June 27, 2012

Watching Baseball With People Who Hate Baseball: 5 Steps to Miserable Solitude.

posted by DrJohnEvans to baseball at 08:26 AM - 5 comments

[via FFFB]

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:27 AM on June 27

You are yoked to baseball forever, no matter how many baseball games you have to watch by yourself. You love it, and at some point, you may have to give up trying to explain why you do.

Thanks, that was good.

Over the years I've realized that baseball, as may non-fans claim, is in fact, boring... 98 percent of the time. And that's what makes the 2 percent amazing.

I think it's joe posnanski that likes to say 'baseball is a boring game to watch, until it is not...'.

posted by justgary at 12:56 PM on June 27

Thanks for this, Dr. J. I've been a baseball fan for over 60 years, and I've never understood how people could dislike the game. Maybe they prefer another sport, but as the writer of the post says, the ignorant fan dumps on the sport he doesn't prefer rather than trying to understand it and appreciate it for its good points. I say I've been a baseball fan for over 60 years, but I think I've only really understood the game since I got into umpiring. When your view of the game is through a mask from behind the catcher, you realize just how many things are going on during any given play. Only when the sense of all these things becomes instinctive do you really understand the game. In the meantime, you can appreciate it for the skill, strength and athleticism that is on display.

While TV has made it possible for millions to watch games, it might be that TV has in some ways hurt the game. The analysts on the national networks often make the mistake of becoming too analytical, dwelling on tiny things that are important but difficult for an average fan to grasp. Forget about how many stitches are under the pitcher's middle finger, try to explain why a certain pitch would be called in any given situation, and help us understand the possible consequences of throwing that pitch. there are other analysts who seem to think they are more important than the game on the field. These guys talk about their favorite restaurant, what musical group is appearing in the city they are in, and other immaterial trivia. Baseball was created in another era, and as such it lends itself to a media that needs less immediacy. I grew up listening to baseball on the radio. Just for fun, next time you want to watch a ball game on TV, turn off the sound and listen to the radio. While you are doing this, look at the TV only when the ball has been put into active play. If your radio play-by-play guy is any good, you can get a very different perspective on what is happening and why.

I love hockey, really like football (American style) but play stops too often, like basketball but I do not like the quality and style of officiating in the NBA, and I am neutral on soccer. There is no sport I do not like, but if there were an event of every sport on TV at the same time, I'd be watching the baseball game, flipping to hockey between innings, and checking the scores of the others frequently.

posted by Howard_T at 03:11 PM on June 27

I cringed. I winced. I laughed the whole way through.

Man, my cat loves to watch baseball with me. Or cartoons. Or a test pattern.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:14 PM on June 27

I just finished watching the last few innings of the Red Sox vs Toronto game on a getaway afternoon. It was what some would consider a boring game, but it had some excellent individual performances. David Ortiz now sits on 399 career home runs after a solo blast today. Then in the 9th inning, with the Sox enjoying a 6-run lead, Darnell McDonald absolutely stole a home run from Toronto by leaping high above the bullpen wall in right field to snag a fly ball. This play is what the game is all about. McDonald, with a big lead and nobody on base, could easily have given this less than his best effort, and it would have had little effect on the outcome. But the play was there to be made, McDonald had a chance to make it, and he gave it everything. A true "Posnanski" moment, the game suddenly became not boring to the casual fan.

posted by Howard_T at 04:31 PM on June 27

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