There are many children out there that look up to and aspire to be Major League Baseball players.
With a new commissioner taking over next year, the league will have to adjust and find new ways to continue expanding and strengthening their fan base, as well as keep the game on the field as strong as it can be.
According to JP Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, the Los Angeles Dodgers have some suggestions for the next commissioner, Rob Manfred:
You’ve got to keep trying to get that down,” Mattingly said. “Our demographics. You want younger kids playing, younger kids watching the game. I think those are some of the issues.”
Mattingly has been around the sport since his debut in 1982 and has been through a few rough patches in the sport. He was part of the strike in 1994 and was a coach during the Steroid Era. While there are many things that Mattingly doesn’t agree with during the current era, he knows the game has changed and allows his team to express themselves. One example is the bubble machine in the dugout.
Left fielder Carl Crawford agrees with his manager to a certain extent, but has a different target demographic:
I think we should be doing everything possible to try to get black kids playing baseball again,” he said. “The numbers are getting lower and lower every year.”
Crawford is one of the few big-name black players in the big leagues, as the percentages have dropped significantly in the past 20-30 years. The 33-year-old has even contributed to the cause, sponsoring a Little League from Chicago that is primarily black. Their 11-12 year old All-Star team reached the Little League World Series this year and is the first all-African American team in 30 years. Crawford sponsored the league after seeing their team last season that reminded him of his own team as a child.
It will be interesting to see how Manfred and the MLB will attack some of these issues.
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