Responding to fan complaints that playoff games routinely run past midnight, making it impossible for anyone in the eastern time zone under the age of 16 or over the age of 55 to watch, MLB has moved the start-times up to 7:57 PM eastern time. MLB claims that 40 minutes earlier, but by my math it's more like 30.
Either way: whoop-de-doo.
By the time you get through the extended commercial breaks, games still don't finish until after midnight. And should a game turn out to be really exciting, the walk-off home run people should be talking about 20 years later will be seen by relatively few viewers. Those viewers will likely be people who are already completely dedicated to baseball, and the recruitment of new fans will continue to dwindle.
When my kids were younger it was impossible for them to stay up past about the third inning. That's like going to a play and leaving after Act One. After a while, you wonder what all the fuss is about. Baseball's desire to get their games into west coast prime time certainly cured my kids of any interest in the sport, and is doubtless doing the same for thousands upon thousands of others.
The short-sightedness of baseball owners is as appalling as it is consistent. Remember: this is the same group that refused to let radio broadcast games, since it would cause people to stay home from the park. They resisted television for the same reason, for years making sure that people would only see games they weren't interested in. Now they're limiting the growth of their potential fan base in order to make a few short-term bucks.
The result of all this is going to be: more soccer. Jeez I hate soccer.