The metaphor containing facets of jovial linearity illustrates just how insane the ecosystem has devolved outside of the Metaverse and ChatGPT. Real life is now a digital comic book with writers from “The Simpsons” providing the ironic accents to a divine satirical gonzo production of irreverence.
Between the four Bud Light distributors groveling about forthcoming profit losses and the five suburban ladies populating the dive bar on an obscure Thursday with a baseball game droning on in the background, the tapestry of Americana was never no surreal.
Bud Light and baseball, baseball and Bud Light. The cosmic match made in heaven, as regular patrons would sip to the irregular ebbs and flow of a languishing game, the cadence of pint glasses crashing against the coaster at the bar top an indication that the dog days of Summer had arrived. Protocol has been superseded by a contrived randomness or at least a latent grasp at innovation that has thoroughly been absent for the last thirty years. Where other professional leagues have adapted, MLB has echoed the fate of the Dodo in succumbing to Darwinian inclinations.
Just in the nick of time to witness the powers that be at the MLB headquarters instituting radical changes to regular season contests, the one of the world’s most prodigious beer brand, chose to crater to the Transgender community in a bold move that has already alienated lifetime customers and drinkers of the glorified water and traditional chaser for shots consumed between innings. With pitchers now facing a pitch clock, a limit to throws to bases with runners on, and the actual bases ballooned in total area, the first three weeks of the fledgling season have seen an actual rhythm and flow to a sport previously defined by tedious idiosyncrasies and implacable affliction of obsessive compulsive disorder. In a staggering show of efficiency and a testament to streamlining, the average length of a 9-inning game is now 2:36, trimmed from 3:06 last year, the 16% percent decrease taking the grueling marathon element out of the rugged formula for a mere evening that possibly lasts well into the night. Coupled with the expanded domain of the bases, and limiting factors restricting the previous nanny state monitoring of runners, the product is attempting to redefine itself from the boom or bust environment of strikeouts to homeruns. Once again, manufacturing runs will be a vital component of how games are won and emphasize the prolonged trends that can either equate to a postseason birth, or another listless campaign.
With analytics and AI heavily influencing strategy, as stolen bases were virtually extinct over the last five years, the reinvigoration of urgency intertwined into the daunting regular season creates intriguing narratives in an otherwise meaningless schedule for the bulk of an official campaign. However, the perplexing decision of Anheuser-Busch to tarnish a mutualistic relationship synonymous with the promise of escape for the average sports fans remains a disconcerting treatise.
In the maelstrom of the National Anthem protests in 2017, the National Football League learned the hard lesson that politics and sports are not conducive to fandom, a model of business operations ultimately costing the league billions of dollars. As the stubborn dinosaur tendencies of the MLB have finally coalesced into the very fabric of the cutting-edge, the partnership and future collaboration with a beverage brand that has clearly gone rogue, must be examined thoroughly by league executives, as any gains made in the offseason are threatened to by nullified by the characteristics of extremism.
While the first former major leaguer has yet to cross the picket line and join a women’s fastpitch softball roster as the number one ace, chugging a beer now requires during a nine inning affair now requires some complex planning that involves orbital calculations and solving Maxwellian fields, as simply enjoying oneself in a minefield of a social dynamic becomes a premium. As the pitch clock era begins, much like the shot clock in basketball and the play clock in football, the structure of the action was permanently altered. Baseball is no longer about outlasting the opponent and testing the resolve of the fan, but a universal construct that has finally succumbed to modernity and along with conforming to the information age, will no longer rely on alcohol and sundries to author an intriguing narrative on an otherwise mundane and blistering July day.