Is the SouthCoast Still Boston Red Sox Country?
The new Major League Baseball season opens this week without much fanfare or a great deal of excitement. Are you looking forward to baseball's return?
Baseball has been through an awful lot the last few years, on and off the field, as have the fans. I'm not sure either the fans or the game are the same.
The COVID-19 pandemic had an obvious impact on baseball and baseball fans. Baseball games were played in empty stadiums and then canceled. When play resumed, crowd size was limited, and fans were forced to keep a social distance between themselves and the few other fans in the mostly-empty stadiums.
Baseball was running into trouble with some fans before the pandemic, however. Games lasting three and four hours were too much to bear for today's fast-paced society. All of a sudden, baseball was boring. The game was too slow, and efforts to speed things up weren't working out so well.
Many younger people turned to soccer, football, and basketball because they are faster and more action-packed than baseball.
Then there was the politics. Players and coaches were suddenly talking politics and refusing to represent their fans at the White House because they didn't like the occupants. Next, political slogans appeared on uniforms, stadium walls, and fields.
America's pastime was turning into a cable network news program. Ugh!
I haven't watched a baseball game since the 2019 season and was looking forward to giving it another chance. Then the lockout hit, and millionaire owners and millionaire players were unable to settle their differences, forcing a delay to the start of the new season.
The new baseball season begins tomorrow. I'll wear my Boston Red Sox hoodie and settle down with a book to watch Opening Day, but I can't guarantee the game still has the same hold on me it did just a few years ago.
Are you pumped for the new baseball season? Who will you be rooting for?