Time to connect baseball to the modern age

Sports writer Carlos Islas. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Sports writer Carlos Islas. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

For a game that prides in calling itself “America’s pastime,” baseball has been on the decline since the early 2000s, and not much has changed due to the refusal to change the beloved sport.

Because the game refuses to change and accommodate the newer generation, it keeps losing viewership. Most people will tell you that baseball is a boring game and yes, there are some people who love baseball, but there are far more who enjoy other sports.

Although Major League Baseball has taken some measures to change the game by adding rules, it has done little else in terms of attracting viewers.

Simply put, the game has to evolve. I am not the only one who believes this. Take for example, the Washington Nationals’ and MLB All-Star Bryce Harper’s comments. In a widely praised and criticized interview with ESPN, Harper stated baseball is a “tired” sport because the players are not allowed to express themselves.

Harper is correct. Baseball players have a set of unwritten rules that everyone abides by. These rules are ruining the game. It doesn’t allow players to celebrate. Take for example, Toronto Blue Jays’ outfielder Jose Bautista. He drew a lot of criticism for flipping his bat after hitting a home run during the 2015 American League Division Series. Bautista wasn’t the only player to flip his bat during the 2015 postseason.

It’s time for the game of baseball to change. Players should be allowed to express themselves freely on and off the field. Let players celebrate after hitting a home run, especially if it’s during the postseason. Other leagues allow their players to celebrate, so why shouldn’t baseball?

The older players had their time and they played the game the way they saw fit. This is a new generation that is stifled by these rules.

If baseball wishes to regain its glory and status as “America’s pastime,” then it should take more strides to make the game appealing to the younger audience.

Baseball needs to upgrade and adapt to the modern age.

Carlos Islas can be reached at [email protected] or @cIslasReports on Twitter.