It’s no secret that Major League Baseball is concerned about its future growth potential and its ability to connect with younger demographics. Increased strikeout rates and shifts have dulled on-field action and despite efforts to increase pace of play, it still very much remains an issue, so much so that it was one of several items discussed at this week’s owners’ meetings.
Despite this, I would argue that the league’s biggest obstacle in resonating with younger sports fans is itself. For instance, it is a GIFT when a fascinating two-year-old video mysteriously surfaces on social media of a manager losing his fucking mind at an umpire after a failed retaliation. This here is a gift:
Why don't we get a shot? MLB did nothing to that guy, Terry Collins going ballistic on #MLB umpire
The Audio Of Terry Collins Unleashing A Million F-Bombs On An Umpire After Noah Syndergaard Got Ejected For Pitching Behind Chase Utley In 2016#mets #terrycollins #NoahSyndergaard pic.twitter.com/1EQeUEmhN0
— New York Raw Crowd (@NYRawCrowd) June 14, 2018
You probably know by now that Chase Utley blew up the leg of Mets infielder Ruben Tejada during the 2015 MLB postseason. Utley was initially suspended for two games, but that ruling was later overturned on appeal, and the Mets decided to take matters into their own hands. That’s INTERESTING. There’s profanity. There’s emotion. There’s intrigue. Moreover, there’s an authenticity to the video that unveils the game’s unspoken codes and unwritten rules and makes them lucid to the average consumer.
Baseball should want this. The video even makes former Mets manager Terry Collins, who has the likability of a wasp, seem somewhat favorable. So, of course, it’s no surprise that the league is apparently working to scrub the video from the internet. From Philly.com:
Manfred also told the New York Post he was “disappointed” that the audio was leaked, and that it was important for the league to figure out how it ended up on social media.
“Getting angry about that, there’s not really much of a point in that,” Manfred said. “I think it’s more important that we make clear to our employees that we’re doing everything possible to live up to our agreement, and that we figure out how it happened so it doesn’t happen again.”
Yeah, definitely wouldn’t want a compelling video that generates some fun buzz around the game floating around out there. That’s about right.