Baseball is a sport that has been around since the late 1800s. With its roots in America, baseball is one of the most popular sports in the country. But with recent changes to the game, it’s not hard to see why it might be struggling.
The espn is a sports website that covers professional baseball. The game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres provided a glimpse into how baseball is killing itself, while flourishing at the same time.
The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 in a game that lasted 16 innings and almost six hours. The term “marathon” had previously been used to describe games, but this one lasted until almost 4 a.m. ET. It was a thrilling baseball game by all accounts. Extra-inning home runs by superstars, momentum shifts (often in the same inning), and hours of suspense were all part of the game. It was also a great illustration of why the sport is both dying and expanding.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres are two of baseball’s most popular and well-known teams. Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the game’s brightest and most intriguing rising superstars, plays for the Padres. Walker Buehler, one of baseball’s finest young pitchers, began for the Dodgers. Los Angeles is vying for a division title, while San Diego is one game behind the Cincinnati Reds for the last wildcard berth. The game was equipped with everything it need, as well as everything it lacked. It was a microcosm of all that was good and bad about baseball in the year 2024.
The game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres lasted almost six hours and sixteen innings.
Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres smashes a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 15th inning of a baseball game | Poroy/Getty Images
It was a game that began at 8 p.m. ET and lasted until 3 a.m. ET before the Dodgers won 5-3 against the Padres. San Diego took the lead in the bottom of the second inning, but Los Angeles knotted the game in the top of the eighth. No one scored again until LA’s Billy McKinney and Trea Turner drove in runs in the 15th inning.
However, Tatis tied the game again in the bottom of the 15th inning with a spectacular two-run homer to right. In the top of the 16th, AJ Pollock blasted his own two-run home run to put the Dodgers ahead, before Shane Greene closed the door in the bottom of the 16th to give LA the two-run victory.
According to SI.com, the game’s official run length was 5 hours and 49 minutes.
In terms of innings played, the longest game in baseball history is 26 innings, according to MLB.com. Due to darkness, the game between the Brooklyn Robins and the Boston Braves in 1920 finished in a draw. When the Chicago White Sox defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 in 1984, it was the longest game in terms of time, lasting 8 hours and 6 minutes across two days.
The game between the Dodgers and the Padres was a great illustration of how baseball is dying while yet expanding.
In terms of jersey sales, LA and San Diego have four of the top five most popular players in baseball. Based on Nike Jersey sales from MLBShop.com, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers are top and second. According to MLB.com, Tatis is third, while Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers is fifth. Tatis also appeared on the cover of the video game MLB The Show this year.
Star power, drama, clutch home runs, and bat flips abound in this 16-inning battle. Everything a baseball fan could desire in a game. However, it lasted almost six hours and included 12 innings in which neither side scored – everything a baseball fan dislikes.
It would be comparable to a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots in overtime. Unless the game went twice as long and no one scored for three quarters.
MLB is now battling these two diametrically opposed forces. The sport’s top names are involved in thrilling and important matches. The following morning’s headlines, though, aren’t about who did what or what the final score was; they’re about how long the game was.
Baseball must tread a thin line between retaining existing fans and attracting new ones.
According to SI.com, MLB implemented a number of rule changes for the 2024 season, including a baseball intended to reduce home runs, starting extra innings with a runner on second base to shorten games (oops), and reducing defensive shifts. Baseball is testing a 15-second pitch clock and an automated strike zone in the minor leagues, which would remove umpires. All of these regulations are in place to make the game easier to play and more enjoyable.
Baseball, more than any other sport, must tread a thin line when it comes to change. For more than a century, the game has been played. Baseball fans value records beyond all else; they see them as holy. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa shattered Roger Maris’ single-season home run record of 61. (blew past it, actually). Then came Barry Bonds, who shattered Hank Aaron’s single-season home run record. Because the new records were “tainted,” they all had asterisks next to them. Perhaps, but when McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds were smashing balls out of parks left and right, baseball’s popularity skyrocketed.
However, things must alter in some way. How many individuals under 30 stayed up all night to watch that 16-inning game? In a relative sense, probably not many. Even as younger and more colorful stars gain appeal, baseball is losing its sheen. Baseball is obviously losing its goal if a game with all the ingredients of an all-timer is mainly noteworthy due to its duration rather than its drama.
MLB.com provided all data and statistics.
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The padres schedule is a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. It was played on April 30th, 2018 in San Diego. It provided a glimpse into how baseball is killing itself and flourishing at the same time.
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