Cards TV ratings down

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    Paid - Annual

    Times have certainly changed. I rode my bike on the Fourth of July this past summer, and went by a couple of baseball fields and both were empty. I wondered why there were not at least Little League games or tournaments going on. But youth baseball has evolved to a highly organized and specialized business. Kids who play are part of an organization driven by parents who are highly invested in their children. What you might call “regular” kids where the parents just sort of let them do things on their own, do not seem to play much baseball. In other words, there is not the sandlot pick-up games like there used to be.

    Also, much of the national sports media sort of downplays baseball. Last summer I was listening to ESPN radio, and these guys were talking about the big trade between the Celtics and Cavaliers, where Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving switched sides. One host then brought up the impact of Jose Altuve, and how pound-for-pound he might be the best player in pro sports. But instead of just saying that, first he went on this sort of long apologetic comment about how (to paraphrase) “Although we do not talk about baseball much on this program, as LeBron James and the NFL are much more dominant topics than baseball….” So even when they talked a little baseball, they almost sounded embarrassed to go there and basically apologized to the listeners that they were going to bring up baseball.

    As for the Cardinals, ironically I watched more games this summer than I probably have in all of the years of watching them combined. I have been almost exclusively a radio listener, but got the free MLB.TV subscription this year, combined with my first summer of “retirement” (am really only semi-retired, but took the summer off), so this was a different deal for me. Unfortunately this year’s team was tough to watch, although there were some bright spots (Pham, DeJong, some good starting pitching, a couple of nice winning streaks).

    It is a bit funny as the club still wins more than it loses, and we feel the season was a failure whereas there was a time when it was not all that unusual for them to finish under .500.

    Brian Walton

    Paid - Annual
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