For the first time in weeks, nothing huge happened in politics today that’s worth covering. There was a small development in the CNN story I talked about yesterday though. It turns out that James O’Keefe will be putting out a video a day all this week exposing CNN and their faking of the Trump/Russia narrative. That being said, I’m going to be taking a different direction with today’s blog. I spent this fine Wednesday afternoon enjoying America’s Favorite Pastime, baseball. I’ve never understood people’s hatred for baseball, as I find all the complaints people have with it are things that I find charming. To borrow from BuzzFeed’s book, I wanted to highlight my five favorite things about the sport of baseball, and why I love it.
1) The Stadiums
To me, one of the best parts of baseball are the wonderful avenues in which you consume watching them. Baseball is so fun to watch live, and I adore how more historic teams are tied so closely to the parks that they’ve played in for the past century. Places like Fenway and Wrigley are essentially national landmarks, and I love that people will make journeys to watch a game in those stadiums, no matter the cost. Other sports, like football and soccer to me are more fun to watch televised, purely because the sports are paced to be consumed that way. Baseball meanwhile is still worthwhile to watch in person, while you grab some popcorn, a hot dog, and a nice cold coke.
2) The Pacing
I personally think one of the things that makes baseball so exciting is the pacing. Basketball is a constant struggle for points, as you watch players run from one side of the court to the other. Football is a lot of waiting around for short plays that end in an injury. Baseball meanwhile is constant, plodding action. Every pitch matters, and if you know your team’s pitcher well you can tell if he’s intentionally trying to mess with a player and get in his head, which is really neat. Runners on a base means there’s potential for a steal, every pop fly can be dropped, there’s always something going on. Sure, it’s not the constant “go,go,go” that the NBA provides, but I like that I can go get a hotdog and come back, just in time for a homerun or a strikeout.
3) Player’s Earn Their Pay
Something that I think players don’t get credit for is the fact that baseball requires aptitude at a lot of talents. Just like how I think hockey players don’t get enough credit for being both good skaters and dexterous enough to multitask between the skating and the stick play, I think baseball is the same. You have to be fast enough to run bases, you have to be able to be a good enough batter to not strain the line-up, you have to field, which if you’re a catcher means you’re squatting for nine innings multiple times a week. Sure, they have their dugouts, but most of the time in there is spent watching pitches, talking to coaches, and stretching to stay limber enough to get back into action.
4) The Long Seasons
I love the fact that baseball lasts for so long. Even when it’s not in season, spring training happens, which devout fans still consume because of the opportunity to see new players fitting in with their new teams. There’s something as well about going to a nice summer baseball game that makes baseball have a lot of positive associations with fan’s minds. The cool lemonade and pop that goes along with the aforementioned stadiums are a lot more desirable to me then the freezing cold NFL season or the indoor only NBA stadiums.
5) Baseball Fans Are Passionate
Possibly my favorite thing about baseball are the rivalries, and the fandoms surrounding the teams. The sport is so old, and so ingrained into American culture that it’s impossible to separate some cities from the team’s that play in them. You stick with a team from your hometown that’s been there for decades, and no matter how bad they suck or how many players you lose, you stick with them. Then every once in awhile, no matter how long the drought is *cough*RedSox*cough* your team might actually pull out a win and bring pride to your entire city. It’s a great experience that younger sports fail to replicate, and will never be able to.
All in all, baseball rivals a religious experience to some people. I understand that people in my generation don’t like it because they’re jaded against sports or hate their parents and don’t like what they do, but trust me, they’re missing out. Baseball is such a mental game, it challenges players, coaches, and fans alike. If you follow it, you’re in it for the long haul. It’s a passive and active viewing experience at the same time. Above all else, its American. Never change baseball, never change.
*Side note: I went to the Cardinals v Diamondbacks game tonight and the Cardinals (who I was rooting for) won. I’ll never stop feeling bad for being in a home stadium when the home team loses against one of my teams, but hey, I also don’t like losing so I better get used to it.