“With the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, the Houston Astros select” …….. WHO THE HECK CARES!!!!!
I can’t even begin to tell you how little I cared about today’s first round of the draft. The fact that the league is arrogant enough to believe that we as fans are supposed to get excited over a 17 year old prospect that we won’t see in a big league uniform for at least 4 years is simply ridiculous. It sucks to say, but the once popular saying of “baseball is America’s favorite pasttime,” I’m afraid is no longer true.
In the last few years, I’ve seen Major League Baseball unsuccessfully make an attempt at keeping up with the popularity that leagues like the NFL and NBA currently hold. I mean, the amount of interest that surrounds anything football in this country has become nothing short of insane. People literally count down the days before things like the NFL draft and the league’s free agency period. Reason being, leagues like the NFL and NBA have become marketing juggernauts and have also embraced the idea that sometimes change is a good thing. What I mean by this is that, both the NFL and NBA are constantly changing aspects of their game in order to improve its overall quality, whether it be modifying certain rules or embracing the help of today’s technological advancements.
Major League Baseball on the other hand, in my opinion, has come off as a league that is very stubborn. They are a league that has only recently brought in the use of instant replay, begrudgingly. They are the only league that plays 162 games throughout the course of a regular season. They are also the only league that uses more than one subdivision to groom future talent.
All of these issues, I believe, have slowly been diminishing the interest of the sport. If you ask me, the only way baseball will get on the same level of the National Football League is by changing various aspects of the game. For example, the length of the regular baseball season should be more like 100 games instead of the 162 that currently takes place. By providing slightly less of a supply, perhaps it will create a higher demand. Just look at how anxious we are for every single Sunday during football season.
Another change that I believe is necessary is the elimination of all minor league affiliates with every single major league team as well as establishing a specific amount of years that a prospect must spend playing college ball before they get drafted. This will eliminate the future drafting of 12 year old players and will provide teams with a more polished player come draft time. It’s this change specifically that I think would have the biggest impact on the public’s interest towards things like the MLB draft because now whichever prospect is drafted by your team will be on the field a lot quicker. Plus, a team will be able to come to the conclusion on if a player is a bust or not much quicker than before, allowing them to react accordingly.
So Mr. Selig, I think the answer is clear. Make the adequate changes, and the sport of baseball could once again reign supreme. However, continue with your old school way of thinking, and the sport along with its draft process, will continue to slowly wither away.