Unfortunately for baseball, scoring is moving in the opposite direction with games averaging 8.28 runs per game, the lowest mark in 23 years and down 2.0 runs per game (19.5%) in just the last 14 years.
This combination creates a scary scene for baseball. Either of these lines by themselves would not necessarily be bad. But when you put them together, it shows how much trouble baseball is in.
Baseball fans will put up with long games with lots of scoring. They will also put up with low scoring games as long as they are quick. What fans won’t tolerate is long games with no scoring and that’s where baseball is right now.
There is no shortage of reasons for the lack of scoring (steroid testing, defensive shifts) or the longer games (emphasis on getting on base, taking pitches, expanded replay) and a million theories on how to fix them. But if MLB can’t figure out how to reverse one or both of these trends, the sport will continue to lose ground to other sports in the minds of North American sports fans.
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