Save The Game Featured in USA Today
What MLB and the players union aren’t talking about during their heated labor talks is the game itself, and how to fix it.
Whenever they reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the pay structures for young players may be vastly different, with mechanisms to assure that teams won’t intentionally lose to collect high draft picks, but the game on the field is staying the same.
There will be no pitch clock. No banning of the shift. Nothing to create more action. There won’t be any fundamental change at all except for a universal DH.
It’s enough to make former minor-leaguer Kevin Gallagher, former major-leaguer Jeff Frye, and the folks at Save the Game scream.
They are re-launching (savethegameus.com) their website this week, and going on a national marketing campaign. They’re trying to make their voices heard by collecting one million signatures on their petition, and marching to the MLB offices in New York to command an audience.
“Baseball may be MLB’s business,” Gallagher says, “but it’s our game, the fans. They are killing the future.
“We want to bring change to baseball and make sure the game stays relevant.”
Gallagher has spoken to more than 100 former players and current and former executives who are privately backing him on the project. They’re disgusted by the same thing they’re seeing:
Youth participation is down.
Attendance is plummeting.
TV viewership is dreadful.
“The kids aren’t playing because they changed the fundamentals of the game,” Gallagher says. “We have a generation of parents that don’t have a connection to baseball because their kids aren’t playing. Instead of see the ball, hit the ball, it’s all about shifting the game to the power game where there’s little action with all of the launch angles and dynamics.
“So instead of playing baseball or watching it, they’re going to the NFL, NBA, video games, UFC, MMA, Netflix. They go to where the action is, and it’s not baseball.”