Ben and Sam discuss Tom Verducci's suggested ways to make baseball better.

Link to article discussed on today's podcast

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In my opinion, none of Tom Verducci's suggestion will attract nearly as many fans as a player like Yasiel Puig could.

Players like Puig with personality, some flash and some attitude reflect so much of the youth culture that Verducci dismisses as ruining the sport. Give the kids a hero to get excited about. The majority of baseball players are so boring they're not attractive to an older audience, they're attractive to that same audience that has always liked their ball players to be vanilla ice cream, i.e. older folks. Look at Cano, even with Jay-Z on his arm he just makes me want to take a nap, and then tweet about my nap.

If baseball wants to attract younger and more diverse (i.e. non-white)audience then you need folks like Puig. Playing for LA, having a breakout season, pissing off the old guard with some of his actions and personality. Then you need someone like Nike to launch a campaign similar to the "you don't know Bo" campaign. It also kind of makes me think about the effect that the Fab Four had on attracting a younger and blacker audience to college basketball because here are some folks who reflect their culture and their personalities and are making a splash.

Baseball should do more to put the Harpers, Romos, Trouts, Fernadez's out there in non-baseball, popular culture settings. Even the Bill Lee's and Brian Wilsons help. I know a kid who only got interested in baseball after he saw an article about a long haired, phenomenal pitcher get busted for having some weed on him. As of present day he's a huge fan, but it took someone like Lincecum to get him in the door. Give the kids some heroes, make MLB more of an identity. When you are 10- 18 years old you want heroes who are rock stars and the majority of baseball players are boring and so the sport remains isolated to those already converted.

Correction: I meant "The Fab Five" for Michigan and in my first paragraph meant that "majority of baseball players are so boring they're not attractive to a YOUNGER audience."
Viva Puig
I absolutely want to see a "Summer Game" type event. Look at the huge success that has been the Winter Classic in hockey and the related Stadium Series this year. It can work. And it should happen.