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Why I hate baseball...A rant

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Postby DeadWinterDay » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:35 pm

Tavish wrote:Funny, I love baseball for almost the exact reasons you dislike it. I love the pace, I love that the game unfolds in its own time. Every other sport tries to force the drama of a game on you with a clock. Baseball plays outside of the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life. I deal with a timeclock every day at work. Get this and that done before 4PM, take your break at noon. Baseball simply says here is what has to be done. Sit back, relax, enjoy a beer, enjoy the day, we'll get there when we get there.

The batter/pitcher matchup can be one of the most intriguing and intense sporting event. The hitter guessing what the pitcher is going to do, the pitcher trying to fool the hitter. Great fastball hitters against power pitchers, crafty veterans against young studs. Clemens buzzing Piazza, Pujols glaring out at Lidge, anyone trying to squeeze a pitch into Bonds' strikezone without him putting it into the Cove. And while all that is going on you have the cat and mouse game of Pierre on first trying to find out exactly how far he can push his lead, the infielders moving back and forth from their stances, players in the batters box watching everything the pitcher does trying to gain an advantage. And thats all before the crack of the bat on contact when the field becomes alive with organized chaos. Runners scrambling around the bases, infielders diving for balls just out of their reach then quickly moving to cover their base or cutoff the throw, the catcher tossing the mask and moving up to block the plate, outfielders preparing to throw a rocket to home. The dust settles, everyone gets ready to do it all again.


That was.....the most...beautiful...thing...I've ever read.

Tear jerking. Really.


No sport comes close to baseball. Not even football, which, even though I also love it with a passion I consider it nothing when lined up next to baseball.

It's a game where stats are followed religiously, used to give even the tiniest of advantages. Everything you do in baseball is strategy, and that is why I love it so much.
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Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:21 am

There's a few things about baseball that I love that nobody's mentioned yet:

1. The 162-game season- Many people find it boring, but I find it truly exciting. In football, every game is a huge game, and all the best players play in every game. Baseball is the only sport where starters are given an off-day, or where managers have to care whether or not they bring in their star closer. In basketball, the stars (Kobe, McGrady,etc.) play every game, and they play 3/4 of every game unless it happens to be a blowout. In baseball, sometimes a team will choose to go without their best player for a whole game. This is especially true of pitching. How often do you see Kobe taken out for the last shot in a close game, because he's already been in this situation the past 4 days and he's too tired to play. In baseball, this happens all the time with closers. Mariano Rivera might not pitch in a tie game for the Yankees because Torre doesn't want to wear him out. This is even more true with starters. In what other sport is it paramount to win on say, Johan Santana's start day, because if you don't, you don't have him for 5 more days. Baseball is like a war. Teams have to pick and choose which games they really need to win, and when they can afford a loss, and play accordingly.

2.-No other sport has the true element of depth to it that baseball does, because in baseball you need backups and middle relievers to get major outs and clutch hits. In basketball, you know that Kobe's getting the ball for the last shot. In football, Manning's throwing up that last pass on 4th-and-Goal. But in baseball, the most critical AB might go to the backup catcher who will hardly play during the season, and he might be up against the team's 3rd or 4th best pitcher out of the bullpen. The only sport that compares to baseball in this regard is hockey.

3. In baseball, the players play both offense and defense. And those who don't play offense are pitchers, which is a whole different ballgame.

4. The strategies that managers attempt to play have a very small change in the odds of the game, or even the AB for taht matter.
In baseball, managers often send up a pinch-hitter in order that they might have a 3-5%chance of getting a base hit, or they might send in a pinch-runner that gets from base-to-base a step or two quicker than does the previous guy.

5. In baseball, once a guy is removed, he is done for the game. If you send in a pinch-runner for Frank Thomas or Bonds, that guy replaces him, and the stud that you had in is now done for the game. This brings about another whole manner of thinking when a manager decides if he wants to put Player X into a game or not.... Furthermore, if a manager decides to pull their pitcher from the game, he's finished for the rest of that game. The manager can't go back and put in the old guy if the new guy struggles. Also, this brings up tough decisions when say, in the 6th inning, you are up by a run and the opponents have 2 men on. Do you pull your star pitcher to go to a reliever who has a higher chance of getting this particular hitter up, but might not be as good for the final 3 innings? Or do you pray to win the critical matchup because you need that guy for later. Again, having to pick and choose your battles makes the game fun.... the only sport that compares in this sense is soccer.

