Bill Simmons: Valuing Trades More Than Friendships

luckiestman

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These over under pods are some of my faves. Getting ready to drive home and Simmons has me looking forward to the commute. Shit like this is why I give him an infinite leash. Does the haranguing woke babies get a little old? Sure. It is a small price to pay.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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FYI, Simmons is on the latest Zach Lowe podcast, talking for an hour-and-a-half about international basketball and other things.

Someone should create a Simmons-style bracket challenge with the best 16 or 32 projects Simmons has been involved with - each of his two books, his two websites (Grantland and The Ringer) specific 30 for 30 docs (and the Andre the Giant doc for HBO) that his fingerprints are all over, individual podcast partnerships, recurring columns (e.g., NBA Draft Diary, NBA Trade Value), and so on - and let everyone vote to determine the best work he's ever produced. It's the sort of thing Simmons himself would have wanted...anyway, I bring it up because for me, Simmons/Lowe podcasts have to be strong Final Four contenders, don't they? You could have quite a podcast bracket on its own, actually, involving the following eight contenders: The Rewatchables, Simmons/Lowe, Simmons/Cousin Sal, Simmons/House, Simmons/Russillo, Simmons/JackO, Simmons/NFL Playoff Previews (including Aaron Schatz et al. back in the day), and maybe Simmons/Jacoby or Simmons/Haralabob. Although dividing the brackets into Podcasts, Documentaries, Writing and Websites/Other - which is the sort of thing Simmons would do - is a bit like forcing the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams to defeat each other before meeting in the final - which Simmons hates. If the best two things he's done are both podcasts, shouldn't they meet in the Championship Game, not just to go to the Final Four? Tough call...
 

Kliq

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In another sign of Bill's beef with ESPN now in the rear view, he is hosting PTI with Kornheiser today at 5:30.
 

ElUno20

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Gladwell never has details with his examples or points. He just glosses over shit to make a point. It's fascinating
 

luckiestman

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Gladwell never has details with his examples or points. He just glosses over shit to make a point. It's fascinating

He is a total bullshitter but I don’t mind a good yarn. He’s a fun guy and I like his writing. It’s brain candy more than a nourishing meal.
 

Kliq

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Gladwell never has details with his examples or points. He just glosses over shit to make a point. It's fascinating
Gladwell is like PHD Bill. The difference is Gladwell will say something like "Here is a strategy Fortune 500 companies are doing that is similar to how NBA teams are building their rosters" and you can have Bill same the thing by swapping out "Fourtne 500 companies" with "Johnny Bananas on The Challenge."
 

allstonite

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His Nigerian basketball take last time was one of the more inane things I have ever listened to. He’s like Klosterman-lite. He studies human behavior for a living but I don’t feel he has a good grasp on how the world actually works when he talks

This time his Paterno whitewashing was weird and his Kanye take was stupid. But Luckiest is right he’s still a fun listen.
 

ifmanis5

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Pretty funny how they totally butchered the Kanye/Taylor Swift blowup. It had nothing to do with the Grammys, it happened at the MTV VMAs which is even a more meaningless award. None of the members of their peanut gallery chimed in to correct them either.
 

bbc23

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I'm shocked nobody has mentioned his Pos level Joe Paterno defense "he probably doesn't even know what the word sodomy means!"
 

allstonite

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Pretty funny how they totally butchered the Kanye/Taylor Swift blowup. It had nothing to do with the Grammys, it happened at the MTV VMAs which is even a more meaningless award. None of the members of their peanut gallery chimed in to correct them either.
And he butchered why people were mad. It wasn't that they disagreed about the Beyonce album. It's that he stole a 20 year old Taylor Swift's moment and made it about himself

I'm shocked nobody has mentioned his Pos level Joe Paterno defense "he probably doesn't even know what the word sodomy means!"
But he had been a coach for 50 years! All he did was football! How was he supposed to know what a non-football word means!?
 

ifmanis5

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And he butchered why people were mad. It wasn't that they disagreed about the Beyonce album. It's that he stole a 20 year old Taylor Swift's moment and made it about himself

But he had been a coach for 50 years! All he did was football! How was he supposed to know what a non-football word means!?
Yup, and in the most self-aggrandizing way possible.

