First and foremost I would like to thank everyone that has participated in my previous fan shot. It was really great to read everyone's interesting stories.
As a first generation Canadian, the generation gap between me and my parents is larger than I would suspect most families tend to experience. When considering the exponential time period we live, a difference of 34 years is larger than 500 years a century or two ago. If you don't believe me, click here. A few centuries ago, the world mainly consisted of agricultural communities. A child would live a life excedingly close to that of their parents. There would not suddenly be a new fashion trend that involved pants hanging around their knees. There would not be a new form of media that their parents would not be able to use. Slang designed to alude parentals knowledge would not be formed. It was simpler.
Then came the industrial revolution and, more recently, came the technological revolution, one that was most definitely broadcasted. A 3 year cell phone contract started with a standard flip phone, and now ends with a touch smart phone. Who knows what my next contract will result in?
How does this fit into baseball? Quite easily. It has been noted that baseball has resisted the change of society. A new generation of fans are screaming for instant replay, for equal scheduling, and for the reference of sabermetrics for all-star selections and award races. These are a new generation of fans, that have adapted baseball to an evolving world. Bud Selig has been critisized endlessly for refusing to allow the game to grow: to develop for the better. Although this sentiment is true of all sports, it rings more clearly for baseball. Tennis, NFL, and NHL have a replay system that is fair to both sides, and does not horribly decrease the speed of a game. It is hard to imagine the sports without the recent game changes.The NHL is still seeking to modernize the game in hopes of attracting a younger group of fans.
Baseball is the oldest of the four major professional sports in North America; a life cycle that spanned three centuries. Over that time, things have changed remarkably. The most common median for exchanging information has changed from radio; to television; to internet. Ballparks now have dozens of cameras and microphones and, in many cases, fans are able to make more accurate decisions than umpires. The population of the world has more than quadrupled.
The lack of ability the MLB has shown to adapt to an ever expanding and developing world has come back to haunt them, time and time again. The steroid era was a result of players using what was available and taking advantage of outdated rules. Rules that the MLB took too long to update. The MLB is at fault whenever a team loses on the basis of a bad call. Remember this?
Despite the unjustifiable will to reject change, Bud Selig and company are only representing a human truth often exhibited. Humans desire the ability to control their own destinies. We want to be our own masters and by giving into the exponential design of the universe, we begin to relinquish our ability to control our own destinies, our own world. By changing rules in baseball, they fear the game will advance beyond there control. The game will no longer be theirs: the game they grew up with.
People fear change, yet in some instances it seems only necessary. It seems funny that, at one point, people were against Tommy Douglas and his plans for Universal Health Care. They claimed it would ruin the careers of doctors, that it would raise taxes astronomically and, more foolishly, that it would lead to communism. It is obvious that Canadians likened to his idea; Tommy Douglas won a CBC poll called "The Greatest Canadians." Yet Americans continue to push against the same idea that now seems so obvious to Canadians, so much so, that it has become an integral piece our national identity.
What baseball is experiencing is the same generation gap that I experience in my family. I will defend a player to my father. He uses anecdotal evidence; I use advance statistics. He claims Romero is an average starter because his win-loss record is not spectacular or that he had a recent, lackluster game. I claim he is a great pitcher because his WAR ranks in the top 10 in the A.L. The arguments that occur in my family are often similar to the disagreements between BBB and everyone's favourite broadcaster, Buck Martinez. I just do not care how big and strong a player is or how small and scrappy they are: performance is more important. Jon Rauch has never won an award because his domineering appearance.
My father grew up in era where players were revered for singular displays of other worldly talent. A player who scored a tremendous goal will have his story be told in endless bars, barbershops, and convenience stores. Without other ways of judging a player, people were left to first impressions and superficial stats. It is too often that a player gains fame for one moment, when a better, more consister player is forgotten because he did not have the same career defining moment.
Our disagreements end in arguements because neither of us refuses to budge. I do not want to turn on what makes my generation more logical. He does not want to turn on what made his generation unique. It is about identity and changing from what your generation was to what the new generation is, admits the faults and flaws that you would rather not face.
History has shown that MLB's resisting change will be overun, but how long can it continue? When will they admit their faults? When will they finally let us move on?