Cal Ripken Jr., MLB look to radical rule changes to breed young fans

In an attempt to create a young MLB fan base the median age of television viewership is 56 Cal Ripken Jr. wants to shake up youth baseball to energize the game.MORE: Why Ripken’s ideas stinkWe want to put out some ideas, and try some things,”Ripken said, via USA Today. Look, if someone doesn’t know how to coach baseball, it can be the most boring sport in the world, sharing one ball with eight players and a pitcher. Let’s try different elements. Hisashi Iwakuma Jersey MORE: Best all-time players at each jersey number, 1-99Those different elements could include: Starting every inning with a runner on first base Starting each inning with a different count Requiring players to steal And, switching from three outs an inning to five battersMLB commi sioner Rob Manfred, who hired Ripken as a special advisor, said kids that play baseball tend to grow up as fans. So if baseball can attract more youth players, MLB should, in theory, get younger in the stands and in front of the television in time.Let’s see how we can create action plays in baseball, Ripken said. Let a catcher block balls and throw out runners, let infielders have the potential for double plays, showcase an outfielder’s arm strength.You integrate these sort of things, you’re playing the game faster, quicker, and everyone is more energized.”MORE: Will the kids like these new spring training caps?Ripken,the namesake of younger divisions of BabeRuth Baseball, wants to test out his ideas in tournament and consolation games before making any sweeping changes. But it’s clear he wants to inject the game that made him famous with new life, saying it should have been done a long time ago.”It’s the most dynamic game around. It’s magical and fascinating once you understand it, but for kids, it’s got to be fun, he said. You have to introduce it in the right way. This delivers a country-wide initiative to get people kids to play. It doesn’t have to be in the formal sense, but in all ways, and having fun playing creative versions of it.”

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