And yeah, should the head coach really not be responsible for the actions of the assistant that he hired, on the grounds of the school that he's responsible for and with members of his team that he himself selected? I think most adults understand the difference between consensual horseplay in the showers and sexual assault, no matter what terms are used.
 

jon abbey

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The Guardian brilliantly summed up Gladwell in one sentence last week:

"Malcolm Gladwell, whose job it is to be puzzled by banalities and then replace them, after a great pseudo-intellectual circumambulation, with banalities. "

 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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The Guardian brilliantly summed up Gladwell in one sentence last week:

"Malcolm Gladwell, whose job it is to be puzzled by banalities and then replace them, after a great pseudo-intellectual circumambulation, with banalities. "

Someone on Deadspin said that Gladwell has made a living off extrapolating the cliche “Practice makes perfect” into an entire book.
 

Shelterdog

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Someone on Deadspin said that Gladwell has made a living off extrapolating the cliche “Practice makes perfect” into an entire book.
One reviewer (maybe Steven Pinker?) said he relies on "straw we"--as in "why do we assume that some people are naturally great musicians when it actually takes a lot of practice" and most of us are like "nah, we think that every really good musicians practice a fuckton".
 

allstonite

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I read something the other day that said if he’s theorizes about a subject you know nothing about you come away thinking “hmm that’s interesting. I can see his point ” But if he touches on something you are familiar with, you can poke holes in his arguments almost immediately. It’s the best description I’ve found for his type of “science”
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Gladwell’s version of the idea of giving NBA players a cut the equity in their team as a way to prevent stars from leaving was also a total non-starter. He even used Cleveland as an example, as if star players, now able to receive equity, would ever take Cavs equity when they could get equity in the Lakers or Knicks. It would only increase the draw of big market teams and the desire to get out of an Orlando or New Orleans and go to LA as soon as possible to start accumulating ownership stakes in the much, much more valuable franchises.
 

johnmd20

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Gladwell’s version of the idea of giving NBA players a cut the equity in their team as a way to prevent stars from leaving was also a total non-starter. He even used Cleveland as an example, as if star players, now able to receive equity, would ever take Cavs equity when they could get equity in the Lakers or Knicks. It would only increase the draw of big market teams and the desire to get out of an Orlando or New Orleans and go to LA as soon as possible to start accumulating ownership stakes in the much, much more valuable franchises.
It's a non starter but not because NY would be more attractive than Cleveland. It's a non starter because it would be utterly insane for an owner to give up ownership to a player. How long could you do that? What if, over 2 decades you give 1% to 35 players?

But if NBA teams were giving out ownership stakes, every team would be an attractive destination. Players would jump over themselves to go anywhere for a piece of the pie and they would be right to do so.

Yeah, no, it's a laughable idea.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It's a non starter but not because NY would be more attractive than Cleveland. It's a non starter because it would be utterly insane for an owner to give up ownership to a player. How long could you do that? What if, over 2 decades you give 1% to 35 players?

But if NBA teams were giving out ownership stakes, every team would be an attractive destination. Players would jump over themselves to go anywhere for a piece of the pie and they would be right to do so.

Yeah, no, it's a laughable idea.
And it's unlikely that an NBA owner would stop at just 1%. Like if LeBron James becomes a free agent, you think that the Knicks would only offer 1%? That would trickle down and if LeBron got 5% let's say, how much is Kawaii Leonard worth? Giannis? And so on. Also, like you said, I assume that the ownership stakes would be in perpetuity, so how if the super stars of the teens and twenties own40-50% of the franchise, how are you going to compensate future stars? And what if a player gets traded? Does he get ownership in his new team? Does he continue to own his former team?

This is a really dumb take by Gladwell. But it's the kind of thing that Simmons loves.
 

Spacemans Bong

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And it's unlikely that an NBA owner would stop at just 1%. Like if LeBron James becomes a free agent, you think that the Knicks would only offer 1%? That would trickle down and if LeBron got 5% let's say, how much is Kawaii Leonard worth? Giannis? And so on. Also, like you said, I assume that the ownership stakes would be in perpetuity, so how if the super stars of the teens and twenties own40-50% of the franchise, how are you going to compensate future stars? And what if a player gets traded? Does he get ownership in his new team? Does he continue to own his former team?

