Baseball is More Alive Than Ever


Noah Syndergaard is just one of the young players helping to revitalize baseball's image. (Courtesy of Wikimedia).

By Peter Valentino

Noah Syndergaard is just one of the young players helping to revitalize baseball's image. (Courtesy of Wikimedia).
Noah Syndergaard is just one of the young players helping to revitalize baseball’s image. (Courtesy of Wikimedia).

There has been a long-standing rumor that baseball is a “dying sport” and that rumor has had some credibility in the past. Pitching dominated the sport from the late 90s up until last year, and the World Series wasn’t exactly the most exciting of events. Most years, the Fall Classic was a sweep or wasn’t even a contest, with the World Series finishing in less than five games for eleven of the last eighteen meetings.

The new replay system has made the sport more open to public opinion. Although many criticize replay for elongating a game that the league has attempted to shorten, it provides many different angles of play that people seem to appreciate. In the same fashion that NFL fans responded when replay was introduced in 1986, replay in baseball was initially scrutinized, then praised for adding more information to the game. While many traditionalists felt that replay removed the human element from the game, a quick-reaction sport needs to have a second look in order to make the correct call. As a result, younger fans have responded well to this new addition to the game.

However, unlike the NFL, the MLB encourages different personalities and does not penalize celebrations. The sport’s new stars have taken a stranglehold of this league, with Bryce Harper, Noah Syndergaard, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and the late Jose Fernandez showing how personality can liven baseball. Harper, along with many of these new stars, have led the “Make Baseball Fun Again” movement in order to appeal to a younger audience, and it has worked very well. These new offensive stars have led to a surge in offensive production this year, one that has led the league out of the pitching dominance that started after the steroid era.

One of the biggest issues in sports today is how NFL ratings have been down this year. While most people blame the election, two of the main reasons are the Cubs run to the World Series, and the quality of play in the NFL. From the ridiculous penalty calls, its handling of different problems off the field and its oversaturation and concussions, the NFL has taken a downturn in a way that was almost predictable. This has led to other media outlets and sports taking its place, such as the aforementioned election and the baseball playoffs. With the hockey and basketball seasons starting, the idea that the NFL is a dying sport, while blasphemous in America, is much more realistic than baseball dying off.

This problem is not something that will just go away once Nov 8 rolls around either. The quality of the NFL has gotten to the point where it will have to be addressed immediately. With the current direction of the NFL and the new stars and rules in baseball, it seems appropriate to say that baseball is no longer a dying sport. The notion that it was dying in the first place was a bit of a stretch, considering it’s hard to believe the sport would completely die out. Now, one can say that baseball is having a renaissance, as the sport has renewed itself in the public eye. With the storylines in this upcoming World Series, baseball is going to places that were never thought to be possible.