Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Driving The Lane: America’s Sport?

Ah yes, it’s finally here: The opening week of the Major League Baseball regular season. From the sweet smell of freshly cut grass to the loud crack of the bat, everything is perfect as the greatest sport in the world is back for another long season. All teams are given a fresh slate, and the numerous woes of last season are soon forgotten. And as a Red Sox fan, there is certainly a lot to forget after last year’s disaster of a season.

But one thing is missing in the world of baseball: The college game. I know college baseball is popular in some areas of the country, but in others it’s almost nonexistent. Can you tell me where your favorite baseball player went to school? I know that Dustin Pedroia went to Arizona State, but that’s only because I looked it up.

I understand that there are many reasons why college baseball isn’t as popular as other sports. For one, the best players in college basketball and college football can make an immediate impact when they move up to the professional level.

But in baseball, this is rarely the case. For even the best of players, it takes some time in the minor leagues before they are ready to move up to the big-league club. Also, many of the best players in the MLB never even went to college. A lot of them just went straight from high school to the minors. But this doesn’t mean that college baseball shouldn’t be more popular.

There are three main reasons why I watch college sports. The first is to support my school. I do wish BU had a varsity baseball team, but until we get a football team I won’t complain about anything else. The second reason is to watch the evolution of my favorite players’ careers. I love being able to talk about watching Kevin Durant’s sweet jump shot at Texas. I love being about to talk about watching Adrian Peterson running the football for Oklahoma. I wish I could talk about watching Tom Brady at Michigan, but unfortunately that was a bit before my time. But I can honestly say that I’ve never seen the college careers of any MLB players, and this is a serious problem.

I also watch college sports to see each sport in its purest form, before the players are tainted by paychecks and contract negotiations. I love watching college basketball players play their hearts out during March Madness, not for anything with a dollar sign, but for the love of the game and school pride.

But if you’re like me and can’t get enough baseball, your only option on television is the big leagues. I love professional baseball, but sometimes the player salaries make me sick. Did you know that A-Rod will make more money this year than the entire 25-man roster of the Houston Astros? That’s absolutely disgusting.

But other than the College World Series, it’s almost impossible to ever find a college baseball game on television. This needs to change. I want to hear the loud ping of a metal bat. I want to see promising young players before they are corrupted by millions of dollars. I want to see the evolution of great players as they go from college to the pros.

I’m looking at you, ESPN. You need to start covering more college baseball. I guarantee that if you started showing more college baseball games that the popularity of the sport would increase.

And if you’re worried about the ratings, do you honestly think you’re better off showing bowling on Sundays instead of college baseball games?

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