Sports

Watch: Struggling MLB Team Decides Its Young Fans Aren't Allowed To Have Any Fun

Major League Baseball is in danger of having much of its viewing audience die of old age within a generation.

The average viewer of a nationally televised ballgame was 57 years old in 2016, according to the Sports Business Journal, and in 2014, just over a third of American adults between the ages of 18 and 36 said they didn’t follow baseball.

Clearly, the answer is to make baseball appealing to kids, to make going to a baseball game a fun experience and to instill in future generations a love for the game that will follow them into adulthood so they can pass on that love to their own kids.

The New York Mets appear to have taken the polar opposite route, as ESPN’s Keith Olbermann noted Friday night on Twitter.

Watch below:

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Now, maybe, just maybe, the Mets have a policy in place, possibly backed up by MLB itself, that fans behind home plate are not allowed to distract the pitcher.

And maybe that’s about sportsmanship and whatever other gimcrack excuse the Fun Police have cooked up to prevent kids from having fun at a baseball game.

No wonder all the kids love the NBA these days.

That’s Indiana Pacers fans yelling “LeBron’s gonna trade you” at Brandon Ingram as he shot free throws during a game between the Pacers and Lakers at the height of trade rumors this past season.

The entire Lakers’ roster, save for LeBron James himself, was rumored to be on the move to New Orleans in exchange for Anthony Davis.

Do you think the Mets usher should have left these kids alone?

Basketball fans sitting in a free throw shooter’s line of sight also use “Thunderstix” to create a visual distraction and a ton of noise.

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The point is that the Mets just turned the experience of going to a baseball game — and having great seats! — from a fun night out that might’ve turned a couple of kids into lifelong baseball fans into something about as much fun as going to school and being shushed by the teacher.

Oh, did I mention that the Mets had choked away a lead in the top of the eighth inning and went on to lose the game to the Cardinals, and the kids were likely just trying to get a rally going to put some fun into yet another soul-crushing loss for New York’s sad sack little baseball brother?

The story does get happier.

Siding with the kids, two young women watching the game in that same row behind home plate decided to risk the wrath of the busybody usher and make baseball fun again:

As Olbermann observed, revenge is like fried chicken:

Of course, the usher, being an employee of the New York Mets, should probably be aware of one of the team’s unofficial mascots who sat behind home plate during the 1986 World Series championship year and did exactly what those two kids were doing.

Bo Field was her name, and she’s about as famous a fan as anyone from that era this side of Morganna the Kissing Bandit:

As another fan pointed out, when one drops hundreds of dollars for seats behind home plate, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun.

Everyone who works at Citi Field should be signed up for a corporate seminar on customer service with an extra-special emphasis on marketing sports to children.

And if Fred and Jeff Wilpon, who own the Mets, can’t spend the money on that expense because they’re still wondering what Bernie Madoff did with their fortune, they need to sell the team to someone who actually cares about putting a product both on the field and in the stands that kids can grow up loving.

Meanwhile, if the kids want to have fun at a baseball game in New York City, there’s always the Staten Island Pizza Rats.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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