banner
Ken Medlin

To a purist's admission, MLB got it right

Posted October 19, 2012

As baseball fans go, I probably fit in to the "purist" sub-category.

I don't like Inter-league play, or the wild card. I'm not terribly enthused with the DH; the six-division format isn't my favorite. I really, really dislike the one-game wildcard playoff, and don't get me started on next year's plan for two 15-team leagues.

But despite my desire to turn the clock back to the early 1990's, I have to admit the changes MLB has made over the last 15 years have helped the game.

A lot.

With the additional wild card keeping more teams in the hunt this season, baseball's attendance figures were the best since 2008. That probably signals a strengthening economy, but I think it has just as much to do with overall fan interest.

Teams like Baltimore (+21 percent), Washington (+20) and Oakland (+12) posted dramatic increases in attendance - and I don't think it's a quantum leap in judgement to suggest this comes as a direct result of their play.

The bottom line is more fans have had more reasons to stay interested.

The extra division and wild-cards have made post-season play a possibility for more teams, and life is much better for a fan with a reason to keep watching. Fans of the Dodgers, Rays, Brewers, etc... were able to stay engaged with their teams late into the season. And few teams were totally out of the playoff picture going in to September.

I admit defeat, and applaud MLB's forward thinking.

Most of these changes came as a direct result of the 1994 strike - the implosion which canceled a World Series. Here's hoping the NHL can take a few pointers...

Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • MiLB: Durham Bulls at Pawtucket Red Sox

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls at Lehigh Valley

    Tomorrow at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • 2015 NFL Draft

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • 2015 NFL Draft

    Friday at 7:02 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Kentucky Derby

    Saturday at 5:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
LEH
DUR
 
6:10pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
6:10pm Tonight
BOS
TOR
7:05pm Tonight
BAL 0
CWS 0
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
TAM
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
PIT
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PHI
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
COL
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
HOU
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
SAN
7:05pm Tonight
LEH
DUR