This is a really dumb take by Gladwell. But it's the kind of thing that Simmons loves.
Plus Simmons probably knows about the Bobby Orr gets 18.6% of the Bruins story, so he's even likelier than the average bear to go "Yeah, great idea!!".
 

HowBoutDemSox

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And it's unlikely that an NBA owner would stop at just 1%. Like if LeBron James becomes a free agent, you think that the Knicks would only offer 1%? That would trickle down and if LeBron got 5% let's say, how much is Kawaii Leonard worth? Giannis? And so on. Also, like you said, I assume that the ownership stakes would be in perpetuity, so how if the super stars of the teens and twenties own40-50% of the franchise, how are you going to compensate future stars? And what if a player gets traded? Does he get ownership in his new team? Does he continue to own his former team?

This is a really dumb take by Gladwell. But it's the kind of thing that Simmons loves.
Well, Gladwell’s version was to impose some kind of hard cap on percentages; the two ideas I recall him throwing out where either a player was eligible to receive 1% ownership per year, or have some total amount (he used an absurd 25% number) between all the team’s starters. Once you’re operating with a hard cap on percentage that a team can allocate, that’s where NY and LA get their huge advantage, since Cleveland or New Orleans can’t match the value per percentage that those big market teams can.

I think he also mentioned that the players get bought out for their ownership at some point (when they left the team? when they retired? not sure), which raises a host of other questions about valuation and liquidity. It’s all such a ludicrous fantasy anyways.
 

orgoman

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So, I love listening to Simmons’ podcasts for the most part. His latest on Ryan Russillo’s podcast is great. But then I started listening to Bill’s own podcast with Mallory Rubin, and his takes on Baseball are the worst and most archaic that I have ever heard. It’s not that he’s loud and abrasive in his takes, but he seems offended that people could think any different. And all I can think of is that Bill - at least on the topic of baseball - has turned into Shaughnessy.
 

ElUno20

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You know Beto is like the Simmons of presidential candidates. Or vice versa.

And bill not being able to pronounce Beto after living in LA for over 10 years is a disgrace.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Well, Gladwell’s version was to impose some kind of hard cap on percentages; the two ideas I recall him throwing out where either a player was eligible to receive 1% ownership per year, or have some total amount (he used an absurd 25% number) between all the team’s starters. Once you’re operating with a hard cap on percentage that a team can allocate, that’s where NY and LA get their huge advantage, since Cleveland or New Orleans can’t match the value per percentage that those big market teams can.

I think he also mentioned that the players get bought out for their ownership at some point (when they left the team? when they retired? not sure), which raises a host of other questions about valuation and liquidity. It’s all such a ludicrous fantasy anyways.
I didn't listen to the podcast, so I assumed that there had to be some sort of mechanism for selling ownership once you leave a franchise, but like you said, it's a bit of a ludicrous fantasy.
 

8slim

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The Guardian brilliantly summed up Gladwell in one sentence last week:

"Malcolm Gladwell, whose job it is to be puzzled by banalities and then replace them, after a great pseudo-intellectual circumambulation, with banalities. "

I had a long drive last weekend and listened to the audio book of 'Talking to Strangers'. I listen to Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast, and I like him as a storyteller. Of course, the underpinnings of his stories are largely ridiculous, but if you know that going in, he can be entertaining.
 

JCizzle

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So, I love listening to Simmons’ podcasts for the most part. His latest on Ryan Russillo’s podcast is great. But then I started listening to Bill’s own podcast with Mallory Rubin, and his takes on Baseball are the worst and most archaic that I have ever heard. It’s not that he’s loud and abrasive in his takes, but he seems offended that people could think any different. And all I can think of is that Bill - at least on the topic of baseball - has turned into Shaughnessy.
His story regarding his time at the Herald was really good. I'm not sure if it was planned in advance, but it fit perfectly into the player empowerment discussion.
 

ifmanis5

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It's absolute peak Simmons to roast local sports talk shithead radio on Wednesday but then turn around on Friday and copy/paste all of those shithead takes for his baseball discussion with Mallory.
 

