What is the #1 thing you think should be changed with baseball right now?
Maria Formisano and I go way back. I was her first sponsor for her first radio show. As the Director of Sports Marketing for Herman's Sporting Goods, she was an integral part of Steiner Sports staying afloat during the early days.
Maria is a fan of the blog, and she recently wrote me a blog and asked if it was okay to share it. Given that she worked for MLB and is an avid baseball fan, I always respected her opinion on the game.
With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a week, what better time to talk baseball than right now!
Baseball or Bust
What is it about baseball? Is it that it starts in the spring when we are ready for something new, then takes us through summer, when we’re relaxed and want a simple sports pleasure that only an outing at the ballpark can satisfy? Is it because it piques the romantic side in some, the social and rowdiness in others, or the analytical senses in those who seek to dissect each at bat? Surely other sports can evoke some of the same feelings, but for baseball fans everywhere, I understand.
I spent 9 years working at Major League Baseball in the Office of the Commissioner, hired by Peter Ueberroth in 1985, and worked under his leadership and subsequently that of Commissioners Fay Vincent and Bart Giamatti, respectively. Those were cool years to be in sports, right at the start of sports marketing, during which I had life changing experiences, made lifelong friendships, learned a ton and grew to love the game.
Everything Changes but Stays the Same
Now, I can see the differences in the game from that period compared to the sport as it’s played today – most connoisseurs of the game can, and I have my opinion about a lot of it. And, it is interesting to see, and at times hard to ignore, how the two worlds collide. But, what’s at heart of the differences, boils down to essentially NOTHING. Really? Yes.
Strat-O-Matic is basically today’s version of fantasy baseball, the fans in the stands are passionate - regardless of their age group – hat tip to the millennials, the radio announcers of yesteryear are now analysts - both in the booth and on radio, who are interpreting strategy and execution, and the players are relying on talent - their own as well as their teammates - and the resources and tools they have at their disposal, to win. Each perspective comes with its own unique position, if you will, and it is what is keeping the game of baseball alive.
What’s at the heart of the differences is the same thing that unites all of it; the love of the game.
See you at the ballpark! Let’s play two!
Maria Formisano is a business management executive, living and working in New York City and is a freelance contributing writer and editor.
Quote of the Day: “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” - Yogi Berra
Song of the Day: "Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight & The Pips
*My latest book; "Living on Purpose: Stories about Faith, Fortune and Fitness that will lead you to an Extraordinary Life", is NOW available! Click here!*