Apr 7, 2009

With apologies to Big Ben

I don't like baseball and that doesn't make me a bad person.

There I said it.

I'll occasionally go to a game with friends, at least once a year, and enjoy the camaraderie amongst over priced beer, bad food, and the cheers of the crowd. Still every time I bring up the fact that I'd rather watch reruns of the Golden Girls than watch baseball on TV I always get the inevitable question of why.

Well I'll tell you whether you want to hear it or not.

My grandfather was a huge fan of the national past time. He was always tuned in and cheering the players. I tired to get into it, but I just couldn't. I sat there with him and kept thinking about how I'm supposed to get excited about a batter who may or may not hit a ball after a pitcher spends what seems like 37 minutes deciding which pitch to throw.

My grandad liked other sports that I enjoy, such as boxing and football, but I believe he was always disappointed in my lack of passion for baseball. My other grandfather was equally upset at the fact that I couldn't stand watching NASCAR.

Hunter S Thompson once wrote a column for ESPN about how to make the game more exciting. Of course it's tongue in cheek, but it actually makes some sense. Below are a few things the MLB should add to the game to attract more to the sport.

1. Make the game more physical. Fielders will no longer be allowed to tag someone out. If a runner is on their way to the base the defense must tackle and take them to the ground in order for them to be called out. This will strengthen the diversity of athleticism, something baseball suffers from.
2. If a pitcher takes forever to communicate with the catcher about which pitch to throw then stiffer penalties will be in order.
3. Random land mine in the field.
4. Reduce the innings to seven. There is no reason this repetitive non-sport needs to go on for nine innings.
5. Shorten the season. This will stop making the first couple of months useless.
6. All playoffs series will only have a total of three games. Again no reason to make the first game count for nothing.
7. If a player charges the mound they must stop fighting like they're a fifth grader on the school yard. If you're going to confront a player physically you must know how to at least throw a decent punch. For every candy ass hay maker you throw the fines will increase to $5,000 per.

Now I get some decent arguments as to why I should enjoy baseball, such as:

1. There's a lot of strategy to the game - This I'm aware of, but that's not limited to baseball. There's more thinking in chess and even more planning in MMA. I love chess, but I'll never watch it. I get that most people not involved in martial arts in any manner will not enjoy sport fighting, partially because they won't get a lot of the cerebral aspects of the event, but one thing MMA has on MLB is far more athletic ability. Still it's a fair argument.
2. The feel of a homerun is exciting - This is true, but after the whole steroid movement in the mid 90s it's hardly an uncommon occurrence anymore.
3. You just don't get it you mindless numskull - Probably the best argument made to date.

Now I don't look down on people for watching the past time. If they enjoy it so be it. It's just something I've never understood.

"I'm not an athlete. I'm a professional baseball player." - John Kruk


Mattbear said...

I'm with you, man. Hate that game. Although it's positively thrilling next to cricket.

wigsf said...

Making baseball better is very simple. Here's how:
1 - replace the warning track with a moat.
and 2 -whiffle balls

JLee said...

I'm with HST on this one. haha
I used to go to Rangers games and get shit faced and flirt with the players. It was great fun but I rarely knew who won?

word verifcation: joyangl
(no kidding)