Spacemans Bong

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The Klosterman/Simmons argument about baseball is really interesting. They branch off social media and how older people use Facebook to Klosterman saying that Bill doesn’t really understand that young people get older, so they do old guy stuff eventually, and that’s why he keeps proclaiming baseball is dead when eventually people get old and they become like their parents. Implying that watching baseball is part of that. And that Simmons does stuff his dad does, because we all do.

Simmons (with a background snort from Nephew Kyle) says “nobody decides when they turn 35 that it’s time to watch baseball again!”, which seems like a mischaracterisation of Klosterman’s point, but I digress.

Simmons’ counterpoint is actually a pretty good one, that people stop following stuff as they get older. Although he weirdly didn’t seem to acknowledge that part of the reason he doesn’t watch regular season baseball or regular season hockey anymore (he says he dropped college football in his 20s, which seems accurate to me) is probably related to the Ringer and his status as Basketball Guy Bill Simmons.

But I thought it was an interesting discussion which should have been fleshed out more, a common complaint on these podcasts. It seems to me that Klosterman brings up this take from a Bill pretty regularly now - I want to say he’s done it on at least his last three appearances with Bill - which suggests to me that Klosterman is most definitely rediscovering a love of baseball and has perhaps noticed it amongst his 40 something peers.

I’ve always thought baseball seems to do well among older people because it has some sense of tradition and timelessness to it that attracts people who are self-consciously not giving a shit anymore about being cool (Simmons’ weird reaction to Klosterman suggesting he does things his dad does - a 50 year old man vehemently denying this - might mean he’s not past that yet).

Plus it’s cheaper to go to than any other sport, which is probably pretty nice when you’ve hit middle age and feel you have a reasonable sense of the value of a buck.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I had a lot of friends who loved baseball when we were kids. We'd debate Mattingly vs Boggs and would watch games after playing games in our backyards. I think my generation's fandom crested during the peak Red Sox frenzy of 2000 to 2007. When I lived in Boston from 1999 to 2003, it wasn't unusual to be out a bar and talk Red Sox with a wide variety of people. I would hang out at a girlfriend's apartment after work and either they, or one of their roommates, would voluntarily put the Red Sox game on TV as we hung out.

Due to life, I don't see many friends like I used to; but I can't recall the last time I talked baseball with anyone besides my brother. My wife is an elementary school teacher and she's told me that she is much more likely to see a kid wearing a Messi/Ronaldo shirt over any baseball player's.

Baseball being strictly a sport for octogenarians is not the historic norm and a bad place for the league to be. I'm glad that Chuck Klosterman is promoting Major League Baseball, but he's not representative of a rediscovering of a love for the game by Gen X.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I had a lot of friends who loved baseball when we were kids. We'd debate Mattingly vs Boggs and would watch games after playing games in our backyards. I think my generation's fandom crested during the peak Red Sox frenzy of 2000 to 2007. When I lived in Boston from 1999 to 2003, it wasn't unusual to be out a bar and talk Red Sox with a wide variety of people. I would hang out at a girlfriend's apartment after work and either they, or one of their roommates, would voluntarily put the Red Sox game on TV as we hung out.

Due to life, I don't see many friends like I used to; but I can't recall the last time I talked baseball with anyone besides my brother. My wife is an elementary school teacher and she's told me that she is much more likely to see a kid wearing a Messi/Ronaldo shirt over any baseball player's.

Baseball being strictly a sport for octogenarians is not the historic norm and a bad place for the league to be. I'm glad that Chuck Klosterman is promoting Major League Baseball, but he's not representative of a rediscovering of a love for the game by Gen X.
I get what you're saying, but this isn't tangible evidence other than what it's like in your peer group. The people that I hang with are really into baseball, we were texting about the game last night, we often have it on in the background if we're playing cards or having garage beers, we talk about it a bit, we go on an annual Dad's trip to some city to catch a game and the people that hang with all have kids who play Little League. Are we the fans that we were 20 years ago? No. But 20 years ago, I didn't have kids and other responsibilities.

Edit: I'm not sure when the last time I talked NBA hoops with anyone was. We talk a little Celtics here and there, but nothing league-wide.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I appreciate that this site does not accept empirical evidence, but I also don’t see evidence of Klosterman’s take that later in life liking baseball is part of becoming like your parents.