Overall, baseball is awesome, because it is quaint, and because it is different. Is it the fast-paced, hip-hop action of the modern world? No. But it is a deeper game....
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Postby BigLebowski » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:49 am

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:There's a few things about baseball that I love that nobody's mentioned yet:

1. The 162-game season- Many people find it boring, but I find it truly exciting. In football, every game is a huge game, and all the best players play in every game. Baseball is the only sport where starters are given an off-day, or where managers have to care whether or not they bring in their star closer. In basketball, the stars (Kobe, McGrady,etc.) play every game, and they play 3/4 of every game unless it happens to be a blowout. In baseball, sometimes a team will choose to go without their best player for a whole game. This is especially true of pitching. How often do you see Kobe taken out for the last shot in a close game, because he's already been in this situation the past 4 days and he's too tired to play. In baseball, this happens all the time with closers. Mariano Rivera might not pitch in a tie game for the Yankees because Torre doesn't want to wear him out. This is even more true with starters. In what other sport is it paramount to win on say, Johan Santana's start day, because if you don't, you don't have him for 5 more days. Baseball is like a war. Teams have to pick and choose which games they really need to win, and when they can afford a loss, and play accordingly.

2.-No other sport has the true element of depth to it that baseball does, because in baseball you need backups and middle relievers to get major outs and clutch hits. In basketball, you know that Kobe's getting the ball for the last shot. In football, Manning's throwing up that last pass on 4th-and-Goal. But in baseball, the most critical AB might go to the backup catcher who will hardly play during the season, and he might be up against the team's 3rd or 4th best pitcher out of the bullpen. The only sport that compares to baseball in this regard is hockey.

3. In baseball, the players play both offense and defense. And those who don't play offense are pitchers, which is a whole different ballgame.

4. The strategies that managers attempt to play have a very small change in the odds of the game, or even the AB for taht matter.
In baseball, managers often send up a pinch-hitter in order that they might have a 3-5%chance of getting a base hit, or they might send in a pinch-runner that gets from base-to-base a step or two quicker than does the previous guy.

5. In baseball, once a guy is removed, he is done for the game. If you send in a pinch-runner for Frank Thomas or Bonds, that guy replaces him, and the stud that you had in is now done for the game. This brings about another whole manner of thinking when a manager decides if he wants to put Player X into a game or not.... Furthermore, if a manager decides to pull their pitcher from the game, he's finished for the rest of that game. The manager can't go back and put in the old guy if the new guy struggles. Also, this brings up tough decisions when say, in the 6th inning, you are up by a run and the opponents have 2 men on. Do you pull your star pitcher to go to a reliever who has a higher chance of getting this particular hitter up, but might not be as good for the final 3 innings? Or do you pray to win the critical matchup because you need that guy for later. Again, having to pick and choose your battles makes the game fun.... the only sport that compares in this sense is soccer.

Overall, baseball is awesome, because it is quaint, and because it is different. Is it the fast-paced, hip-hop action of the modern world? No. But it is a deeper game....


In that accursed pee-wee circuit they call the American League, guys who can't field are allowed to sit on the bench for most of the game. I hate AL baseball BTW. Great posts so far, really great posts. An article could be written just with the posts so far. A great article, that would make many a man get a little misty-eyed reading it in the back of SI. One of the reasons I love baseball so much is the connection with and memories it brings back of me and my dad! My grandfather too, but it's a game that takes us all back to the time when we were 6,7,8,9 maybe 10 and the times we had with our fathers. That is a different aspect of the game, but first pitch always brings back memories to me.
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Postby RAmst23 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:14 am

Though I'm a much bigger baseball fan, I think it's a stretch to say they're more nuances in baseball. Football has an absolute ton of strategy and tons of things happen on the field that none of us can see at all. Which is what takes away from football in my opinion.

A play in football happens so fast, that the play cannot be analyzed. In baseball, the fan can sit back and analyze what's going on. Does the hitter have a chance to score the runner here with less than two outs? The pitcher hasn't thrown a breaking ball for a strike in the last 3 innings, so the hitter at the plate should be sitting dead red. Poor arms in the outfield so a single means the runner will be sent etc etc.
During a football play a million things happen. But there's no way to focus on them all, like what moves the right defensive linemen put on the outside off linemen to bring some pressure to the QB so he didn't see the guy open downfield who cut back so he has a second of separation from the CB...

Football IMO has more strategy than baseball, it's just there is no way for a fan to analyze it during the game like in baseball.
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Postby Lofunzo » Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:38 am

You lost me at basketball. :-°
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Postby BritSox » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:10 am

Funny how baseball is being called an individual sport here. When someone was talking about the Yankees' lack of success and how they didn't have 'chemistry' earlier in the year, I brought up the early 2000's Lakers, and how they won despite being a team of feuding superstars, and was told 'Yeah but that's basketball. All you need is a couple of superstars.'

I mean, perhaps being brought up on soccer has influenced me in this, but I love baseball and can't stand basketball. Who wants a sport when you score so often that you can't get excited when you do, and games are basically decided on a ratio?

