This link was in Josh's MLB Bullets Friday, but I thought Ben McGrath's New Yorker article "The Twilight of Baseball" was worth a more extensive look.
The gist of it appears to be that McGrath thinks that baseball is in its "twilight," as the headline says, because the best player in the game -- Mike Trout -- isn't recognizable on the street, isn't someone who grabs tabloid headlines, isn't someone who excites the younger generation. McGrath writes of the popularity of baseball now:
It’s not baseball that’s doing fine, in other words; it’s the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Cardinals, the Dodgers, the Giants, the Brewers—everyone except South Florida, basically. You watch your team, but not mine—an arrangement befitting our partisan moment. What’s more, the other major team sports have made similar or, in some cases, greater proportional gains in attendance during the same supposedly triumphant period in baseball. This suggests, or at least raises the possibility that, M.L.B. owes its economic boom to little more than the Baby Boom: more people, with more disposable income. Who will fill the seats vacated by Boomers after they come up lame? Relatively speaking, baseball fans are geriatric.
I'm not sure I agree with that last sentence. And that's where you come in. I did this a number of times years ago, but now seems another good time to poll you, the BCB reader, as to your age. I know there are many readers here in their 20s and some even a bit younger, even as many are of my generation, the Baby Boom generation that McGrath claims is keeping the game afloat. There was a response to McGrath's article by Tim Marchman at Deadspin that I thought also missed the point; he claimed that a 25-year-old would have "no obvious reason" to be a baseball fan because:
He would have spent his formative years as a sports fan in the immediate aftermath of a canceled World Series, hearing that greedy players were destroying the game and that the dynastic Yankees team dominating the sport was such an affront to its competitive integrity that drastic measures had to be taken to give other teams any kind of chance at winning. He would have heard about the commissioner touring the country threatening to abolish various teams, some of them successful ones. He would have seen the league enthusiastically cooperating with a congressional investigation that all but treated many of its most famous players as criminals; the league touting an owner-written report claiming that those players were frauds, cheats, and liars; and the league and the government working together with small-time con men to destroy the very best of those players.
While all of that is true, I know many 25-year-olds who are huge baseball fans, many of them readers and frequent contributors to this very site.
There's no doubt that baseball does need to do things to continue to make itself relevant to younger generations, and I believe having a more youthful commissioner than the 80-year-old Bud Selig will help, but I do not think baseball is dying, or even in "twilight," as McGrath claims.
Please be honest in your poll vote, otherwise this exercise, which admittedly is a smallish sample size of one team's fans, won't work. No need to take that further in the comments if you don't want to, but let's make the poll as accurate as possible.