When people think of America’s favorite sport, what comes to mind? The answer has always been, traditionally at least, baseball and it brings to mind halcyon days of playing catch during the summer and watching games with your family. However, this is no longer the truth. The truth is actually that interest in baseball is waning on a national level and the MLB is both fully aware of this and scrambling to come up with ways to shore up numbers and interest in a sport that many find both boring and unnecessary.

So what is leading to this decreasing interest and investment in baseball and the MLB? The fact is the matter is that it isn’t only older people who are losing interest in the sport. Fewer and fewer young people and children are caring about baseball and it’s the cause for all the concern. As the MLB known, the best way to get young people interested in a sport is to have them play it as a child and as less and less children are interested in little leagues and youth baseball, it’s translating to fewer adults being interested.

So how is the MLB responding to this crisis? The first of many plans is to possible change some of the rules regarding how the game is played in youth leagues across the country. Two changes being considered is 5 batters per inning, regardless of outs and automatically placing a runner on first at the beginning of an inning. The MLB is also creating a new youth initiative program called “Play Ball” that’s aimed at promoting youth engagement with the sport and getting more kids to play. With an emphasis on quicker play and more fun, the MLB is hoping that children will no longer see the sport as boring and that they will grow up to appreciate baseball, therefore going to games and continuing the sport’s popularity when they’re adults. While it’s not certain that strategy will work, something needs to be done before baseball continues to lose ground to other sports and becomes just a figment of the past.

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