Baseball = easily the best American sport, in my eyes.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:18 am

BritSox wrote:Funny how baseball is being called an individual sport here. When someone was talking about the Yankees' lack of success and how they didn't have 'chemistry' earlier in the year, I brought up the early 2000's Lakers, and how they won despite being a team of feuding superstars, and was told 'Yeah but that's basketball. All you need is a couple of superstars.'

I mean, perhaps being brought up on soccer has influenced me in this, but I love baseball and can't stand basketball. Who wants a sport when you score so often that you can't get excited when you do, and games are basically decided on a ratio?

Baseball = easily the best American sport, in my eyes.


That's why I hate basketball. I don't see the excitement. When you watch a playoff baseball game, you are on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Every single little thing is vital to the outcome of the game. Every run commands an outburst of emotion.

In basketball, it's the same thing back and forth, back and forth. It can pick up in excitement at the end, if it's close, but I don't understand watching a game where over 100 points are scored; the scoring never stops.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:06 pm

For what it's worth, I don't really like football or hockey very much. Any reasons I give to dislike them would probably be argued by people who are more into those sports than am I, similar to how some people have done in this thread to defend baseball. I am a hardcore baseball fan and basketball is a little bit behind that. I watched the Tigers through thick and thin including their wonderful 119 loss season. Some people just don't fully understand all of the little nuances of the game, just as I probably don't fully understand all of the nuances of things I don't like. And calling baseball an individual sport is evidence of that. To each his own.
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Postby The Artful Dodger » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:19 pm

BronXBombers51 wrote:
BritSox wrote:Funny how baseball is being called an individual sport here. When someone was talking about the Yankees' lack of success and how they didn't have 'chemistry' earlier in the year, I brought up the early 2000's Lakers, and how they won despite being a team of feuding superstars, and was told 'Yeah but that's basketball. All you need is a couple of superstars.'

I mean, perhaps being brought up on soccer has influenced me in this, but I love baseball and can't stand basketball. Who wants a sport when you score so often that you can't get excited when you do, and games are basically decided on a ratio?

Baseball = easily the best American sport, in my eyes.


That's why I hate basketball. I don't see the excitement. When you watch a playoff baseball game, you are on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Every single little thing is vital to the outcome of the game. Every run commands an outburst of emotion.

In basketball, it's the same thing back and forth, back and forth. It can pick up in excitement at the end, if it's close, but I don't understand watching a game where over 100 points are scored; the scoring never stops.


:-?

Again, to each his own. Not everyone will be on the edge of their seats, hanging on every pitch during even the more important baseball games and some only do just given the magnitude of the games. The same goes for basketball, especially, when your team comes from 20 points behind to take a one-point lead into the final minute of regulation.

Personally, I grew up playing/watching basketball and so, depending on the pace of the game, it can be fun to watch, especially when you can see the game within the game: what type of defense the other team is employing, what plays are the offense milking on for a successful possession, and the little things like boxing out, screens, help situations, and so on. Using an example from my alma mater, some people actually find the 1989 Loyola Marymount basketball team fun to watch because they jacked up threes all game, played little or no defense, and averaged something like 120 points per game, which is unheard of within the constraints of Div. I college basketball.

Being an avid fan of both basketball and soccer, I do compare the two a bit. You either find the games boring/entertaining by the pace and scoring. Serie A can be painful to watch, much like the Spurs and Pistons can be agonizing to watch if you're not a fan of staunch defense, but the likes of Barcelona are attractive to watch because they open the field well and have the personnel up front to attack the net at will. That's kind of like watching the Phoenix Suns, who are proponents of fastbreak basketball and like to run up the scoreboard to prevail in games. The only thing different between the two is that you know you'll stay at a soccer match for two hours (excluding knockout Cup competition finals) while basketball can be a grind with commercials/timeouts in between, not including possible overtime sessions (with its share of promos and timeouts).

I won't agree about the aforementioned sentiment of the Lakers of the early 2000's though. Shaq and Kobe did get them to the dance when they weren't bickering to the extent that it affected the team's play. It was guys like Brian Shaw, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, and Derek Fisher that stepped up big during the three-peat years.
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Postby Idahofan1 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:00 pm

One difference that nobody has touched on is the fan-base difference:

Baseball- generally smart people, people who have the capacity to think through tons of strategy in a small amount of time. Requires a bit of patience, but is every bit as exciting as every other sport.

Football- only sport where grown men will slather on paint all the way down to their butts, and not be afraid to be seen on tv (college kids are a bit different, when adults dress this way, its kind of sad)

Basketball- how many times can the same dunk be so facinating? (a dunk and a home run differ, because a home run, even a solo shot could amount to a signifigant percent of the scoring. A dunk is two points, just like a lay-in, jump shot, two free throws, and a hook shot)
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