This week I've already discussed how baseball can increase it's share of younger fans by enforcing rules (already on the books) that would speed up the pace of play. Today I realized that a story in the news recently showed another principle that baseball should pick up on.
Getting younger in the announcing department.
Now MLB doesn't exactly have say on who's announcing all of it's games but like baseball always does, a tradition is present. Former players get old, join on as a color commentator, and then stick around forever. Someday, when they're 79 and referencing that time they played with a random second basemen from the early 60's we all realize they should probably be replaced.
So what do teams do? Well instead of turning the reigns over to a recently retired player that fans like, know, and understand... they reach back two more decades and get another over 50 first basemen to discuss that time he had to come in and pitch in the 15th inning against a team that literally doesn't exist anymore.
This is great... for the fan base that baseball already has.
Let me give you a made up example. If the Brewers TV color job opened up tomorrow, the team would most likely fill it with a guy who was part of the Brewers glory days in the early 80's.
But wouldn't younger fans connect more with a guy like Corey Hart? Someone who can say, "let me tell you about the kind of leader Craig Counsell is...", "This one time Ryan Braun..."
Now I am not dismissing older colormen. Understanding the history of the game is important. But referencing Frank Tanana is not going to keep the youth engaged.
Again... I'm not saying you need to tailor an entire broadcast for kids, that's insane, but baseball is a business. A business that's demo is getting older and older and isn't being replaced by a younger generation.
Maybe if teams started hiring youthful analysts like the NFL does (rather commonly by the way) then the 'youth' would stick around.
Just my two cents. For much more of a deeper dive check out the podcast with Collin Burke below!
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