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Is Major League Baseball dying?
I guess we need to define “dying” in context of baseball and where the sport is headed. The old Big J newspaper baseball journalists here are convinced it’s not “dying” based on one poll taken where fans were asked about their favorite sport.
Meanwhile, I can’t drive by a single park in a 100-mile radius (or more) where a pickup game of baseball is being played or where a game of home-run derby is being played. I cannot drive by Hardscrabble Little League where I played as a kid in Clayton, OH (which was, at the time it folded, the oldest Little League in Ohio) and see games being played. They ran out of players. It was a travesty to see that Little League fold.
I’ve written many times about how that park was straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
There’s a stream flowing right through the middle of the park, which sits in a valley. To enter, you have to drive down a big hill where kids used to walk down for the Opening Day parade each year. There were big trees everywhere. Old trees. The major diamond had a Green Monster in right field with massive trees behind the fence. Left field had a tennis court behind the fence. The big hitters measured home runs not by if they cleared the fence, but whether their home runs reached the tennis court or the top of the trees.
The dugouts are sunken. Back then, there was a 20-foot-high cinder-block press box. It felt like being on a grand stage for 10, 11 & 12 year olds.
Now the park is home to a travel ball team that plays there sporadically. There’s no youth league.
Yes, I get population shifts and how the Texas readers are going to email me to say youth baseball travel ball “labs” are PACKED outside Houston and Dallas. I get that there are travel ball headquarters across this country that are LOADED with Jeep Commander-driving moms who LOVE travel ball and suckin’ down vodka Red Bulls at the park while their kids play “ball” while they gossip with all the other travel ball moms about which beaches they’re going to in July when the travel ball schedule slows down.
Based on my unscientific brain, I believe the fabric of baseball in this country is at the local level and that fabric is being ripped out by the year which will ultimately have an adverse effect on Major League Baseball. And don’t get me started on the average price for a family of four to attend a game. It was $204.76 in 2022. Is that a recipe for growth?
Perhaps I’m wrong and the Big Js are right. I’ll tell you what, you guys tell me what you’re seeing at the ground level where you live. Is baseball dying? Unlike Bruce Jenkins from the San Francisco Chronicle who has written about baseball his entire life, I’m more than willing to be wrong.
“Professional baseball is on the wane. Salaries must come down or the interest of the public must be increased in some way.” – Al Spalding, 1886— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) March 3, 2023
People have been saying baseball is “dying” for over a century. It’s nowhere close to dead and isn’t headed that way.
Screencaps Spring Break In Savannah
• Jason R. in California writes:
First off, I had to think about the best thing that happened to me in Feb. Then it hit me. I gave up Facebook for Lent. Loving it. Loving the idea of monthly input from the community.
Secondly, glad to hear you’re heading to Savannah. My brother and I were able to visit friends there March ’21 and had an absolute blast. The history, architecture, spanish moss in the old oak trees, and Southern hospitality were all things this born and raised CA boy thoroughly enjoyed. A quick list of some of my favorite places were:
Service Brewing Co: Veteran owned. Enough said.
Treylor Park: Back patio was preferred. Treylor Park Nachos Grande were killer. Reminded me of the nacho IG’s you used to post. The PB&J wings are surprisingly awesome. Good Bloody Mary for hair of the dog. Our friend knows the owner. Good guy. Has 2 other places in town also. Fun fact: They are the 2nd largest purchaser of waffle fries in GA behind Chick Fil A (see nachos).
Abe’s on Lincoln: Great place to grab a tall PBR to walk around with. Yes, you can walk around town with adult beverages. I think you’d love to see the inside of that place too.
The Olde Pink House: Very cool place to walk through with your PBR.
Common on Broughton: Had an Old Fashioned with bourbon infused bacon and oysters. Yum.
Savannah Taphouse: Great place to catch March Madness.
Sounds like you’re missing St. Patrick’s day by a week like we did. Supposed to be one of the best celebrations in this great country.
Thank you for the suggestions, Jason.
I’m very excited to get to Savannah to see what the buzz is about. My old buddy who used to live down the road from us here in Ohio is now a professor at Georgia Southern who plays music in Savannah bars and on Tybee Island. I’ve recevied too many messages from him over the years about how great it is. Now it’s time to see if the hype holds up to his flurry of messages singing the praises.
