October 23, 2013

"Geezers Love the World Series and Threaten Baseball."

Headline at Bloomberg for an article about how the audience for the World Series skews old. The median age is 53.4. Me and Meade — we exceed that median, and we will be watching and hence threatening baseball.

Feel free to hang out in the comments here during tonight's game. And do this poll:

Who are you rooting for?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

56 comments:

Sigivald said...

The poll lacks an option for "not interested".

"Not interested" is Baseball's biggest threat.

Ann Althouse said...

Not interested? Ignore the poll.

MadisonMan said...

Me and Meade? Ugh. I know it's your blog and all, and you're being all poetic with me, Meade and Median, but...

Ann Althouse said...

The median exceeds Meade and me???

Ann Althouse said...

It's poetry, baby.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I tweaked it.

Do you accept my poetry now?

I would write it on an opened-out scrap of an envelope, but this is on-line bullshit, so please be kind.

|

Sung to the tune of "Gilligan's Island."

Big Mike said...

Where's "none of the above" for those of use who don't much care about baseball? Oh! I should ignore the poll? Did that, thanks.

I'm in my sixties so by not watching the World Series I help baseball? How does that work, exactly?

mrs. e said...

I just exceed the median, at 53.48 - always watch, but don't have a favorite this year. Hoping for some good ball is all.

Paddy O said...

Ignore the poll? That's dismissing other passions and interests. Simply "not interested" is one thing.

I'm interested in the geezer victory, bringing to an end this 20th century relic.

I'm actively rooting for baseball's end. The end of the season, and maybe the end of the sport.

If the substance of baseball were to be caught in a black hole, its very memory lost to human history, I would be fine with that.

Paddy O said...

If baseball did come to an end, would George Will cease to exist as well?

Chance said...

There should be an option for rooting against the Red Sox, which is much different than rooting for anyone.

SteveR said...

I love baseball and have been more into it this year than for many years. I'm still not cool with the effect of free agency/money on the game nor the blatant use of PEDs over the last 20 years or so.

As for this year, I will have to root for the Red Sox, especially since Fox will be using home town announcers. This short blog comment brought to you by Federal Express.

richlb said...

Baseball needs younger, healthier fans invested in the league to make it economically viable for the older fans who consume more resources. And remember, the infield fly rule benefits all Americans.

surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surfed said...

It was better when the World Series was in the afternoon and we smuggled transistors into class with a single ear bud. Then notes would go up and down the aisles with the runs, hits, errors and general recap. One crusty old ex marine math teacher startled us all by intercepting one of the passed notes informing the guilty party to make sure the updates went by his teacher desk too. Now the games are at night and don't start until it's bedtime. For someone like me who's past the Althous/Meade-ian anyways...

rastajenk said...

I work in the horse racing biz, and we've been dealing with this kind of thing for 30 years. All the pessimists say, "Only old people bet horses, and when they die off, then what?" Well, there will always be new folks growing old and replacing them.

Racing is worse off than it was when it was the only game in town, but age demographics is only part of it.

Tank said...

Red Sox must lose.

How to pitch to Ortiz.

Hit him or walk him.

rcocean said...
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rcocean said...
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Titus said...

Go Sox!

Boston is so fab!

I don't care for the beards though, hair bothers me.

Titus said...

fyi-the Sox owners are major libs....natch.

Titus said...

Sweet Caroline...Caroline Kennedy...will be played tonight, natch.

The umpire just fucked up big time.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

rastajenk,

I work in the horse racing biz, and we've been dealing with this kind of thing for 30 years. All the pessimists say, "Only old people bet horses, and when they die off, then what?" Well, there will always be new folks growing old and replacing them.

Ditto classical music (my own field). The audiences are always supposedly getting older. They've been reportedly all about to drop dead as long as I've been alive, but mysteriously they're still there. The secret ingredient is that young people eventually become old people.

Clyde said...

53.4? Wow! I'm 53.5, and I'm watching the game now. I guess I'm about as close to the median baseball fan as you're likely to find.

Titus said...

You do need to be incredibly wealthy do get Red Sox tickets. The cost of a ticket is ridiculous...as opposed to some 4th tier city like Milwaukee or Cincinnatti. There is a 10 year wait and they are at capacity every night. I don't know another pro baseball team that has that record.

And we are up!!!!!!

MadisonMan said...

It's too cold for baseball, btw. If you have to wear mittens, hat and/or scarf, then it's too late to listen to or care about baseball, which is a Summer sport.

Joe said...

