Each year, early June can be a roller coaster of emotions for college and high school baseball players from around the country. With only 40 rounds in the MLB draft (not counting compensation rounds), hundreds of prospects unfortunately go undrafted each year. For college seniors, not being drafted could mean the end of a career; forcing them to hang it up and leave the game they’ve dedicated their lives to for the past decade or so. Of course, players who don’t get drafted have other options. Independent ball offers a way for guys to hold onto the dream of playing in the MLB, but chances of going from the Frontier League to the St. Louis Cardinals are slim to none. In 2012, outfielder Tanner Leighton, the #4 ranked NAIA prospect in the country from The Masters College in California was one of many players in the independent ball system who had been in contact with scouts during his college tenure, yet had no luck come June.
After a season of Independent ball, playing with both the Washington Wilds Things and London Rippers, Leighton went to play winter ball in Australia. It was in Australia, after speaking with a friend who asked Leighton, “would you rather see small town America or the world,” the decision to venture overseas was an easy one. Tanner soon found himself playing for the Solingen Alligators of the German Bundesliga (top league in Germany) in the spring of 2013 and returned this year for the spring of 2014 as well. Continue reading
Major League Baseball (MLB) has finally decided on a new Commissioner. Bud Selig, who has been the Commissioner since 1992, is retiring and Rob Manfred will take over on January 25, 2015. Manfred, who is a lawyer focuses on labor and employment law, and is also a business executive. He worked with MLB during the collective bargaining sessions and was the main spokesperson during the 1994–95 strike. He was outside counsel to the owners group before joining MLB on a full-time basis in 1998, serving as the Executive Vice President of Economics and League Affairs. He has served as the Chief Operating Officer of MLB since 2013.
Although baseball is strong financially right now, and growing, there are still several issues facing the new Commissioner. Let’s take a look at a few issues that need to be addressed as soon as Manfred takes office.
Currently average attendance is at about 30,500 fans per game, which is not far from the record of 32,785 set in 2007, before the recession. But, baseball will need to find ways to shorten the game to continue to increase attendance at all stadiums and even TV viewership.
Attention spans are shorter than ever these days, and that will only increase with the next generation of sports fans. Thirty years ago the average time of a game was around 2 hours and 35 minutes. This season, through last Sunday’s games, it has increased to 3 hours 2 minutes, which would be the longest season average on record. Everyone, including players, owners, and even umpires understands this problem. Continue reading
Well the baseball hitting stats continue to trend downwards in 2014. We see it all over baseball most teams have such a hard time scoring runs. Let’s break it down.
Remember the slogan chicks love the love long ball. Well they aren’t digging it now. Home Runs are down about 10 Percent this year. There are 0.87 HR‘s per game. Last year it was 0.96 and in 2012 it was 1.02. If we go back a few years as a big picture comparison in 2006 it was 1.11 (down 22%) & in 2000 it was 1.17 (down 26%). Obviously the new PED program has had an effect and there have been some new ballparks that have been more pitcher friendly such as the Mets, Twins. Marlins and Cardinals to name a few. But in essence power hitters are becoming at a premium.
Runs per game so far this year is in slight decline at 4.09 runs per game compared to last years number of 4.17. However when you compare this years number to 2012 of 4.32 (down 5.5%) there is a difference. When we go back to 2006 when it was 4.86 runs per game (down 16%) & 2000 when it was 5.14 (down 20%) it is a stark difference. Continue reading