The Ts in Italy on a Saturday
• Mike T. is out and about today over in Italy where it’s just another day of pumping out 20k steps. Up first, the bakery!
And how about a mid-day snack from a pizza hotspot. That tile looks like what we bought from Costco for our basement. Pizza bro has great taste.
Keep up with the Ts here!
Emily Elizabeth burnout?
• Kevin R. in Maryland writes:
With the third day in a row of my recent favorite Emily E. I am worried about GHBS – Gracie Hunt Burnout Syndrome. This is when one influencer is posted multiple days in a row. Sooner or later all of their posts start blending together and burning us out.
Now in the case of EE, she seems to be a little bit more pleasant then Gracie Hunt, Less rub it in your face, look at me, if you will. May I make the recommendation that’s similar to what many fans feel about the Super Bowl: City Rotation Los Angeles, Arizona, New Orleans, Tampa and Miami – are my five.
This would create anticipation of the next block of EE, Hanna_c, Hildee (I prefer Natalee.007), Katrina P,Paige – you get the drift. This would give room to legends that pop up from time to time, fresh faces and other community favorites.
Thanks for keeping up the great posting on the daily.
Trust me, I had a tough editorial decision to make going to the Emily Elizabeth well three times this week. I just felt like there wasn’t another more-deserving IG model out there who should get that Friday slot when EE was in the mood to dump out so much Spring Break content. Had to strike while the iron was hot.
Business traveler Andy from Tennessee checks in
You guys helped Andy with how to travel like a pro in 2023 and there’s a positive update to share.
• Andy writes:
I completed my first work trip up to my new office in VA and it was a breeze thanks to the advice of the ScreenCaps community! I am still working on nailing the airport timing. The Knoxville airport is so small that there is never a line for security, and I got pre-check so I zipped right through.
I didn’t have enough experience going through Dulles yet so I padded my time a bit too much, but since I also got the United card (again thanks to the advice) I just went to the United Club and got free food, relaxed, and read Outkick while I waited to go to my gate. All in all, I can report a great success on the first outing.
TNML advice needed
Rory M. writes:
Don’t know why I didn’t come to the TNML sooner for this.
I have a 2015 Troy Bilt riding mower w/ 15.5HP Briggs & Stratton motor. At the last cut of 2022 it wouldn’t even turn over. Not so much as a click when turning the key. I changed the battery & still nothing. Since it was off season I periodically made attempts to troubleshoot after watching numerous youtube vids.
So far I’ve changed battery, ignition, solenoid, starter mower, confirmed fuses are good and the grounds are good. Still nothing. Asking TNML for help. My lawn will go from being able to cut in 45mins to taking 3+ hours of bagging with a push mower if I can’t get it running.
That beast must get the job done in record time
• Dave C. writes:
I thought the members of TNML would be interested in this lawnmower build. This article is from a Hot Rod magazine. I know that it will cut the mowing time for those people with large acre mowing fields.
They will also have bragging rights for the fastest lawnmower in their neighborhood. There is a scan in the upper right corner of the article that will give them the plans on how to take on a project like this. If anyone from TNML is interested in taking on a project like this, I’m in SC but if needed, I would be willing to travel and help them make this project a reality.
Unfortunately, I’m not good enough with a welder, but I can provide muscle and engine work.
Let’s go to Texas for a proper Texas-style send-off for a girls basketball team
Julio C. writes:
Gruver, Texas (pop. 1162) in far far North Texas, just had a spectacular send-off for its girls’ basketball team as it travels to the state semifinals.
Love small-town America.
Of course you want to know what happened to the Gruver girls’ team after such a send-off. You’re damn right they went to San Antonio and took care of business Friday in the state semifinals. The girls play today at 1:30 CT for a state championship.
I’ll check with Julio, but based on his message, I have to believe he has a connection to the girls’ team. I speak for the rest of the Screencaps community when I say it’s time for Gruver to win the state title so we get a video of the team bus returning home.
Well done by everyone involved.
And that’s it for this first Saturday in March. Let’s go have a productive day. I have a fence panel to reattach to posts after the crazy storm that rolled through here last night. The winds were 45 mph out of the northeast off Lake Erie which always means bad news.
Take care, have a great weekend and we’ll reconvene Monday morning.