Should MLB Put Independent Baseball Under Its Umbrella?

Devon TeepleAnalyst IJuly 25, 2011

Recently, I have been inquiring as to whether Major League Baseball is doing enough on the marketing side to compete with the likes of the NFL and NBA. 

All signs point to no. 

Anytime you turn on the television, baseball seems to be the sport left out. America’s game, in the eyes of the media, is no longer baseball. 

This game is entrenched in history, tradition and statistics. So heavily reliant upon numbers that no other sport can ever compete with it. This is not something we can take lightly. With over 150 years of statistics, legends and memories, that has to count for something right? 

Well, why not increase the folklore of the game with the little publicized tradition and history of independent baseball. 

The history of indy baseball dates back to the early 1900s, yet there is not much talk about it in the mainstream media, or even in the daily sports discussions around the water cooler. If Major League Baseball is not in a position to compete with the Roger Goodell and David Stern conglomerates, stick to what you have built and dominate the market at what you do best. 

Baseball is all about tradition; grandfather-to-father-to-son and so on—family entertainment that has been enjoyed for generations. Isn’t that the indy motto; family entertainment, small towns, a rich history and the game itself? 

More than 73 million people packed the seats during the 2010 MLB season. What does that mean? Revenue in excess of $7 billion! With billions in the answer you have to ask whether they can afford to buy up all the independent leagues and use that as a feeder system to the minor system that is already in place? 

With payrolls in the thousands, MLB could purchase the best of the best from each league or quite possibly set up the leagues in a tier system of importance. With improvements to the stadiums, and more advertising, it will only increase fan support to where it is currently lacking. 

And why not pursue the interest in the game’s heritage with a play on what the independent game is; old-style baseball played the way it used to be. The players might not be the most talented, but there are times when heart will outplay the most gifted athletes.

Those succeeding expectations would obviously garner interest from the pro scouts which could only draw more attention from the local fans. 

For those interested or think an idea like this is even possible, contact me at devon@thegmsperspective.com , I would love to hear your thoughts on the idea.

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective.

Devon is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals and Gateway Grizzlies, and is now an independent scout.