Are brawls good or bad for baseball’s image and popularity?

It is no surprise that over the last few decades’ baseball has had a viewership problem. Many have argued that baseball is dying because the games were taking too long and the pitching had been becoming too dominant. This idea has changed over the last few years with young, exciting hitters such as Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, and Mike Trout crushing balls all over the yard. The mantra “Make baseball Fun again” has started a movement among the younger generation of players who are going against the unwritten rules of baseball. There is one unwritten rule that has been a staple in baseball since its inception back in the 1800’s and that involves the bench clearing brawl. When two players start a fight on the field and both teams join in, you have a bench clearing brawl. This happens when emotions are running high and one team believes they are being insulted. It could be because of an intentional hit by pitch, maybe it was a dirty slide, or maybe somebody just said the wrong thing to the wrong person. No matter the case, we have seen a surge in bench clearing incidents in baseball. These brawls are definitely a plus for the game of baseball. Whether it is a home-run battle or a group of new rivalries, baseball should welcome the increase in interest.

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Sure, I understand that these are grown men and they should be setting an example on the field for the young kids in the stands. I don’t believe that teams need to be fighting every game, this isn’t hockey. However the brawls create tension, they create  a perception of animosity towards other teams and this creates a competitive atmosphere for teams.  Brawls and the rivalry they create makes a compelling atmosphere for the players and fans alike. You live for those games in which your favorite teams plays your most hated team because you want to win that bad. The players play harder because they feel the same way. Brawls can create rivalries or renew long-standing rivalries. The potential for a brawl makes watching the games more fun, knowing that at any moment, one slip up could result in  your next batter taking a 98 MPH fastball in the back.

 

In just two short weeks of the season we have already had two major fisticuffs instances with the Padres and Rockies, and the Red Sox and Yankees. Both of these instances, happened with teams who play in the same division and will have to face each other another 16 times throughout the season. Every single one of these games now will be more competitive and more interesting to watch because there will be price to pay. Baseball is not a sport where things are forgotten, they can be remembered for days, weeks and even years. Now I’m sure there are people out there who disagree, they’ll say you’re making a mockery of baseball and ruining its image. They’ll tell you you’re disrespecting the game. That if you get hit by a pitch, intentionally or not, you should take it like a man, walk down to first base and rub some dirt on it, well to them I would say, Obviously, you’ve never been hit with a 97 MPH fastball.

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!