The article completely misses the point that ALL entertainment is becoming diluted. This is a consequence of the information age and it's great since it means that those of use who aren't interested in the big sports can now enjoy the little ones or no sports or weird ass TV shows or games. If baseball can't keep up, who gives a rat's ass? Something will take it's place (and just about anything is more exciting, though given the popularity of bass fishing and duck hunting, I can't imagine what.)

heyboom said...

@Paddy O

I think you will cease to exist long before baseball does. I'm not actively rooting for that, but I'm thinking it.

Chris said...

May the best beards win.

No tanks said...

Baseball is dead. Baseball remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms.

David said...

It also skews white and male.

Time to bring the whole thing before a death panel.

Paddy O said...

Heyboom,

No doubt you're right. But I'm currently popular with the 18-49 crowd, so my ad sales in the meantime will be strong.

Conserve Liberty said...

Clean-shaven midwest farm boys in six.

Ahem.

Chef Mojo said...

Well, that sucked.

Still. Just game 1.

I'm 53 years old. Loving it.

mccullough said...

Terrible defense by the Cardinals. Great catch by Beltran, though.

eddie willers said...

I will never ever root for an American League team until they revoke that travesty known as the Designated Hitter.

Turns a chess game into a game of checkers.

John Burgess said...

Just for balance...

I will never root for a National League team until they grow up and realize that pitchers are paid to pitch and they can't hit for spit.

With that out of the way, is there any other sport beside baseball? From the end of the World Series til the start of spring training, there's this huge black hole when it comes to sports. I know corporations like NHL, NBA, and NFL try to trick viewers with pretend sports, but that's all they are... pretend.

I certainly exceed the stated demographic, but then I live a 10-minute walk from the Orioles' spring training facility. That is intentional.

Go Sox!!

heyboom said...

@Paddy O

Just to be clear, I wasn't being facetious. I actually like your comments a lot.

Bruce Hayden said...

Agree with those who asked for a "Who cares?" Voting button. At least the Yankees aren't in the World Series again - some justice in the world that it isn't always about money. And, yes, that the world doesn't revolve around that city (though you wouldn't know it by watching TV).

Most of a year older than Ann, but never got into baseball that much, even when younger. We had a minor league team, and the nearest major league team was in Kansas City, maybe 500 miles east. Much preferred football - we had a major league team by junior high, and some decent college football teams too. And, baseball (as well as basketball) seems to be more big city sports. While the kids in big cities would spend their summers at baseball games, we would be doing things outdoors - hiking, climbing, horseback riding, etc. Just different activities for different lifestyles and locations.

Maybe another part of it was that I was never much good at it. Played Little League, but sat the bench most of the time. Probably like football better because I got to play a lot more - likely due to the size of the teams (which is why I dislike basketball even more).

Still - not surprised really that the fans for baseball are rapidly graying. So many more exciting things to do these days for our youths - mostly it seems pretty sedentary and computer or Internet related. Also, much faster paced. Baseball is usually so slow. Inning after inning of no scoring. Think of how many aliens a kid could kill in a video game between scores in most baseball games.

Admittedly, there is a generation or so between us Boomers and the kids and young adults that seemingly spend so much of their lives online, but I think that life has been speeding up faster and faster for a long time now. But then, our lives were much different from our parents and grandparents, where my grandfather would almost religiously take the train to see his White Sox throughout the second quarter of the 20th Century. And when your baseball team identified much of who you were (didn't discover really until college that Chicago had another team, with a number of North Shore Cubs fans as fraternity brothers).

Still, Baseball should maybe consider shortening their season so as not to compete with football. If they cut down for 200 or so games a year to maybe 50, or even 25, and ended the season in August, instead of Halloween, halfway through football season, maybe they could regain some of their fan base. And maybe even liven up the games with more scoring - for example by allowing steroids and bringing in the fences a bit. ;-)

Guimo said...

Not interested when baseball is played in cold weather.

Skyler said...

Baseball is dying and has been dying for a generation. The salaries make that hard to believe, but it's true nonetheless. The game is too slow in an age of cell phones and the continuous stimulation that provides. We don't sit around and chat, once there's a lull in the conversation we whip out our cell phones. If we don't pay attention to people in our midst, why would we pay attention to a slow game?

Tank said...

Tank said...

Red Sox must lose.

How to pitch to Ortiz.

Hit him or walk him.


As I said, just hit him.

Henry said...

What bugs me is that I have to move to Mexico to watch the game on the Internet. I still have radio.

ben said...

