I hate baseball.
America’s National Pastime. And it’s past time that we got a new one. My #1 pick, football–the American kind for those of you who don’t call soccer by its real name. My #2 pick, basketball.
I pride myself on never having watched a complete Major League game in person or on TV. I’ve actually been to one Major League game that I remember, but I was so far up in a skybox that I don’t think I’d have been able to see what was going on if I wanted to–which I didn’t. So I know what I’m talking about when I say that baseball is boring.
Let’s compare baseball and basketball via time increments, because I’m there to be entertained, not lulled to sleep.
24 second clock: each team has 24 seconds to score or turnover the basketball. This usually consists of Kobe in-bounding to himself, setting his own pick, driving the lane to pass off to some other guy on Kobe’s team, who then lobs up an alley-oop for Kobe to dunk, all while avoiding the 3 second penalty in the lane.
Baseball: I think it takes at least 24 seconds for A-Rod to get to the plate from the on deck circle. There will probably be at least 24 seconds between pitches while the pitcher chews, spits, adjusts self, tosses rosin bag, cuts his eyes at runner on first, adjusts self, scratches, spits and then nods to the catcher about the pitch selection. And if my research is right and a “full count” is two strikes and three balls, which is a most unnatural state of affairs, then I’ve probably wasted about five minutes waiting for someone to man up and hit the ball only to be disappointed by a walk or a strike out.
With basketball, you get strategy: the pick-and-roll, back-door, alley-oop, fast break, three-man-weave, drop-step, zone defense, box and one, screen pass, etc. Baseball says its got strategy, but all I can see is that you’re supposed to hit the ball hard and hope that if you hit it hard enough or get enough guys to hit the ball that you can finally put a single point on the board. See, basketball you can score a regular two point field goal, a three-pointer, or if someone is mean to you, you get to stand a few feet away with no one guarding you and you get one point for those shots. And if someone hits you while you’re shooting and your shot goes in, you get a chance at an extra point.
Let’s talk about stats for a minute. Baseball has the batting average which is represented by a three-decimal place number. So, right off the bat (no pun intended) you’ve alienated anyone that didn’t do well in math. In basketball, what do we care about? How many points you scored, in increments of 1,2, and 3, and how many rebounds you made.
Now, tell me about the ERA. A baseball fan at a party started talking about somebody’s ERA, and I thought he was confusing it with an IRA, it was so complicated. I had to look this up, but apparently ERA = 9 * (Earned Runs/Innings Pitched). Looks like math to me. Don’t get me started on RBIs. I read the wikipedia entry, and it seems as if there’s some debate over what qualifies as an RBI in certain situations.
Apparently, the birth of baseball stats is credited to Henry Chadwick (October 5, 1824 – April 20, 1908).
Born in Exeter, England, and raised on cricket, Chadwick was one of the prime movers in the rise of baseball to its unprecedented popularity at the turn of the 20th century. A keen amateur statistician and professional writer, he helped sculpt the public perception of the game, as well as providing the basis for the records of team’s and player’s achievements in the form of baseball statistics. –wikipedia.org
I’m a little disturbed that our “national naptime” was seemingly invented by a cricket afficionado from across the pond. I’m surprised we don’t have a 4th inning tea time. Upon further research, it appears that baseball was wholly invented and popularized in England. Basketball however, was invented in the United States, by James Naismith, who though Canadian-born, was in the good ol’ US when he started teaching Americans how to play it.
Really, I think the only parts of baseball I like, are the dizzy bat race and the hotdogs. Other than that, I hate baseball.
Joey Bag O’Donuts