Major League Baseball’s (Dire) State of the Union Address

Ben Kissam
Oct 29 · 4 min read


Mr. Commissioner, Mr. Team Owners, and my fellow baseball enthusiasts,

Recently, I went to a baseball game. And I have not been able to shake this feeling I’ve had since since I stepped foot in that half-empty stadium. I’m not proud to admit this, but I found myself feeling bad for Major League Baseball. Until that moment, I didn’t know you could do that.

Why did I feel bad for millionaires in tight pants? I think it’s because it was so obvious that baseball—if it does not change its ways—will die with this generation.

Baseball doesn’t fit in with how the way the world is moving. There were, on average, 17 seconds between pitches. Know how I know? I timed it. 17 seconds without action, in the digital age? You must want to go extinct. I watched on, helplessly, and observed rows of sighing mothers, napping fathers, and screaming children.

“Daddy, make them do something!” one child cried, looking up from his iPhone.

“I can’t, son,” ‘Daddy’ said, inhaling like middle-aged men do when awoken from a slumber. “We must wait for the next pitch.”

Where Is Baseball Now?

Major League Baseball is no longer untouchable. The world has changed. It’s not 1930 anymore. Back then, baseball was cool. But that’s because you only had three options: You watched baseball, you played Chutes & Ladders with your parents, or you listened to the radio (and the only thing to listen to was baseball).

Now, baseball is in that stage grandparents get to. You haven’t started making arrangements, but you’ve Googled some phone numbers. You’re keeping a tally of how many times they forgot your name. You don’t want to make the call; but you’re ready if you have to.

Suggestions for Improvement

Something must be done if we’re to save America’s past time. The fate of countries all over Latin America depends on baseball’s survival. Venezuela will surely crumble without it. And worse, more kids will start playing lacrosse.

I’d like to take this opportunity to make three recommendations that might change the fate of baseball.

1. Eliminate extra innings

The game I went to went into baseball’s version of overtime. They played 17 innings — almost two full games. By the end, the only people still in the stadium were the janitors and people lost on their morning commute. Even the athletes wanted to go home. It was written on their faces.

My solution: After nine innings, say fuck it and flip a coin. There’s still 160 more chances to make the playoffs.

2. Allow phones on the field

In an effort to connect with more young fans, I’d like to suggest that players be allowed to bring mobile devices on the field. Not only this, but allow the players to live stream the game from their respective position.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, why not weave technology into the fabric of the game? For example, if the shortstop makes a throw to first while streaming live on Instagram, that’s two outs. Yeah, that’ll make things more exciting.

3. Boost baseball’s sex appeal

Look at the NBA’s explosion over the last decade. This boom is, in no small part, a result of the new Nike jersey sponsorship—and those new jerseys are basically black Saran wrap with numbers painted on.

Tighten up those shorts and expose some chest hair, I say. Get the marketing department to create more form-fitting catcher’s gear. Ditch those Major League Mormon garments and start showing off the goods!

If it’s unclear (based on body type) whether a player plays baseball or works in IT, they must wear the old gear. Tentatively, I suggest naming this the Sandoval-Sabathia Agreement.

Closing Remarks

If you are on the fence about any of my suggestions, I’d like to pose a final thought. Recent polls indicate that Major League Soccer is about to pass Major League Baseball in popularity. Soccer! Remember soccer? The sport Americans refused to like because even Africa could beat us?

Another study found that 66% of people under the age of 30 believe baseball is called “America’s Pastime” because it’s past time we got rid of it.

Suffice it to say: the MLB is in a dire state of affairs.

Thank you for your time, your attention, and God bless baseball. Just don’t count on God doing much—he hasn’t answered baseball’s prayers in years.

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to

Ben Kissam

Written by

Writer, comedian, retired gym teacher.

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to

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