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Alienating The Fanbase
Greetings from The Booth!
It’s a great time to be a Hornet. Shenandoah University Women’s Basketball are the ODAC Champs after completing a 3-day run through the conference tournament this past weekend, taking down the 5, 1, and 2 seeds on the way to the crown. Sunday’s win against Randolph-Macon gave SU a 22-5 mark, which is the best in program history. Now it’s on to Lexington, Kentucky this Friday to play another Virginia team, Southern Virginia, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It’s been a fun ride–let’s hope it lasts a little longer.
Meanwhile the nationally-ranked Hornet baseball team is off to a 7-1 start, and are number 18 in the country as of this writing. Death, taxes, and Shenandoah Baseball. Get out to the newly-renovated Bridgeforth Field for a game or two this Spring and cheer on one of the best programs in the country.
Speaking of baseball, it’s not a great time to be a fan. Once again, MLB and the players are at odds as we head into the 2022 season. That season will probably not start on time, due to the bogged-down talks between the two sides. I’m probably being simplistic, but this is about MONEY. It always is. In the COVID year of 2020, the players showed their greed while the owners paid them for playing in front of no one. In 2021, limited crowds were allowed back into the ballparks, but MLB got political by moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Colorado, in effect hurting lots of people and surrounding businesses in already tough times. In each of those years, my passion for the game eroded.
This year, MLB may have lost me for good, and that’s saying something. I have always come back to baseball. Through the strikes, steroid era, and my general interest in other things, I have always kissed and made up with the grand old game. I’m not so sure I can do that again. While the National’s Juan Soto says no to a $350 million offer from the team to stay with the ballclub, the average fan is struggling to put gas in his vehicle and food on the table. How much is enough?
I’m not sure MLB knows that it is facing a crisis. Baseball’s demographic is traditionally older and is shrinking. A youthful, time-starved America has little time for the pastoral game of baseball, while older fans like me are being turned off by the constant bickering between billionaires and millionaires.
For Major League Baseball, it’s the bottom of the ninth, and they’re down to their last strike.
Until the next visit from The Booth…GO HORNET LADIES!