As a child I really grew up with only one sport. I played baseball in the diamond three doors down, as pick-up games, on softball teams and then finally organized baseball. I was good (in my own mind). I had a great arm and good fielding instincts but once I got to high school I couldn't hit a baseball if you gave me a 2x4 and threw it underhanded. I was however a very good pitcher. I suppose that give me license to comment on the state of major league baseball.
Last night was the MLB All Star game. I haven't watched one on television for many years. I became disconnected years ago as I don't watch much TV at all anyway. But I guess I lost interest because the game didn't mean much anymore. It had lost its luster to the faster paced sports of football and basketball and the various other interests people have. I don't buy the old argument that you need to have a large space for a field in the inner city to play. There are big football fields everywhere. Diamonds are large but games can be adapted. Streetball is an adaptation. It works in the streets of NY.
Baseball needs a marketing plan in the worst way. Nowhere are the stars of the game marketed nationally. If you don't have a Jeter in your home town, you never see another player until they retire and start talking about prostate medicine. The commissioner needs to promote the game on a national level and not simply to those who already watch the game. Those people are dying off. For all his love of the game, Bob Costas doesn't speak to the average citizen. That's fine to remember the exploits of Mickey and Roger, Babe and Ty, but those heroes might as well be Civil War generals.
MLB has taken some minor steps to keep relevant but they pale in comparison to how the other sports promote themselves. The All Staff game is a prime example. The best players don't get in to see a competitive game but the ballot boxes are owned by those who can beat the voting system. Why should the NL have homefield advantage simply because they blew out the starting AL pitcher in the first inning? The only thing the All Star game should count for is which league will host the game next year.
Quit over-thinking the game and get it relevant again in the eyes of America or face losing it to field hockey as an irrelevant less-than-spectacular spectacle.
Put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today.