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13 strikes against blacks in baseball

1. Kids prefer basketball.ÊIt's played at a faster pace than baseball, and it's easier to get a game of hoops going.

2. The NBA is a big influence.ÊBig money, hip-hop environment, visible stars, high school players are able to bypass college.

3. More Hispanics and Japanese are playing pro baseball.

4. Coaches want kids to specialize, focusing year-round on one sport.

5. Baseball is becoming too expensive for many young blacks to play.

6. Portland has the Trail Blazers, but there's no major league baseball team for kids to identify with.

7. Baseball is a spring sport in Oregon,Êwhich means rainy, cold weather.

8. There's a lack of quality baseball diamonds.

9. Few blacks are coaching local baseball.

10. There's a trickledown effect from major league baseball's base of white, Asian and Hispanic fans.

11. There's a lack of baseball academies and developmental

programs.

12. Baseball now emphasizes slugging over running.

13. Video games