Sunday, June 13, 2010

a soccer fan watches baseball

I was watching the Tigers play the Pits the other evening. I noticed that there were a few moments of true excitement when someone hit a home run. After that, it was just a bunch of people throwing balls around and sometimes catching them. Then someone would throw a ball in the direction of the umpire where he could not possibly misjudge its trajectory, but he would. Sometimes someone occasionally hit that ball, although not often.

Here's a question. How can you stand a mere 60 feet away from a target and throw a heavy ball at it and miss?
That should be child's play. (Oh, wait, it IS child's play isn't it, in a thousand sandlots around the country every Saturday? Baseball is a child's game. A game for sissies. Now if you want to be daring, your children should be playing rugby. )

Have you ever noticed how heavily armored baseball players are? Why they even wear silk gloves to handle the bat
with. So dainty. And helmets, and elbow guards and shin guards and ankle guards --- and God knows what's hidden under those uniforms. Bullet proof vests?

Then I saw a guy --- well, this guy, dressed like a medieval knight --- supposedly get hit in the gonads, and the whole game came to a standstill for five minutes while he clutched at his nuts and pretended to be hurt. The camera concentrated on the umpire talking to the pitcher for no discernible reason whatever, a conversation that seemed to go on endlessly. Meanwhile, a couple of guys jabbered in the background about this and that. Then, after a minute or two of commercials, the game "resumed".

Finally, when nothing happened for a hour or so, the pitcher allowed someone to come on "home" and the game ended. It ended, even though the inning wasn't over! They quit the game just because someone was hopelessly ahead! What kind of crap is that? It reminded me of Ara Parsighian, winning a game and then going home without letting everyone play! It's not like football or soccer, or hockey, or even basketball, where you have to go on playing against a hopelessly superior team until the time runs out.

The thing about baseball is that every game victory is a gift. The catcher might give the game away by missing a catch and the runner on third comes home. The pitcher might throw the ball over the base in just the wrong way, and the hitter accepts the gift, and gets the hit that wins the game. Maybe the outfielder drops the ball. Maybe the shortstop throws himself on the ground and pretends he can't catch the rolling ball, and bang!, the game ends.

No one ever deserves the victory, it is always a gift!

So many baseball games end with these little teeny-tiny scores. It might be 1-0 or 1-2 or something. The game can go on for two hours and no one ever makes a point, for crying out loud. ("This is an exciting game. Here we are in the 8th and it's a scoreless tie!") The rest of the time, nothing happens except people running round. How can Americans go for something like that? We like excitement and motion, we like to SEE THINGS HAPPEN! We are an impatient people.

Another complaint I have about baseball is that you never know when a game will end. It could go on for an hour and a half, like a soccer game, or for three or four hours, while nothing at all happens! If you go to see a baseball game, and it lasts 12 innings, you'll see that most of the crowd has already left, and people who have free time on their hands complain because those folks went home early. My advice is, if you have anything at all you need to do this afternoon, don't go to a baseball game. You might be there till midnight.

I just can't see how baseball became the most popular sport in the world. Um-m, that is what happened isn't it?

(If you get this far, let me assure you that I like to watch baseball, the Tigers, the Wolverines, the Gamecocks, at least. I'm just sayin', a lot of B.S. is mumbled about soccer by people who don't understand it. It reminds me of Andy Griffith describing football. CLICK)


Dashmann said...

Closer to the truth than I would care to admit, but you left out the scratching and spitting ----

My main beef with US - England soccer match was that both teams seemed to be willing to escape with a tie.

Now, if both they can't beat the Slovenians, they both stand to be eliminated in the first round.

There would be some sort of justice in that !!

Bud said...

And I also admit there is a lot of truth to what you said.

I don't think that soccer will ever be one of the great popular sports in the US. We already have sports for every season that are ingrained into our culture. This is a sport, like so much in the Olympics, with which people become familiar every four years, and then the attention wanes.

Besides, if the game ever became really popular here, we would have to change it to accommodate TV advertisers. They would want to stop it every few minutes to throw three minutes worth of beer ads at us. I think that would be a great crime against the game. That crime TV has already committed against football. It is not longer the game it was 50 years ago, for that reason.

Thank you for the comments Mr. Dashmann. I understand you're leaving town for a coupe of weeks. Travel safely.