Why is baseball not popular any more?

Baseball is still popular, but is declining in popularity among American youth. Several reasons have been advanced for this.

The NFL and NBA have done a far better job in marketing than MLB. Both leagues have become more popular with youth as a result. Sometimes MLB almost seems to be against fans - as in allowing games to be blacked out in markets hundreds of miles away even when someone buys the "MLB Extra Innings" package. I live 250 miles from the nearest major league city, and five teams' games are blacked out in my market (I dropped the package as a result).

The pace of the game does not entertain audiences raised on action movies and increasingly complex video games. Today's youth seem to need constant entertainment, and the leisurely pace of baseball, with no time clock, does not fit the bill.

An abundance of games and other sports on television has diluted the market. Once upon a time, seeing a baseball game on television was a rare treat, with only a Saturday game on TV. Today, most games are televised.

There are a lot of other entertainment options, many of which involve staying at home. Satellite and cable television are the main ones.

The cost of going to a game has escalated beyond reason. Parking now costs more than a reserved seat used to cost. To go to a three-game series at Anaheim with my wife last year cost $204, not including concessions. At least at the major league level, baseball is not the affordable entertainment bargain it once was.

Yhere is also the constant labor battles and work stoppages baseball has endured, more than any other sport, making fans jaded about the game. The work stoppage that cancelled most of the season and the playoffs in 1994 did more damage than anyone could ever calculate. One thing it may have done is kill baseball in Montreal. The Expos had probably the best team in baseball that season. Had they won the World Series, the Expos might have renewed fan interest and gotten the new stadium they sorely needed. Now, the Expos are vagabonds without a home, and even their own fans have stopped caring.

Finally, two words: Bud Selig. Perhaps the most short-sighted and worst commissioner baseball has ever had.