When I read reports about baseball’s demographic trends, they ring very true to me. I do see the reported trend that the generation after millennials have interests that are not centered around team or pro sports. Baseball is the most prone to a loss in interest since their demos already skewed older.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Those octogenarians were the hip young things loving the NFL/AFL in the 1960s and calling baseball passé. Now they’re the only people who watch the World Series whether their team is playing or not. They’re exactly who Klosterman is talking about.

Things are changing, those octogenarians probably all played Little League or some variant of youth baseball as kids, although figures have suggested youth baseball’s decline is more exaggerated than is reported (it’s still the most popular sport to play after basketball). Maybe that changes things. It’s a lot more expensive to go to a game than it used to be even in 2004, so attendances are going down and you’d think that might shut kids out of baseball if they can’t go to a game.

On the other hand, kids today have access to far, far, far more baseball on TV than even I had. It was in my lifetime (I’m 34 this month) that 40-60 baseball games on some indy station, plus the Game of the Week, was the norm for most cities. Most home games were on the freakin’ radio. If your parents aren’t cord cutters, and I suspect most parents aren’t, you’ve got 162 at the click of a button. And there’s a lot of nights where baseball is the only sport on. And that goes for the parents too, at some point you end up watching, maybe it mixes in with all your childhood memories of watching with your dad or you get dragged to a game by a buddy and you think “oh yeah, I used to love baseball. Why did I stop watching again?”

I think both guys have points, I certainly have dropped a bunch of sports as I got older. I just don’t have time to follow college anything, I don’t really watch the NBA unless it’s the Celtics in the playoffs, I’ve watched very little soccer this year because I’m wrapped up in the Rugby World Cup, Arsenal are enervating, and I don’t get the channel that has the Champions League. I’ve barely watched hockey (a sport I actually came back to in my 20s) since Subban got traded.

(Slight tangent: Has anybody else’s tolerance for not entirely legal streaming just gone down the tubes now? Except for 49ers games, which are honestly really easy to stream, I’m just not interested anymore. I’d rather just watch what I can get than deal with the pop ups and dropping out streams.)

I also think soccer jersey sales overstate things. nobody watches La Liga in the US, nor the Champions League. El Clasico got less than a million US viewers in English and Spanish *combined*. Kids are literally in school for every CL game except the final. So kids are buying Messi jerseys based on YouTube and FIFA. I’m not sure that is as solid a basis for lifelong fandom as people think.
 
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luckiestman

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I appreciate that this site does not accept empirical evidence, but I also don’t see evidence of Klosterman’s take that later in life liking baseball is part of becoming like your parents.

When I read reports about baseball’s demographic trends, they ring very true to me. I do see the reported trend that the generation after millennials have interests that are not centered around team or pro sports. Baseball is the most prone to a loss in interest since their demos already skewed older.

I used to be crazy about baseball and I’m generally a non-dabbler meaning I’m all in or I’m all out. Having kids impacted how much I watch baseball. It is indirect as my kids are asleep by the time the game comes on but other stuff gets pushed to that slot.

Once my children become adults, I could see myself getting more into baseball again.
 

Joe Sixpack

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I used to be crazy about baseball and I’m generally a non-dabbler meaning I’m all in or I’m all out. Having kids impacted how much I watch baseball. It is indirect as my kids are asleep by the time the game comes on but other stuff gets pushed to that slot.

Once my children become adults, I could see myself getting more into baseball again.
This is where I am...I very rarely watch any baseball any more, but when my kids are older I'm expecting to have more free time and will hopefully be able to get back into it.

I'm with my kids until ~8pm most nights when they go to bed, and then I have to do all the stuff that I couldn't do because my kids were running around like fucking maniacs, so it doesn't leave a lot of excess time to sit and watch a game the way I used to.
 

Spacemans Bong

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This is literally happening to me right now, my son’s just fallen to sleep at 9pm UK time, and Ajax are 2-0 up on Valencia in the second half. Do I want to watch them kill the game or play on my phone and catch the goals on Reddit. I can’t tell whether that’s soccer’s fault or mine.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I used to be crazy about baseball and I’m generally a non-dabbler meaning I’m all in or I’m all out. Having kids impacted how much I watch baseball. It is indirect as my kids are asleep by the time the game comes on but other stuff gets pushed to that slot.

