All sports go through major changes over the years. It's the only way they can stay relevant and entice younger fans, and baseball isn't the exception to that rule. In fact, the game is favoring the offense now more than ever, and it's not usual to see a good-old pitching duel as we witnessed back in the day. Now, it's all about speeding the game up, putting runs on the scoreboard, and hitting as many home runs as you can, with players even speculating that the Major League Baseball 'juiced' the new baseballs.
That has some old-school fans drifting away from the game they used to love. They claim that it's not fun anymore and that players aren't taught the fundamentals of true winning baseball as they did back in the day.
That seems to be the case with former Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz, as he recently criticized today's game and the players' approach during a lengthy interview with the Boston Globe.
David Ortiz Calls Out Today's Trainers And Criticizes Modern Baseball
(Transcript via The Boston Globe)
“To me, it’s messed up. The game has changed a lot. Coaches only want kids to hit home runs and that’s all they practice because they want to get paid. We used to want to develop great hitters. Now it’s all strikeouts with some home runs and it’s straight-up f*cking boring. If you could bet in Vegas that the next hitter was going to strike out, you’d take it every time.
I struck out 100 times a few times in my career and I was [upset]. Now everybody does it. I see kids now taking BP and all they work on is running into a home run. Everybody is swinging out of their ass.
It’s not good for the game. If there’s a runner on first, you want to use that hole and hit the ball to right field. Then the runner has the opportunity to go to third and can score on an out or even a wild pitch. That’s how I was taught to play. We used to be criticized for taking big swings in certain situations. Now that’s all they want every time. It’s hard to watch for me.
(...) I’m not saying you have to play small ball. But if somebody is in scoring position, you should adjust and not just try to run into one. Hitters give themselves up too easily. The game is more fun when there are people on the bases," Ortiz said.
While younger fans may not agree with the Dominican legend's opinions, there's gotta be some truth to it. Players aren't looking to make contact anymore, they just want to blast the ball over the fences.
At the end of the day, it's all about adapting or perishing, so there aren't going to be many players with Ortiz's approach to the game. And they wonder why the league's ratings are dropping by the year.