Life is constantly changing.
Technology is making it easier to get practically everything done in a glimpse and you’re able to communicate with your loved ones who are thousands of miles away.
While sports, for the most part, have stayed the same, it’s no secret some changes in Major League Baseball are being implemented.
From something as simple as a ginormous hot dog to more advanced analytics, there are some changes being made in baseball that will probably stay for a long time.
Outrageous ballpark food
This is one particular trend we can all get behind.
When it comes to going to the ballpark, the trip is not quite complete without a hot dog and a beer (for those of the legal age).
Lately, however, it’s been rather apparent Major League Baseball has made sure their concessions stands are larger than life and perhaps a bit questionable.
The competitive nature between ballparks has turned into some fun though.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 20, 2017
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 19, 2017
The “Chickle” is compliments of the Fresno Grizzles which is the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. While that’s not quite MLB food, they are proving the intense nature that the food world is not messing around.
There’s also The Miami South Beach Dog which is an 18-inch hot dog topped with condiments, pineapple and onion strings, served with a side of french fries located at Nationals Park. And you can get a Sunrise Dog which is perfect for a day game when you’re watching the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Mega-fans are not just your average guy or girl who casually goes to games.
We are referring to those who get there early to witness batting practice, show up to all of the fan events and who don’t mind spending a pretty penny on season tickets.
They also take the form of dads who can hold their babies while catching foul balls.
— RussellHodson2 (@RussellHodson2) December 13, 2016
What a rockstar.
These mega-fans also tend to take losses hard. When their teams lose, a part of them is lost too. But they will still be there cheering on their favorite players and not afraid to ask for hundreds of autographs, no matter how the player reacts.
For the most part, though, players cherish the connection they share with their fans and it’s always amazing to see a fan who is recognized on a first-name basis with the guys.
And if you were wondering, there were no babies harmed in the making of that tweet.
No matter what. And we mean no matter what, the one thing that will always be surrounding professional baseball is steroids and performance enhancing drugs. It doesn’t matter if years down the road the organization makes them legal (they won’t) but it’ll always be a stigma. Especially with players continuously being caught for exposing themselves to it.
This isn’t an article where we are taking a side because that could take a lot of time. But the point remains that there are deserved members who need to be in the Hall of Fame who haven’t had a chance to have their name on a plaque.
Even with that aside, there are continuous players being caught using PEDs and we have already covered the flawed drug system that expands to other sports.
It will not change.
Hall of Fame voting controversy
This is the perfect segway to a somewhat similar category and that’s Cooperstown.
The Steroid Era existed whether fans and baseball want to admit it or not, and we don’t 100 percent know who did and who did not participate in its entirety. And from the last vote, there has been an increase in letting the asterisk players into the Hall and Ryan Thibodeaux’s ballot tracker shows that.
That’s only part of the controversy, however.
There are scenarios where voters have a strange mentality towards the voting.
“Do you vote for someone who is a first-year ballot?” “If he’s on his final ballot, does he deserve a sympathy vote?”
— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) January 18, 2017
If you take a look at the decrease of acceptance over the years, it’s staggering. It’s more strict and obviously difficult to get your name associated with the best in the game.
In order to vote, you have to be a member of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America for 10 years. A decade of watching and being a part of the game and witnessing some of the great names. Let’s hope these individuals don’t take advantage of that.
Major League Baseball fan demographic
Being a fan of baseball is always a unique experience, but it seems the demographic of the fan stays the same. The average fan as of 2016 is as follows according to z2solutions:
50% are 55 or older
26% are between the age 33 – 54
70% are male
83% are white
The demographics are certainly changing, however. More females are watching and following games than ever before. In 2014, 35-percent of baseball fans were made up of women. Nowadays, it’s almost half of the total population of fans enjoying the game.
That’s wonderful news, but the sport of baseball is the least progressive in regards to fans, so don’t expect anything to change in the future.
Statcast has been a fun and new way to follow baseball. Using new technology, you can now measure exit velocity which uses radar equipment and high-resolution cameras.
“Exit velocity is one new metric out of potentially hundreds—it’s just scratching the surface of what we expect to do,” explained Cory Schwartz, MLB.com’s vice president of statistics in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
We wrote on exit velocity earlier with the players who have the hardest hit balls this season and some weren’t so surprising, but some were. That’s the beauty of Statcast. Would you be able to know Steve Souza had one of the hardest hit balls of the season? Maybe, but maybe not.
Another beauty factor for Statcast is the diversity of the crowd who love the analytic aspect. The stat-heavy gurus and the casual fans have an innovative way to follow a game. Isn’t that what the sport craves so much?
The technology factor of baseball and sports has changed dramatically and in a way that makes both the fans and athletes happy.
We recently spoke to the MLB Player’s Association about Infield Chatter which is new mobile social community that facilitates to athletes and fans. Recently, you were able to follow a chat where Eric Thames was answering your questions.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have also made it easier for us to approach these players and make it easier for fans to relate to them.
There are some negative aspects to social media that we have all been a part of, but at this point in time, we can monitor it rather easily.
From an engaging perspective, it’s now easier than ever to watch your favorite games. MLB.tv and MiLB.tv cost you an annually fee, but you don’t miss a game. Plus, some of the social media outlets we named above also make it easier to follow games as a new way to bring sports in front of you if you happen to be thousands of miles away.
Replays have made it easier to control some of those questionable calls also thanks to technology. Sometimes it is looked at a bit controversially, but it’s always nice to have that option.
Baseball’s history holds so much richness and whether it’s good or bad, we don’t tend to forget it. Whether it’s an old clip watching Jackie Robinson’s at-bat or us as a young kid enjoying a sport that is handling the changes but making sure we never forget where it’s come from.