Once my children become adults, I could see myself getting more into baseball again.
Having kids has gotten me back into reading. It relaxes my mind before I allow myself the luxury of falling asleep.

Bonger: I do very little stream hunting because of limited time and access to the legal feeds. I had to drive 90 minutes, EACH WAY UP A HILL IN 10 FEET OF SNOW, when I was an undergrad to see midweek matches via the Gremio Lusitano club's C-Band dish. I agree that seeing jerseys is not evidence of any long term change, but something has changed. Labor Day weekend is when a big Portuguese festival in my hometown is held. In 1999, you did not see jerseys being worn. Besides the game being less popular, it was hard to find stuff for sale besides the gift shop of the local indoor soccer field. This year, I saw every version of a Ronaldo shirt you could buy and Portugal's big three being worn by many people. My concern is that the reverse is happening with MLB, but I have sensed that Manfred is working on it.
 
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Kliq

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Maybe this should be broken out, or more likely there is already a thread discussing it, but I don't know a ton of people my age who follow baseball closely. A few of my friends who do are more into it through fantasy + stat nerds that like the analytics but aren't really into watching the games. I think I'm the only one in my friend group who actually cares who wins the World Series or anything like that.

I told this story before, but last year it was a summer night and I was playing basketball with about 10-15 people, all of whom in their 20s or early 30s. I was on my phone in between games and noticed that Sale had like, 10ks in 5 innings and said "Wow, Sale is really dealing tonight." So the guy next to me responded by saying "Who?" which led to a whole series of questions where it turned out that only one other person in that group actually knew who Chris Sale was. And this was in the Boston area, with a bunch of guys who had some interest in sports.

I think that baseball is going to go the way of hockey; still big, still successful, still playing the game the way everyone likes it being played, but it will be more niche where the people who are into it are very passionate about it, but there will be huge swaths of the sporting public who can't name five active players.
 

drleather2001

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This is where I am...I very rarely watch any baseball any more, but when my kids are older I'm expecting to have more free time and will hopefully be able to get back into it.

I'm with my kids until ~8pm most nights when they go to bed, and then I have to do all the stuff that I couldn't do because my kids were running around like fucking maniacs, so it doesn't leave a lot of excess time to sit and watch a game the way I used to.
I've been the opposite.

Both of my kids like to play baseball, but one of them loves to watch it. He's 7, and comes home from school, does whatever shit he has to do, just so he can be in front of the TV at 6:05 when the Twins game starts. He gets bent out of shape if we make plans and he's not able to watch a game. As a result, I've become more invested in MLB over the past few years, because baseball is something my wife and I are totally fine with having on in the background while we do other things. It's been impossible not to become more aware of general baseball stuff, if only through osmosis.

I doubt most kids are as passionate as mine, but I do know that other parents who maybe stopped caring about baseball sometime in their 20s have started watching it again because their little league-playing son or daughter expresses an interest, so it's an opportunity to pick an old pass time back up in the name of having a common interest with your kid.
 

8slim

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There really isn't any data to support what Klosterman claimed (as far as I can follow it). MLB's fan base is getting progressively older, and there hasn't been any surge in the 35-54 demographic that would support the notion that people are "ageing into" baseball. An increase in interest in that demo would actually bring MLB's median age down!
 

Spacemans Bong

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Just to underscore that nobody knows anything, I did some digging and found three bizarre pieces of information:

26119

Wait, what? The third favourite league of Millennials behind the NFL and (I assume) college football? More than the NBA?

Then you’ve got this Harris poll. It’s from 2014, that was a while ago, but:

26120

Millennials and Old Guys Who Saw Ted Williams Play are basically equally interested in baseball?

Finally, from Gallup this year:


26121

What?! 57% of the country says they’re a baseball fan? The NFL only got 62%, and only college football is even close to MLB. Sure, you can quibble a little with the timing (not longer after Opening Day), but that is robust.

