Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: What happened to America’s favorite pastime?

Courtesy of Flickr.
An empty ballpark at a Houston Astros game.

In the sports world, it has become apparent that baseball is not as popular as it once was. I believe baseball is extremely important, as it is what I grew up watching, playing and what I want to focus my career on in the future. It is also extremely rich in historical background, which makes it so significant. 

But despite its long and beloved history in the United States, baseball seems to have lost its glamor. 

The Houston Astros clinched the World Series title for the second time in franchise history this season, the last time being in 2017. They faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies and won Game 6 (4-0) on Nov. 5, with the series ending at 4-2. And the Astros weren’t the only ones making World Series history. The Phillies had only won two World Series titles, the most recent being in 2008, so it was a big deal in the baseball world that they had made it this far. 

However, it seemed like almost nobody cared. This World Series was the 2nd-least watched on TV in all of MLB history. 

So the question is, why are we losing interest in America’s national pastime? 

There are many potential answers for this. One being that the 2022 season was definitely not the best for a lot of teams. This obviously left fans disappointed in their teams, not wanting to watch their games, or any other MLB games, for that matter. If you are a Red Sox fan, you can attest to this, as they ended their season with a mindblowing record of 78-84.

Another answer could be that baseball is just simply dying out of popularity. A lot of newer, up-and-coming sports are gaining popularity that the youth of America might rather participate in. Lacrosse, for instance, is a spring sport for most schools and clubs, and seems to be itching to take baseball’s place. Baseball isn’t the only sport losing popularity – many young girls are starting to play lacrosse and other sports instead of softball. 

So, what is the MLB doing in response to the lack of interest in their games?

Many people have commented on why they don’t enjoy baseball as much compared to other sports, many of these reasons being that baseball is considered “too slow,” and that the game is not as fun to watch because it is not “fast paced,” compared to soccer and hockey. 

The MLB took this into account when considering new rules for the season. They implemented a “pitch clock,” which gives the pitcher a 30-second timer in between batters, as well as 15 seconds in between pitches with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. If the pitcher does not begin his delivery of the pitch before the timer runs out, an automatic ball will be called. There will also be an automated strike zone added to major league games that will not require umpires, but it is unclear when that will be implemented. 

This rule was put into place in order to speed up the game, and make it more fast-paced so there is less wasted time. 

Another step the MLB took to move the momentum of the game was getting rid of defensive shifts in the infield. A defensive shift was performed by a team by moving either their shortstop to the left of the second base, or having their second baseman move to the right of the base, if there was a particularly strong left or right handed hitter up at bat. This was done to prevent singles in a specially targeted area. 

The MLB had different ideas, and got rid of this in order to allow for more singles to be hit, therefore keeping the rhythm of the game flowing and keeping fans excited and on their toes. 

Both the implementation of the pitch clock and the ban of the defensive shift will be put into play starting at the beginning of the 2023 season. 

The motive of these new additions to the rulebook is to reignite the spark of America’s historic game, but one can only hope.

Follow Tracy on Twitter!


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Tracy LaCara, Staff Writer | she/her
Tracy is a sophomore from Hanover, MA majoring in broadcast journalism. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching Red Sox games, and exploring different parts of Boston. Aside from the Journal, she is also a part of the Taylor Swift Society Club here at Suffolk. Tracy hopes to have a career in sports journalism in the future, working especially with the MLB.

Comments (0)

All The Suffolk Journal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
OPINION: What happened to America’s favorite pastime?