To those who think Baseball is too slow, consider this:
Traditionally, the best way to consume baseball (without being at the game physically) is over the radio - the extra time between actual events gives the announcers time to tell the fans of one team about the opposing team's current batter/pitcher, or talk about the way the game is developing (contrast this with basketball or hockey, where the announcers need to give constant play-by-play announcements to keep up with the flow of the game). The mix between talking about what just happened and the way it relates to the rest of the season helps flesh out the context of the game without losing the thread of the current game.

On TV, that mix breaks down because people can see what just happened (or at least what happened around the ball), so you get a lot more chatting and waiting. That can make some of these (extremely) long playoff games feel slow, even though every match up is tense and full of strategy.

However, the rise of the second screen is changing some of these dynamics. You can pull up a constantly updating website with more background stats than any announcer could get to, including charts of pitch locations or batting spray charts for individual batters. So now fans can get at the context for each matchup on their own, which makes the game more interesting. And this is especially true for younger fans who are already comfortable juggling two screens at once.

It's the first real development that improves the experience in every medium - it helps when watching TV from the couch, while listening on the radio outside, or even while watching the game live from the stands. Sure, some people are playing candy crush, but a bunch of others are checking the xFIP, WAR, and OBP for each newly relevant player.

So baseball might have a bit of life left in it - and this is from the perspective of someone way below the median (28.48 or so).

And Bruce, don't touch my marathon season please! If baseball only played 50 or 80 games a year, it would just be a bunch of slightly less than athletic guys standing around. The volume of games (they play at least six games a week, compared to basketball/hockey 3 or 4, and football playing 1) makes the grind part of the game, along with the idea that every day during baseball season there is a relevant game for me to watch, and talk about, as opposed to football which gets stale by tuesday or wednesday. And when the season is over, we don't have to wait all that long for it to start up again. Much better than being stuck talking about the draft for six weeks before and after for football.

Go Sox!

LarsPorsena said...

Baseball: three minutes of excitement packed into three hours.

damikesc said...

I agree with CBS' Les Moonves: Who the hell care about the "prime demographic"? Most of those people now have no money and few good job prospects. They are hardly valuable any longer.

Baseball has worked very hard to insure kids do not get into the game at all. Well played, majors.

EDH said...

Got the call at 6:45pm that a free ticket ($200 face value, not that expensive) was waiting for me at the Box Office on Yawkey Way. Drove through traffic (not bad by that time), paid $50 to park, and made it in time for the anthem/fly-over.

I saw a few people touting box seats for sale on the street on the way in. Don't know how much they were asking.

Excellent location behind home plate. Seats in hundred year-old ballpark are tight at the shoulders and knees. Adds to the energy when the Sox are winning. Nursing hangover this morning from the after party on Lansdowne.

Will I get a call tonight? I'm packing all my stuff this morning just in case.

Wilbur said...

Re the TV broadcasters: Do Buck and McCarver ever shut up? I can't stand to have it on more than about two or three innings before I'm ready to do an Elvis on the TV.

Does Pedroia have Tourette's or some disabilty? What's with the facial tic and OCD behavior after every pitch?

Wilbur said...

Re the TV broadcasters: Do Buck and McCarver ever shut up? I can't stand to have it on more than about two or three innings before I'm ready to do an Elvis on the TV.

Does Pedroia have Tourette's or some disabilty? What's with the facial tic and OCD behavior after every pitch?

Henry said...

@LarsPolena -- Actually it's around 11 minutes of action. Believe it or not, Football has about the same.

I blogged about this a few years ago, based on WSJ article. Quote: "Football—at least the American version—is the rare sport where it's common for the clock to run for long periods of time while nothing is happening."


Joe said...

"Football—at least the American version—is the rare sport where it's common for the clock to run for long periods of time while nothing is happening."

They must have borrowed it from the rest-of-the-world version of football where even less happens while the clock is running.

RonF said...

I was born 20 miles from Fenway and went to both my first professional baseball game and my first professional football game there. I've been a Red Sox fan ever since. Last night looked like pros playing the college kids. I think that the Cardinals will be a little less nervous tonight. You can't give a team like the Red Sox 4 and 5 outs an inning 3 times in a game and expect to win.

Sam L. said...

I refuse to threaten baseball.

cokaygne said...

Too old to watch, even my beloved Red Sox. Abolish the DH (sorry David O), use a 150 game season, mandate afternoon games in post season series, finish the whole season by Columbus Day, and don't worry about the NFL thugs.

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty's Dominick Brasha reviews the world series.

(about two minutes in)

Kirk Parker said...

"And remember, the infield fly rule benefits all Americans."

Only if they get rid of the d*amned Designated Hitter.