Pace-of-play isn't killing baseball — the Fun Police are

Mike Oz

First off, the idea that baseball is dying is silly. Baseball as an industry is making money hand over first, setting records each year. Still, the idea that baseball needs to fix itself has permeated the game for the last decade. As such, MLB has tweaked its rules and tried to make the game more appealing.

Most often, the big boogeyman in the room is pace-of-play . While there are some valid concerns there — yo, dudes, we *don’t* need to do a full lap around the batter’s box between pitches — it seems like pace-of-play is often pegged as the main reason baseball is “dying.”

On this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series , I’m here to tell you that pace-of-play is getting a bum rap and there’s actually a bigger culprit out there: The Fun Police.

Salvador Perez scolds White Sox for having Royals-like fun during rebuild
Salvador Perez scolds White Sox for having Royals-like fun during rebuild

This year, the Fun Police have had their badges and sirens out — so often that we’ve started to keep a running list of unwritten rules violations . Yes, it’s getting so ridiculous that we have to keep a list.

You know how to make more young people watch baseball? Make it more fun. And I’m not talking about racing-mascots fun — I’m talking on-the-field, fist-pumping, bat-flipping fun. If baseball treats itself like a boring, uptight sport, then that’s how fans are going to view it too.

If baseball — and specifically baseball players — loosen up and start to accept a game where players can have personalities and celebrate after hitting a homer, then fans will notice.

And my educated guess here? They’ll probably care a lot more about that than they would a pitch clock .

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