Major league breakout?

With the fallout of sign stealing, lower viewership, attendance dropping year after year and even the possibility of robot umpires, the 2020 season will make or break the future of the MLB.

According to, the total attendance in the MLB has declined in six of the last seven seasons and has fallen below 70 million for a second consecutive season, which is the league’s lowest since 2003.

Even though less people are attending games, this doesn’t take away from the fact that less people are watching the games at home.

Television viewers during the World Series, more specifically on FOX, have decreased by an average of 8,935,000 viewers since 2016.

I have a recommendation for the MLB to fix this attendance problem. Give more national recognition to the best MLB players!

The NBA constantly highlights Zion Williamson and Lebron James in ESPN commercials at least once a week. If the MLB wants to increase attendance and viewership, they should promote their elite players like Mike Trout and Christian Yelich.

The next problem that the MLB will face in 2020 is the fallout of sign stealing. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer have both been extremely critical of how the MLB has handled the infamous Astros cheating scandal.

If the MLB expects players to forgive and forget what the Astros have done, they are surely wrong. We may have already seen what will happen throughout the season, and we’re still in spring training.

At the start of spring training, the Astros were hit by a pitch seven times through five games, which was the most by far at the time. 

The MLB has already said that punishments will be extremely harsh if any pitcher were to hit an Astros player intentionally. 

This may be a bad look on the MLB, but the media will have a blast covering tension between the Astros and the rest of the league. This could also increase viewers, so though it may be a bad look, it could have a somewhat positive impact on the future of the MLB.

The last thing that the MLB could potentially change is the umpires. Umpires are the people that baseball fans across the world love to hate, but soon these despised people may not even be PEOPLE.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that robot umpires would arrive in select minor league parks in 2020. The main point of robot umpires is to decrease the amount of incorrect calls. As much as I hate missed calls, this is not the route to go.

The thing that makes sports great is the humanistic mistakes that are made by both players and umpires. If baseball was completely perfect, the entertainment value throughout the season would certainly decrease. 

As of right now, the MLB is America’s third favorite pro sports league, trailing the NBA and NFL. On Feb. 26, LAFC lead owner Larry Berg came out and said that the MLS will overtake the MLB in a matter of 10 years.

The difference between the MLS and the MLB is that the MLS loves to expand whereas the MLB seems to be scared or hesitant of expanding. The last MLB team that relocated was the Montreal Expos, who moved to D.C. and became the Washington Nationals in 2005. In the MLS, there seems to be a new team every year.

If the MLB doesn’t do anything to change their current ways, Berg’s claim may very well be true.

The MLB is not new to shortening their seasons. The league has a long history of strikes and lockouts.

The first strike happened in 1972, when players caused the season to lose 86 games that were never replayed. Another strike occurred in 1973. The MLB locked the players out of spring training, but games later resumed in late February after the players and owners agreed to a three-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The next large strike happened in 1981. After games played on June 11, the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) went on strike, and games didn’t resume until Aug. 10.  

After all these situations, the largest lockout of all didn’t happen until the 1994-95 season. In 1994, the MLB season ended on Aug. 11, and, yes, it completely ended this time! There was no postseason, and there was no World Series. This was the first time in American sports history that an entire postseason was canceled due to a labor dispute. 

Even after going through the rest of the 1994 season without a postseason, baseball fans had to wait even longer for a game. Baseball in 1995 did not begin until April 25, almost a month after the season would normally start. Instead of the normal 162-game schedule, the MLB season consisted of a 144-game schedule.

Though no labor disputes look to be in the future of the MLB, some other monster may be lurking: The coronavirus!

The MLB officially suspended spring training and the start of the 2020 season on March 12, following suit with the other major North American sports.

After this pandemic, there may not even be an MLB season! The true break of the MLB season could be the coronavirus. 

There are a lot of important things riding on this 2020 MLB season. With that being said, MLB, please do not implement robots and punish players for speaking out against the Astros, promote your best players and do what is needed to ensure that fans, staff and players are healthy from the coronavirus.