MIAMI, FL - JUNE 29: Umpires Ryan Blakney and Marty Foster go over a replay during a game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets at Marlins Park on June 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

With the start of the 2018 Major League Baseball season only two months away, MLB is still trying to attract a younger fanbase. Despite several rule changes – like instant replay – the past couple of years, baseball is still losing the younger generation. In this post, we’ll examine three areas the MLB could touch up to appeal more to younger fans.

Three Areas of the Game That MLB Needs To Improve Upon In 2018

1. Timeouts

Let’s face it, despite the recent rule changes the past couple of years, there are still too many timeouts and breaks in the action. Baseball games increased four extra minutes in 2018 compared to 2017. The average length of time in 2018 was 3 hours and 5 minutes. This certainly does not help working people or young people in school.

First of all, catchers take way too many trips to the mound. Also, batters are stepping out of the batter’s box way too many times. Umpires are also calling way too many timeouts. Simply reduce the trips to the mound and umpires calling timeouts. They are just boring for the fans, plain and simple.

The simple solution could be to have the timeouts controlled by the manager and umpires. As far as hitters stepping out, have the hitters only be allowed to step out of the box once. Plus, you could also eliminate the number of trips by the catcher. When the relief pitcher comes in that’s it. If the pitcher and catcher aren’t on the same page have an infielder come over and calm him down one time only.

2. Instant Replay

The addition of instant replay another area that significantly contributed to the extended length of time of games. With each manager having one timeout per game, instant replay needs to be controlled by the umpires and not replay office in New York. This is one of the reasons fans are getting bored at games and most of the time leaving early. Let the umpires discuss the issue and keep it in-house. Last season, for example, there were 1400 challenges and 660 of them were overturned. Discussing reviews together as an umpiring unit would be fair for both sides.

3. More Promotions

The biggest reason MLB is not attracting more younger fans is that there aren’t enough reasons for them to like it. One idea is to have more ticket giveaways or on-field promotions. Let the fans meet the product by having more players available for autographs like at Spring Training. It certainly won’t interfere with the length of games as this would be pregame, and it may only help the game.

In order to attract the younger generation baseball needs to be creative. Baseball is still one of the greatest pastimes all over the world. Rather than implementing more and more rule changes and boring the fans, more promotions could be the big game changer.

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My name is Robert Phaneuf and I live in Lowell, Mass. I am sixty years old married for 35 years with two children a bassett hound a cat. Iam a passionate Boston sports blogger. I wrote for my high school newspaper plus played football for almost two. State champs in NH 1974. Happy to be part of Last Word on Hockey.Looking forward to meeting some people. THANKS Bob