AirTalk asks: Is professional baseball boring or just in need of rebranding?

Apr 18, 2017

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers

Grant Dayton #75 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the fifth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on April 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. ; Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images


Baseball is at a crossroads, faced with the challenge of making changes to speed the pace of games and make them more appealing to new, diverse and younger audiences while not infringing too much on parts of the game that baseball’s older, more traditionally-minded fan base that wants to keep the purity of the game intact. 

After the NY Times asked its readers to share their thoughts on whether baseball is boring and what they’d do to make it more interesting, thinky-type articles from outlets like NPR, Huffington Post, and ESPN started appearing taking a look at why baseball might be seen by some as ‘boring’ and what the league could do to fix that. MLB has introduced rule changes in the last several years that are designed to speed up the game. Just this year, the league eliminated the need for pitchers to throw four pitches for an intentional walk, instead allowing managers to signal that they plan to walk a batter. Just today, reports surfaced that MLB is considering having umpires be on microphone to explain instant replay decisions, much like referees do in the National Football League.

Do you think baseball needs a makeover to make it more interesting or do you think the issue is with the people who think it’s boring, not necessarily the game itself. What would you change about the game to make you more interested in watching?


Rob Arthur, baseball columnist at FiveThirtyEight; he tweets @No_Little_Plans

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