What are we worrying about?
 

kenneycb

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Just to underscore that nobody knows anything, I did some digging and found three bizarre pieces of information:

View attachment 26119

Wait, what? The third favourite league of Millennials behind the NFL and (I assume) college football? More than the NBA?

Then you’ve got this Harris poll. It’s from 2014, that was a while ago, but:

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Millennials and Old Guys Who Saw Ted Williams Play are basically equally interested in baseball?

Finally, from Gallup this year:


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What?! 57% of the country says they’re a baseball fan? The NFL only got 62%, and only college football is even close to MLB. Sure, you can quibble a little with the timing (not longer after Opening Day), but that is robust.

What are we worrying about?
Declining ratings and declining attendance. Which are tangible things I put more stock in than opaque polls. Unless you are able to define what it means to be a fan vs somewhat of a fan.
 

The Needler

lurker
Dec 7, 2016
1,715
Declining ratings and declining attendance. Which are tangible things I put more stock in than opaque polls. Unless you are able to define what it means to be a fan vs somewhat of a fan.
But total attendance and TV viewership still far exceeds those of other sports. Baseball teams play twice as many games as any other sport, so maybe it’s just a lack of scarcity issue. Shorter attention spans, etc. Doesn’t necessarily mean people don’t like baseball as much, just that there are more other things to do. If the NFL switched to a 30-game schedule, I strongly suspect you’d see declining attendance and TV ratings there, too.
 

Spacemans Bong

chapeau rose
SoSH Member
Declining ratings and declining attendance. Which are tangible things I put more stock in than opaque polls. Unless you are able to define what it means to be a fan vs somewhat of a fan.
Revenue isn’t going down as far as I know, and aren’t those declining ratings national TV ratings? Who cares? There are more than a few SoSHers who check out of baseball once Joe Castliglione starts quoting Bart Giamatti, and I’d call anybody who posts here a baseball fan. It would be truly nice if the World Series re-ascended to its status as the biggest sporting event in America, or even its status as the biggest sporting event in America that wasn’t the Super Bowl, but I’m not prepared to call baseball dead because the World Series isn’t on the front page of the Little Rock Gazette like it used to.

Ticket revenue went up this year while attendance went down. They’re just charging people more for tickets. Ballpark passes are all the rage in many parks besides Boston, and the data suggests they’re all being bought by Millennial 20somethings. The minors are still booming (after being all but dead in the 80s).

If people say they like baseball, who am I to say no?
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
12,705
Tuukka's refugee camp
But total attendance and TV viewership still far exceeds those of other sports. Baseball teams play twice as many games as any other sport, so maybe it’s just a lack of scarcity issue. Shorter attention spans, etc. Doesn’t necessarily mean people don’t like baseball as much, just that there are more other things to do. If the NFL switched to a 30-game schedule, I strongly suspect you’d see declining attendance and TV ratings there, too.
I guess. But they haven’t. And baseball hasn’t changed. Yet the same metric has decreased from 2018 to 2019. Unless you want to argue something happened that caused attention spans to significantly decrease over the past year.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
12,705
Tuukka's refugee camp
Revenue isn’t going down as far as I know, and aren’t those declining ratings national TV ratings? Who cares? There are more than a few SoSHers who check out of baseball once Joe Castliglione starts quoting Bart Giamatti, and I’d call anybody who posts here a baseball fan. It would be truly nice if the World Series re-ascended to its status as the biggest sporting event in America, or even its status as the biggest sporting event in America that wasn’t the Super Bowl, but I’m not prepared to call baseball dead because the World Series isn’t on the front page of the Little Rock Gazette like it used to.

Ticket revenue went up this year while attendance went down. They’re just charging people more for tickets. Ballpark passes are all the rage in many parks besides Boston, and the data suggests they’re all being bought by Millennial 20somethings. The minors are still booming (after being all but dead in the 80s).

If people say they like baseball, who am I to say no?
They were local for the first half. Down 4%. Not sure what full year did as I don’t care that much to figure it out. But it’s something. Plus attendance has fallen again for I think the 7th straight year. Revenue doesn’t tell you much about popularity as you can argue multiple sides and nobody would know who’s correct.

Baseballs not dying. People who argue that are shortsighted. Much like the people who say the same as boxing. But heaven forbid it falls however slightly in popularity.