Things I Actually Like About Baseball

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

My dislike of televised baseball is well documented.  I’ve wasted no time in kicking the “National Past Time” while it has been down — at least in the TV ratings — and, for the most part, I feel that this disdain is well founded.  However, there are some things that I legitimately do enjoy about baseball.  Since they’re few enough and far enough between, I can actually take time to list them all out one by one.

1.  Charging the Mound

When I attend hockey games, I’m always ready for a fight.  Which is awesome.  But it also takes away a little from the spontaneity.  In baseball, fights are more rare.  More importantly they’re far less skilled fighters.  If watching a hockey fight is like watching two pugilists battle it out in the “Sweet Science” then watching a baseball fight, and in particular a wild and passionate charging of the mound is like a really good bar fight.

There’s dudes flying out of dugouts, throwing off their gloves and wildly throwing haymakers that hardly ever connect.  Drunk on Redman, with more nicotine coursing through their veins than Chuck Sheen,  and just as bored as we are with 162 games of schlock, the fighters generally treat the fight like it’s the battle for human survival. 

Anytime there’s a pitch high and tight, I always find myself holding my breath; hoping that the batter will toss aside his bat and launch into gladiatorial combat with the undoubtedly pudgy pitcher.  The infield instantly turns into a scene from “Lord of the Rings” with arms flailing and too many bodies attacking one another to truly keep track of.

Simply put: baseball fights are awesome.  I like them.

2.  The Junk Grabbing

Finally, a place where dudes can adjust their packages in front of 20,000 people without ridicule.  Seriously, baseball, you have more crotch grabbing than “Michael Jackson’s: This Is It” and there’s more unit fondling than at the entrance to La Guardia Airport. 

I’m glad it’s freeing to adjust, but each and every game looks like one of those painfully uncomfortable Sex Ed. videos about “checking yourself for lumps.”

After further review, I don’t like baseball for this one.  I just couldn’t resist titling anything “Junk Grabbing” and putting it in bold.

3.  Baseball Live

Live baseball is a whole different animal.  Would you watch karaoke performances on Youtube?  Not likely.  But you get a few beers in you, sit next to some friends and all of a sudden it’s like being in the front row of the staples center. 

Baseball is the same way.  On TV?  It’s not much to look at.  However, you get me out on a gorgeous night in May with a frosty brew in each hand (*Author’s note: yes, I said each hand) and some interesting people and a game can be really fun.

I know I constantly hate on baseball, but watching it live can be incredibly fun.  I like that about baseball.

4.  Obesity Statistics Be Damned

I love the fact that you don’t have to be in killer shape to be good at baseball.  Extremely, extremely skilled?  Yes.  Can you look like John Candy and move with all the speed and grace of a dying wildebeest?  Absolutely.  And, in a way, that’s what makes baseball great.

In a sport where you don’t have to run around all that much, and especially when you’re a pitcher that only has to participate roughly every 5 days, you don’t need rock hard abs.  In fact, you can have “Hard Rock Cafe” abs and still be great. 

Cecil Fielder looked like he was smuggling a child around in the front of his jersey and he played All-Star Caliber baseball in the early ’90s.  Even the most iconic name in the game, Babe Ruth, was truly more “Babar” than Babe.  A beast of a man who could swing the bat only slightly better than he could swing a club sandwich up to his mouth.

Who doesn’t love a sport where guys who look like Roger Clemens can have great careers?  Where the players could tailgate with the fans then go play the game and still be incredible?  John Daly wishes he was a baseball player. 

And this is not to suggest that all ballplayers are fat.  Most are incredible athletes.  But, as a fellow pudger myself, I like baseball because of the hefty dudes who can still get some serious awards.

5.  Managerial Tirades

In much the same way as the Dugout clearing brawls, I love the bombastic, spastic mayhem that can ensue when an enraged manager decides that he’s ready to spit bile and hatred in an umpire’s direction.

The managers oftentimes come charging out of the dugout like geriatric bulls, shuffling at an alarming rate given their average ages.  Mount Saint Helens would be proud of the eruptions that these men hold in before exploding onto the field in a flurry of F-Bombs. 

If it’s a home game for the manager, he’s cheered as a hero, egged on by willing spectators to really throw down in a WWE-worthy battle of the words.  The Umpires, for their part, are usually not too easily rattled and absorb as much abuse as they can before they inevitably toss the frothing-at-the-mouth coach from the game.  That, to me, is high entertainment.

In Conclusion

I know I’m hard on baseball.  But it’s just because I love so many other sports more.  There are certainly a few more aspects of baseball that I enjoy, but I wouldn’t want my audience of 11 to think that I’m going soft in my bid for “Hater of the Year: 2011.”

FIN

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Comments
  1. Sue Tolles says:

    you forgot about the drunk fan yelling really stupid stuff, that’s always fun. But that only happens live. I like baseball soooooooo much more than even basketball highlights.

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