- Tim Burke
Fixing Baseball Part 2: Star Recognition
I have recently been catching up on baseball podcasts and I came across an interview with Astros third baseman, Alex Bregman on Starting 9. He was talking about how football players wear masks yet they are more recognized than baseball players whose faces you can see everyday. The design of the game baseball really weakens their star recognition. The best pitchers only pitch every fifth day and the best hitters only hit three to four times a game. In hockey, basketball, and football the best players play at least a third of the game. Even when the best hitters are at the plate they are not successful the majority of the time. Baseball is in the entertainment industry. The lack of marketing and use of it stars prevents the entertainment of a lot of people. Baseball needs to address and try to find solutions to this problem. The best way to boost star power in the MLB is helping their players market themselves.
Athletes like PK Subban in the NHL market their brand extremely well. Whether it is through social media or his youtube videos, there are endless cool and funny PK Subban videos online. I became a fan of his when I watched those videos and following him on social media. The NHL misses an opportunity in not making him the face of the league. He is a fun, exciting and caring person who is also an incredible athlete. He can be a role model for young hockey fans everywhere. The MLB also has this problem. Alex Bregman is one of the best athletes on and off the field the game has to offer. The guy should be a major sports celebrity. He’s one of the coolest athletes in sports and he basically has to market himself and try to grow his sport by himself. The NBA has so much player driven marketing. Astros ace Justin Verlander said, “I don’t think MLB should leave it to the players to market themselves through other avenues. (Manfred’s) saying that Mike Trout doesn’t do a good enough job marketing — but it’s not on Mike Trout. It’s on Major League Baseball." That is coming from one of the best pitchers baseball has seen in the last fifteen years. If baseball wants to grow the games they should market players for young people to look up to like Bregman, Betts, Trout, Acuna,Verlander; the list goes on for miles. It should not be on the players to grow the game all by themselves. The NBA has so much player driven marketing. That is entertaining for fans. If MLB does not want to be a "dying" sport they need to step up their marketing game. It’s stupid, cheap, and short sited on the MLB’s part not to. If they want to grow the game the MLB needs to step in.
PSA: Check out the Youtube channel for Alex Bregman in the link below. Bregman can be a role model for young baseball fans everywhere. he should be the next face of baseball.