bargaining agreements and what these rich schmucks are arguing about. I’m looking at this from a casual fan’s perspective.
I would never call myself a hardcore baseball fan. There was a point where I could probably tell you the whole starting lineup for the Red Sox, but those days are behind me. I throw on a game on summer nights while I’m doing something else, and then eventually fall asleep in the 7th inning. I am exactly the kind of person that MLB should be working to get locked in through the 9th inning.
Going back to the question I asked up top, you know what won’t get me glued to a TV for a whole baseball game? Not having games.
Both sides of this argument need to realize that in the long game, neither of them are going to win this battle. Yes, someone will cash in a little more when this ends, but it’s not going to last. Most of the baseball wonks are going to be there whenever they come back and play, but us casual fans won’t be there. We are going to find something else to watch or listen to on those summer nights.
In this environment of 24/7 content there is no value in having a long layoff like this. Baseball already has an aging fanbase, and if you don’t keep as many eyes on the game as possible, it can only go further south. Eventually, the big TV networks aren’t going to be willing to pay the big bucks to carry MLB games just to have viewers 60 and older watching. That’s when it will hit the league hard.
Once that happens, the players will start to feel it. The owners won’t have that TV money to throw around, and the contracts will get smaller and smaller. And by that time, it’ll be too late. There won’t be any coming back. Yes there will still be a few fans, but it won’t even be close to what it is today. Never mind what baseball once was.
I mean it all comes down to this. MLB and the MLBPA shouldn’t be arguing about pitch clocks and how many playoff teams there will be. They should be having brainstorming sessions trying to figure out how to get the TikTok generation watching the game. And as I know from first hand experience, not putting content out there isn’t going to hook the kids.