I am a Red Sox fan. I am not a baseball enthusiast.
I’m not Matthew George and I am not Buster Olney.
Those two guys could tell you what size L. A. Gear pump sneakers Jerry Hairston, Jr. wore in the third grade. I can’t.
Sure, I have some baseball knowledge, don’t get me wrong. For example, I can tell you that Nolan Ryan had seven no hitters. I can tell you that Robinson Cano just inked a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners (that contract is laughable, by the way).
But even more importantly, I can tell you that Rollie Fingers had the best mustache in the game. Ever. No contest.
I am not here to break down logistics and statistics. No, my services have been retained by Seeds All Day for one reason, and one reason only – to bring interesting opinion and commentary with a little bit of attitude.
If you’re looking for the “Prince Fielder is 1-for-18 with runners on first and third when Doug Fister is on the mound” type of analysis, don’t come to me. Brandon Mattingly or Matthew George could hit you up with that (though I do know that Fister and Fielder have both been traded by the Tigers this offseason. See, I told you I had some knowledge).
Today, my mission is simple. I’m here to start a movement, one that will put an end to one of baseball’s biggest injustices of late. What I am here to tell you is that Major League Baseball needs more mustache!
Lets be honest. Baseball fans are becoming few and far between nowadays. Is it because games last in excess of three hours and people don’t want to invest that much time in a sporting event? Is it because people haven’t gotten the MLB strike that occurred back in 1994 -95 that revealed just how greedy the owners and players had become? Is it disgust with the game’s seedy steroid-filled past and the ongoing allegations of PED use? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a psychic. I’m just a fan.
But whatever it is, fans like me are already scarce. I hate to break it to you all, but baseball is just not America’s favorite pastime anymore. But it could become that again. It just needs some added spunk. It needs more liveliness.
It needs more mustache!
When David Stern took over as commissioner of the NBA on February 1, 1984, he brought a little special something to a game that previously had been lacking in marketability, advertising and overall interest to the American public (the NBA is my sport, so get used to these cross-references). Stern revolutionized the NBA. Lots of charity work, lots of marketing big-time NBA stars, lots of “getting it” was instilled into the NBA.
Where has Bud Selig been? Why hasn’t he taken notes? Has he been too busy stalking Alex Rodriguez? I don’t know but baseball is down and we need to bring it back to that previous level of prestige it still had during the 70’s and 80’s. How can we do it? The same way as that gloriously mustachioed Stern did for the NBA in the 80s. Marketing.
Let’s look at the biggest superstar for one of the least marketable franchises in the league as an example – Evan Longoria, the 28 year old third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays. If baseball were to go all-out in a marketing campaign centered on this guy, it would help Tampa’s attendance and MLB’s overall image (We all know Tampa’s attendance ranks among the worst in MLB). Why not, right? He’s a good looking guy, can hit the ball a mile and women would like to stare at him for countless hours on end. Put him in a commercial, slick his hair back, let him hit the long ball and show fans screaming his name holding up signs bearing his name and likeness. Market. Market. Market. And if you slap a mustache on that beautiful mug, I guarantee you’ll get folks talking about him around the water coolers at work.
By now, some of you may be saying, “Hey Kyle, the MLB is not the NBA. Our sport is timeless. Our sport is traditional. Our sport is historical. We don’t need that kind of marketing. The game is fine the way it is.”
Really? Well ask yourself this: How many friends do you have that sit around and watch a full three-hour baseball game routinely? We are a busy society. This is not the 80’s. We have smart phones and tablets and the Internet and computers that consume our lives. We have lots of things to do. You know what we don’t have lots of? Time. The game of baseball takes a lot of time to play, and to get people to invest their time we need to give them a reason to do so. So lets spunk it up, let’s idolize the superstars, let’s get baseball back on the throne.
Remember ole’ Rollie Fingers? Of course you do. Remember what team he played for? Hell no. Remember if he was a Hall of Famer? Do you know how many total wins he ended his career with or what his best single season ERA was? Of course you don’t. Remember that mustache? Hell yeah, you do.
That thing should have its own Wikipedia page. Glorious. Majestic. The greatest of all time. We need more of that in the game today. We need more standout players that we can talk about, not just because they have a high on-base percentage or WAR. We remember things like awesome mustaches way longer than we remember some 55-home run season a guy posted. Why? Because mustaches are funny. They make us laugh. They bring character to the game.
Character is that one element in sports that gets embedded into the mind and never leaves. We use it for comparisons in every day life; the 55 home run season is just a boring number. We don’t remember that; it’s not important to the average fan. We need to bring the average fan’s interest back to the MLB. We need to bring the mustache back! Bud Selig, take notes.These are my opinions, if you don’t like them I don’t care. They are my opinions, not yours.