In the past decade, MLB suffered from a lack of interest of younger generations. Fewer kids are playing baseball as they have more sports to choose from. Next to football, soccer (real football) is emulating baseball. But with the proposed contraction of 42 minor league clubs, MLB will shoot itself in the foot in the long run.
By cutting 42 minor league clubs, MLB denies the chance to see professional baseball to many kids. These kids will not have a chance to see their favorite player work his way up through the minors to the Bigs. In other words, potential customers will be gone.
As someone in a Facebook group pointed out: The Fredrick Keys and the Hagerstown Suns are on the brink of being contracted. These teams are less than 30 miles apart. But if they will be gone, there won’t be a minor league club closer than 60 miles in the area. And for many families, minor league baseball is an affordable way to attend a game. An affordable way to escape life’s worries for a while. Many families cannot afford to attend an MLB game with the current prices of tickets and amenities.
Minor League Baseball is the ideal way to attract children. It will guide them in the direction of playing baseball. Kids in a town without a minor league team may opt for a different sport sooner.
MLB has tried to adapt the game to speed it up to attract more younger persons. Perhaps MLB is right to do so because among people between 18 and 36 only 36% is MLB fan. The average age of the MLB fan is now 57. But all these measures will be in vain if you cut the only lifeline some fans have to Major League Baseball.
Like every company, MLB is only looking for short term success, in this case saving costs. Like every company MLB is not looking to the impact this move has on the future of its product. Eventually, it will cost them dearly. And MLB can only blame itself. It doesn’t deserve any better.