Trevor Bauer voiced his displeasure toward MLB commissioner Rob Manfred regarding the reported changes to the league's postseason with a scathing tweet on Monday. For good measure, the Cincinnati Reds right-hander sat down for a nearly seven-minute long rant on the state of the league.
Set off by the possibility of an altered playoff system that would involve more wild card teams, an extra round and a selection show, Bauer used the angst to shift the conversation to MLB's lack of media proclivity, which he feels is at the root of hindering the growth of the game.
Indeed, MLB has a stringent social media policy when it comes to sharing highlights. Bauer made the point that while Steph Curry’s 3-pointers flood timelines, Mike Trout’s home-run-stealing catch takes a while to reach the same social media platforms.
"You make some money upfront and you miss a generation of fans," he said in the video produced by his media company, Momentum. "The game is losing popularity, especially amongst young people."
Bauer pointed out the league's centralized media company in MLB Advance Media, which controls the vast majority of league's multimedia content, and the abundance of blackouts in local markets through MLB.TV.
"As the commissioner, figure it out man … how are we supposed to get them interested in the game when they can’t even see the damn game?" Bauer said. "And on top of that, they cant even go to Twitter, where all the young people hang out."
Bauer did offer to meet with Manfred to discuss media strategies that he feels will help. Aside from a revamped media strategy, Bauer said, MLB should abandon its crusade against game length and the color of players' cleats and instead focus on players' personalities.
"Market the players. You have more players in baseball than any other league, with much more diverse backgrounds worldwide. … it’s the least marketable because you make stupid decisions about how you market the players," the 29-year-old said. "You don’t open it up. Let content go. Get it out there.
"Where’s the innovation in content? Where’s the next thing that’s going to draw fans in? … Who’s identifying with the young fans?"
He made one last overture to Manfred before the video ended.
"Hit me up. I’m sure you can contact me," he said. "I’m sure you’ll probably be fining me."
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