Saturday, January 30, 2016

What Will MLB Look Like in 10 Years?

Think about this for a second, as we sit here waiting on the snow to melt and the calendar to change and the 2016 regular MLB season to kick off just how much has changed in the last 10 seasons? How did Major League Baseball look back in the 2006 season when the Yankees were just beginning their downslide out of the Dynasty and when Joe Torre was just starting to feel the hot seat in the dugout? What was the state of the Yankees like when George Steinbrenner was aging and was finally willing to give some of the power back to Brian Cashman rather than fiddling with the day to day operations? Look at the Yankees lineup, only one man stands here on both lineup cards in Alex Rodriguez. Imagine how different this team will look and how different the landscape of Major League Baseball will look in another 10 years or so.

Commissioner Rob Manfred took over the top job in the sport from Bud Selig a little over one calendar year ago and look how much he has changed already. Instant replay has not only been enacted but expanded as well. Protective netting is going up around all 30 MLB ballparks to protect the fans, pace of play is being tweaked and pitch clocks are being used in the minor leagues. There’s also talk of adding the DH position to the National League, expanding the brand into Mexico, London, Cuba and other hot spots across the globe and streaming of MLB games is even going to become a thing in China of all places in 2017. The game and the brand is changing while the sport remains the same but what about in another 10 years?

Will we even have or need umpires? Honestly in 10 years we probably will but who is to say we will before my life comes to an end? With all the cameras and technology flying around the ballpark these days what’s the need?

You want to talk about MLB International, where do you think the games will be played in another 10 years? Whether regular season games or exhibition games as a part of spring training schedules I can totally see games being played all over Europe, South America, Canada, Asia, hell why not even Australia? The game is more global than it’s ever been and there are no signs of slowing down.

How does one grow a global game in a global market? International free agents help but within 10 years I feel like we will absolutely have an international draft that will happen after the regular season. You will still have your amateur draft in June but after the season while the Winter League games and leagues are being played there will be an International Draft as well.

Any game, any time, any device on any part of this green planet. If you thought MLB TV was great wait until you see the future. No more being blacked out because your local FOX station didn’t pick up your local game and no more using the whole “I was out of the country” as an excuse to miss a game. Everything will be at your fingertips and the Jetsons will be jealous.

Finally I think we may be seeing steps, even baby steps, in the self-driving vehicle department. Audi has already released a self-driving and self-parking car and many brands have cars that can parallel park themselves but how does this affect baseball? You ever try to park at the parking lots right up there close to the stadium? Easy way to drop 50 bucks or more for top games, I know I paid $40 in Atlanta to see the Yankees last year and that was with a mile and a half walk at least. With cars that can drive and park themselves new stadiums may opt to have parking farther away from the stadium and fill the closer sections with merchandise stands and concessions.

Will any of these happen? That I obviously cannot predict, I’m far from a prophet, but these are some of the things I can see happening in the sport in the next 10 years. I hope I’m still here ranting and raving and blogging about it then to tell you all I told you so. To the future, Marty!

1 comment:

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)