Baseball, Americas Favorite Nap, er, Pasttime
One would easily sum up the whole of who I am by saying that I am a Video Gamer. That description doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m opposed to watching sporting events. That said… I’m not a fan. I humored my beautiful wife by accompanying her to a Dodger game tonight and I made a few observations I thought I’d share.
Baseball fans are incredibly fickle. In the first inning of a game that had already gone on for 30 minutes (more on that later), left fielder Manny Ramirez failed to grab a ball chopping his way and the fans, hometown fans mind you, booed him for it. I couldn’t figure out why Los Angeles fans, attending a game in Los Angeles to cheer on the Los Angeles Dodgers would be booing someone on their own team. So I turned to my wife, a baseball nut, and simply asked “why?”. She explained that Ramirez had just recently been suspended for violating steroids policy, missing 50 games and pissing off a lot of Dodger fans. I thought: “Makes sense. Shows integrity and a respect for the sport”. The inning ends and now the Dodgers are up. Mr. Ramirez steps up to bat and the fans go nuts, cheering and screaming like he’s Superman. Wait…what? Not five minutes ago these same 15 thousand people were chastising him for what most consider cheating. I guess I just missed something.
Baseball is boring. Oh sure, getting together with a group of people and actually playing is a great way to enjoy an afternoon, but spectating a professional game is a dull, dragging experience sparsely speckled by adrenaline spurts when someone makes it to base or plucks a speeding ball from the air. Argue my point if you like but I supply the following evidence:
- I was told by a fellow writer that I would enjoy the game much more if I followed it by writing in each stat as it happened. So, accounting makes it more enjoyable? Riiight.
- Baseball is the only sport I’ve experienced where people pay 15 bucks to park, 20 bucks for a ticket, 5 bucks for a hot dog and 4 for a drink to then ultimately entertain themselves. Cheers and boos were louder when a 49 cent beach ball fell over to a lower row or ‘the wave’ ended prematurely than anytime a player hit a double.
- Games have apparently resorted to showing film trailers to keep the fans from leaving.
- The game rarely actually comes to an end before people begin to leave the ball park. As soon as there’s a sufficient lead on either side, half the fans take the opportunity to get on the road to beat traffic.
Baseball is long. This one’s a given that even true fans will admit to. I was informed by the writer I mentioned earlier that the MLBA made it a point this year to make the game go faster. Part of the adjustments made…allow plays to be reviewed by referees to determine validity. So during the top of the 1st inning, when a player knocks a ball to the back wall and it bounds off the top before an outfielder grabs it, the umpires have to walk up to the press booth to review the film. 15 minutes later, nothing has changed and they keep playing. GET ON WITH IT!
Now, I’m not even really a fan of sports video games, and let’s face it, I clearly enjoy complaining. The company and the conversation was good, so I suppose that’s whats really important. It helps to go with a group of 15. Beyond that though, I just don’t get it.
Someone boot up Halo, stat.