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You need only look at the commissioner's office to find the crux of baseball's problems. Fay Vincent was forced out, which precipitated a never-ending struggle to find his replacement. Success in any organization begins at the top, with competence, integrity, responsibility and optimism. I guess the ultimate sign of the times is Reggie Jackson's doing an NBA commercial during the playoffs in which he says, "I love this game."
You nicked around the edges of baseball's problem—greedy and tarnished players, the popularity of other sports, player strikes, long and boring games—but television, specifically cable TV, is the major culprit. TV helped to drive up salaries and to popularize more exciting sports and stars, and it made sure everyone knew when Jose Canseco and other ballplayers acted up.
After reading your article I was curious to know whom my five- and eight-year-old sons considered their favorite baseball players. I was pleased when they said Robin Yount and Ozzie Smith.
It's pretty sad when the children of today must look back to the 1940s for a hero.
Many fans are staying away from baseball because a growing number of major league players are not major league talent as we once knew it. For example, even with the warning tracks in the outfield and the peach-basket-sized gloves, many players fail to make routine plays.
You make it sound as if the future of baseball depends on how well it is marketed. Baseball will be around long after we're sick of the current Shaq commercials. And if members of the MTV generation find the game boring, then I can only pity them. Face it: To enjoy baseball, you have to have a concentration span longer than 90 seconds.
The story made baseball sound as if it's in a nosedive, when the Colorado Rockies are on pace to break the major league attendance record of 4,028,318 set last season by the Toronto Blue Jays, and when the San Francisco Giants hosted the expansion Florida Marlins in a season opener that attracted the biggest crowd (56,689) ever to see a regular-season game at Candlestick Park.