It is Opening Day in Major League Baseball and all was silent
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
How the league keeps missing on the great potential that is opening day and how they can bring it back to the forefront.
photo courtesy of MLB
Wait, it's Opening Day!?
Yeah, I know it kind of snuck up on you. With all the news about a lockout and the negotiations, Opening Day feels like it took a back seat to a lot this offseason. But here it is and me, someone who hosts a sports blog site and follows both MLB teams in Florida, multiple baseball media personalities (Jeff Passans, Buster Olney, etc.), and even the league itself on all social media have not felt overwhelmed by the coverage or ads. No commercials interrupting my videos, no commercials after every segment of SportsCenter or even unrelated channels, no radio spots on the only game in town 96,9 The Game. Nothing. So how could people who don't breath sports know what today was? How do you grow a shrinking fan base when you don't invest in the pitching your product to people? When it is opening weekend for the NFL, it is the only thing talked about and advertised everywhere I look. Same goes for the NBA living in an NBA city but even outside of that, everyone knows who is playing on Halloween night.
It feels like MLB does such a great job getting people ready for Spring Training, my favorite time of the year here in Florida, but just fall flat on Opening Day. And I really just don't understand why. It is the biggest thing you have going in the longest season in sports until the All-Star Break, which isn't until July 19th this season. So for 3 months you have nothing to really push, why not go all in to capture the attention of a sports hungry nation after March Madness has wrapped up and the NBA season is coming to a close. Year in and year out it feels like MLB comes in with a whimper and can't understand why they close on such a sour note.
But what can they do?
Great question! Make the game more accessible. Free MLB.TV for the first week of the season, no blackout restrictions. Let people watch their home teams. Get on board the streaming train and give the people what they want. Highlight your marquee players in more high profile ways. Some guys just don't want it, guys like Mike Trout, but other guys are camera ready and the country embraces a personality. Even if it is in the "heel" role, to use a wrestling term, it is good to have the bad guy to root against. MLB is at it's healthiest when everyone can root against the Yankees or someone like a Barry Bonds. Maybe less steroids, but MLB needs a Barry Bonds right now. And the only way to make that happen is to highlight the personalities you have in the league now.
And maybe they have these plans, but with a league that is fading further and further out of the consciousness of the American public, you have to take advantage. People like to say the game is healthier than every, then the league needs to take actions to showcase it before it suffers a slow, healthy death.
But what do you think? Is MLB doing everything they can to engage the country? What would you do differently? Let me know in the comments below! And if you don't already, please subscribe for updates when we publish new blogs and check us out on social media @MySportsFlorida on Twitter and Instagram!
Also, quick predictions for the Rays and Marlins:
Rays: 93 - 69 2nd in the AL East
Marlins: 65-97 5th in the NL East