News of the devastation from Hurricane Maria is slowly coming in, but here are a few scenes from the baseball angle:
To help in the relief efforts on the island, former New York Yankee Jorge Posada and others have set up a relief fund. Although they’ve already reached their initial goal, every additional amount can only help.
Garabez Rosa of the Bowie Baysox was named Eastern League MVP this week! Congrats, Garabez!!
Posted by The Player’s Tribune on Friday:
… there is an NFL stadium right next door to the baseball stadium. That’s right, in Charlotte, NC, the Charlotte Knights’ stadium is literally next door to an NFL stadium. Not in the next town over, not on the other side of town, not even a block or two away. Right next door.
Charlotte is home to over 800,000 residents, and the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC combined statistical area has a population of 2.5 million. That’s a lot of people who need to be entertained. A visit to BB&T Ballpark suggests that keeping those folks entertained was all part of the plan.
Previously, the Charlotte Knights played in Fort Mill, just down the road in South Carolina. However, that stadium’s location was blamed for the team’s poor attendance and after years of planning and negotiation, the team moved to downtown (actually known as Uptown) Charlotte in 2014. In fact, between the last season in Fort Mill and their first season in Charlotte, attendance more than doubled. In 2016, the Knights had the largest average attendance in Minor League Baseball, averaging 8,974 fans per game.
Perhaps it really is all about location!
It’s time to acknowledge that MLB games will feel a little different this year. A few days ago the Bleacher Report summarized the MLB rule changes that went into effect for this season. From a sociological perspective, social change is always occurring even if its hard individuals to adapt to change.
Sociologists argue that change can be evolutionary, the product of conflict or competition, or necessary to maintain social equilibrium. So we must ask: what social forces have caused baseball to change, are such changes necessary, and how will they impact society?
On Opening Day, an editorial in the Inland Valley Bulletin (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) noted, “Baseball should remember that long games are a good problem. If fans are frustrated that they can’t stay up late enough to watch the end, it’s because the end is worth seeing.” A fan’s letter to the editor in response to that editorial added, “If losing Vin Scully from my days of summer weren’t bad enough, now I must deal with rule changes that address the false narrative that true, honest, real baseball fans have a short attention span.”
The New York Post attempted to explain “Why baseball is going up a game that’s booming.” One reason, according to the article, is to lure that elusive younger demographic.
Baseball is part of the larger society undergoing demographic change. Is that reason enough to change the institution of baseball? We’ll have to keep observing to determine the impact of MLB’s rule changes.
I have a few heroes outside of baseball, and Mary Tyler Moore was one of them. She inspired women, journalists, and pretty much everyone (including Oprah) to follow their dreams. But this is a blog about baseball, right?
Soon after her death on January 25th, the Minnesota Twins posted a video of Moore’s 2002 appearance at the Metrodome. She did a pretty decent job of throwing out that first pitch:
Ok, so that may be the only connection between baseball and MTM, but it got me thinking of how much both baseball and The Mary Tyler Moore show are ingrained in our culture. In fact, some time ago, when Freddy Garcia was still with the Mariners, there was a Mary Tyler Moore-esque Mariners promo featuring Garcia:
Mary Tyler Moore will live on in our hearts and in our baseball memories of her. We’re gonna make it after all.