With three-hour games and generally just short bursts of action, baseball has received growing criticism for being boring, but Los Angeles Dodgers free agent Joe Kelly is out to break that narrative.
Kelly is part of a group that created the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” social media brand (@PoutingIsCool on Twitter and @BaseballIsntBoring on Instagram). Kelly and his friends “are on a mission to prove that baseball is awesome in so many ways.”
Although there was a trend of viewership going down in 2019 and 2020, the numbers rebounded in 2021, including the Dodgers’ own SportsNet LA, which recorded their highest-ever ratings for all of the network’s programming, posting a 12% increase in household rating.
However, numbers are down from where they have been in the past while sports such as football and basketball continue to grow in popularity. This has left Kelly wanting to remind people that baseball is a fun sport and show the younger generations how great it is, via the “Live BP” podcast:
“If you’ve ever watched Major League Baseball, it’s very exciting. For my two minutes of game play, I think the fans enjoy it and have a great time. But what has been a trend around baseball, it’s not getting as many views and it’s not as interesting to younger kids nowadays. It’s not as interesting to me as a baseball player, actually. But our mantra is going to be to bring back the love and passion for the game.
“The only way to get to that part of it is to make baseball fun again. I think if we can do this as a whole, as a collective, as a fanbase, as players, as owners, team staff, if we can bring the game back to where it once was, where ratings were skyrocketing, I think there’s some very cool ideas we can do as a collective group to make baseball fun again.”
With the sport currently under lockdown, Kelly is encouraging fans to share the moments that make them love the game and prove why baseball isn’t boring. The best responses can even win prizes:
“I’m rallying the troops. We need to play baseball, obviously. But since there’s no baseball as of now, we need to show support and I think we need to connect more with our fans. Especially with them not being too happy with what’s going on with the situation. We need to bring light to baseball. There’s little things we’re going to be doing in trying to lead the revolution. We’re going to make some shirts, some swag, and we kind of want to have that fan interaction with everyone out there, especially on social media accounts.
“I wouldn’t call it a challenge — well, I guess it is a challenge — but it’s more of contest to show why baseball isn’t boring. Myself, when I’m not playing the game of baseball, I think it’s boring. But when I am playing the game of baseball, it’s definitely not boring. There’s always something interesting that can happen with whatever game I’m part of. So we want to see from everyone out there: give me your best video, or give me your best quote, or tag an old photo, tag an old brawl, tag anything. Just give us a reason why baseball isn’t boring so we can get this little conversation going and hopefully lead a revolution of changing the game of baseball.”
The right-hander was previously involved in one of baseball’s most memorable moments during the 2020 season when he struck out Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and made apouting face to mock Correa as he walked off the mound. It led to both benches clearing and Kelly receiving a suspension.
Dodgers ‘in the mix’ to re-sign Kelly
Although the Dodgers decided not to pick up his $12 million option and make him a free agent, the 33-year-old could still return to L.A.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the Dodgers would “very much be in the mix” to re-sign the reliever because the club loves the energy and competitiveness he brings to the team.
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