The landscape of sports is something that is constantly changing.
Those who refuse to change with it, will be relegated to irrelevancy. Gone are the days of players appealing to fans simply based on their statistics.
A player’s batting average only means so much in the current sports scene. Today, it takes more than simply being a good athlete to grab the attention of America’s youth. This newer generation of sports fans are looking for individuals they can relate to. Someone whom they feel is more than just a solid athlete.
Obviously, hardcore MLB fans don’t need excessive displays of personality to become invested into a particular game or team. Though, most would agree, it certainly adds an interesting element. The NBA is thriving because of this. People want personality in their sports.
The element of drama can add a significant amount of intrigue into an event which would otherwise be deemed skippable. In some cases, these personalities can out-shadow the teams themselves. Meaning, a player can be a bigger draw than the franchise. This is common in basketball and sometimes football, as well.
Could you imagine if baseball had similar personalities that could rival those of the NBA and NFL?
At this time, the only one who currently comes close is Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers. His wacky and goofy antics are adored by many, but his cockiness and, what some perceive as arrogance, are viewed as a turnoff for others. What’s undeniable about Puig is that he gets people talking–which is something that no Padre player ever does.
Our boys are constantly perceived as being one of the most uninteresting franchises in sports. Having some players with interesting personalities or a certain flare may be what this team needs in order to be thrust into the national spotlight. Wil Myers is our biggest name, but does anyone know much about him? I understand if you like your privacy and would like to keep your personal life as private as possible, but maybe push to be a little interesting. Perhaps use social media in an effort to connect to fans a little bit or go out and do some commercials of some sort.
This city is desperate for a hero. We don’t ask for much. Just show us that you like us, and enjoy our little city, and we’ll be as supportive as possible.
Many other Latin players continue to bring that type of energy into the game, yet baseball “purists” frown upon this and are latching on to their sport being labeled as a gentleman’s game. This is the type of thinking that has let other sports pass up baseball in the last few decades as far as popularity goes.
The thought that showing emotion or personality on the field will result in a fastball aimed at your ribs is something that needs to change for the sake of the future of the game. The unwritten rule that a player will face retaliation for showing emotion needs to become a written rule and then have that written rule crumpled up and thrown into the garbage.
If game five of the 2017 World Series showed us anything, it’s that baseball can be really, really fun. Sometimes. If it’s allowed to be, that is.
Game five showed a human element to the game that is rarely seen due to the traditions that continue to prohibit this sport from re-emerging into the forefront of American entertainment. The city of San Diego and the Padres are in a unique position. Being so close to the border of Mexico, there should be a real opportunity to bring a substantial amount of Latino fans to Petco.
However, the Padres have little traction in Mexico compared to a team like the Dodgers. Being in such close proximity, the Padres shouldn’t have such an issue bringing in those Latino fans, especially considering the high volume of Latino players that have been and will be coming to the big league club. Unfortunately, the Dodgers have a much longer track record of success, which is what truly brings fans to a team, regardless of location. Even so, the Padres are preparing to take on a huge influx of Latino players that are planning to make their way through the minor league system. Allowing these players to be themselves and to show the real emotion that baseball can bring out of all people will be hugely important when it comes to the community embracing this team.
For many of these Latino players, baseball is their whole life. Without it, they’re unable to feed themselves or their family. If they aren’t able to produce or impress enough in their respective hometown leagues, they’ll be forced to stay on their island or homeland and continue to live in borderline poverty, or even worse. So it’s understandable that these players would show so much emotion and passion throughout these games. It really is everything to them. Those are the types of players that are on their way to San Diego. The Padres should do everything in their power to let these players be themselves and allow fans to gravitate towards them for reasons other than their statistics. The rest of MLB should do the same to ensure that the relevancy of baseball doesn’t continue to diminish.