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A modern measure of baseball's relevance

Wednesday, I fisked a long New York Times column that argued for baseball's irrelevance. Thursday, National Public Radio's On Point program devoted an entire hour to the subject, and I was honored to join the show down the stretch. I've now said most of what I feel compelled to say, but just a couple of other items before we become immersed in some hot Division Series action ...

First, here's a gentleman named Howard Cosell, writing in 1969 about baseball's present and future irrelevance:

The modern leadership must realize that the inherent appeal of professional football lies in the characteristics of swiftness and violence. The inherent appeal of motor racing, which draws so many millions of people in the country every year, lies in swiftness and violence. The inherent appeal of basketball at both the professional and college levels lies, to a lesser degree, in its swiftness and to a very considerable degree, especially under the basket, its violence.

Baseball simply hasn't kept pace in this area...

Yeah, that's the problem: Baseball just isn't swift enough or violent enough!

So yeah, that was almost 45 years ago. Now, an item from just this afternoon:

Irrelevance, my ass.