20 Reasons Why Baseball is the Best

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So I found a post on Bleacher Report titled “20 Reasons Baseball Is the Worst” (there’s a surprise at the end, but you’ll have to read it to find out). So I’m going to post what the author said about each reason, and create a counter-argument for each. By the way, you can find the post HERE.

20) Repetitive SportsCenter Highlights

Hey, look, a diving catch! I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those. Oh, that’s right, it was in yesterday’s Top 10. And the day before. And the day before. I get that you could say the same thing about dunks and basketball, but in the middle of the summer when baseball is all we have, it’s torture. Out of all the thousands of diving catches, home runs and double plays that fill up the highlights, only a handful are really notable. Yet we are subjected to the same thing day after day like a less interesting version of Groundhog Day.

Is the NBA not different? I’m not hating on basketball, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just pointing out that the other main sports do the same thing. Dunk, shoot with the same form every time. Then there’s the NFL too. Run the ball through a line of fat linemen into a section of the field called the endzone. I love all three of these sports, and I’m just pointing out that it’s all a part of sports in general. All sports have that kind of simplicity, not getting into all of the rules about how to achieve the goal of the sport. Baseball isn’t the only sport that has repetition in it.

19) Fantasy Is Too Much Work

One of the biggest reasons I love the NFL is fantasy football. It helps you care about games, teams and players you wouldn’t normally care about. It’s a fun way to keep up with the season. You set your lineup once a week for four months, and you’re good. Fantasy baseball? It’s only something you have to mess with every single day for the better part of a year. No big deal. And if you thought it was hard to keep up with players on the NFL waiver wires, you’ll be picking up players in fantasy baseball that you’ve not only never heard of, but there’s a good chance they’re not even real.

To be honest, the author does have a point. Last season was my first in fantasy baseball, and I do agree that it is more work than fantasy football, which I’ve been playing for years. However, there are ways for you to beat this. For example, ESPN allows for you to set your roster days ahead, so if you’re busy and know that you’ll miss a day, set it up ahead of time and ESPN will change it for you. There are also free resources, my favorite is fantasypros.com, which allows you to upload your team and it’ll tell you who to start and who the best are on the waivers in your league. So, you can set everything up in one large session one night and not have to worry about it for a few days. Kind of sounds like fantasy football, huh?

18) Baseball Injuries Are Hilariously Stupid

Maybe it’s because they play a noncontact sport for the most part, because MLB players feel the need to make up for it by getting injured in the most bizarre ways off the field. Yeah, every sport has strange injuries, but baseball takes things to a new level. Just check out some of these from MLB.com. “Cubs outfielder Bret Barberie missed a game after getting chili juice in his eye.” “Phillies right-hander Jeff Juden was sidelined during Spring Training when his new tattoo became infected because he went sunbathing.” “Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya developed elbow problems from playing too much ‘Guitar Hero.'” The list goes on. Sorry that all of your “athletes” are so fragile that they should literally be wrapped up with bubble wrap between games.

I do not consider this a legitimate reason to hate a sport. So you don’t like a sport because, unlike the NFL, they aren’t bashing their heads off? Because they have a lower chance of getting CTE than a football player? I’m not hating on the NFL, I’m just proving a point.

17) The Games Last Forever

In 2009, MLB games were an average of 2 hours and 52 minutes, according to MLB.com. In the playoffs, it was an even more excruciating 3 hours and 30 minutes. That’s insane. This year’s Super Bowl was only 45 minutes longer than that with a billion commercials and a freaking 34-minute power outage. And that’s just the average MLB playoff game we’re talking about.  I’ll give baseball credit for trying to speed up the game, but it’s too little, too late in my book.

Should I not mention that not too long ago, the NFL changed it’s rules so that whenever a controversial call is made, the game is paused and the play is looked at by a replay official? Or that the average length of an NFL game is 3 hours and 12 minutes, just 18 minutes shorter than the average MLB playoff game, which was called “insane” by the author? I think you catch my drift…

16) Tim McCarver

He’s retiring at the end of the season, so it feels kind of mean to pick on Tim McCarver, but still… The man just gets under people’s skin. Here are a few examples of why baseball fans everywhere seemed relieved to hear he was hanging it up after the season:

He confused Barry Bond chants with Barry Manilow chants.

He called “strike” a five-letter word.

He chalked up increased home runs on “climate changes.”

But really it’s not about his biggest faults—it’s about listening to a full game of him saying nonsense and realizing you’re better off using the mute button.

Really? You’re going to use one retired player as the spokesperson of an entire sport? Then, because of some not-so-smart things he said, list that as a reason to dislike a sport? This does not even deserve an answer from me.

15) Managers Wear Uniforms

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Managers Wear Uniforms

No thank you.

Let’s all take a look at an NFL coach, why don’t we?

Andy Reid.gif

Just saying…

14) Hall of Fame Voting Is Stupid

Writers don’t vote for players because of personal grudges. They don’t vote players in to make a statement. They don’t vote players in because even though they feel they’re worthy, they’re not first-ballot worthy. They only get 10 votes. There are really just too many reasons to keep going. And we haven’t even gotten to the steroid issue. Let’s just move on.

Okay, yes those things have been done in the past. But every sport has its dark side (like the NFL pushing CTE under the rug…). And maybe there’s a reason everyone only gets 10 votes. It makes it harder to get in, only allowing those who really deserve to be in.

13) MLB “Athletes”

MLB 'Athletes'

MLB “Athletes”

It’s hard to respect baseball when so many of the players in the league can still play at a high level with half a can of dip in their cheeks or carrying around an extra hundred pounds or so. John Kruk said it best: “Lady, I’m not an athlete. I’m a professional baseball player.”

Last time both USA Today and I checked, hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in any sport. Just because you football players are jealous that you can’t brute force your way through (as a wise golf classmate of mine once said) hitting a baseball, there’s no reason to say that we’re not athletes. It also takes a lot of athletic prowess to run the bases, each 90 feet apart, and run down a fly ball, ultimately diving for the catch (kind of what you see on SportsCenter highlights of Odell Beckham Jr., huh?).

12) There Are Too Many Games

One hundred sixty-two games are too many games. Do you know how exceedingly difficult it is to care about a game when there are 161 other ones? People say the NBA season is too long, and baseball season is almost twice as long. You can not care about baseball for half of the season and then start paying attention when it matters. That’s what the A’s did [in 2012].

That’s what makes the game great! Even though there are many, you know that each game matters. Because losing one game can mean the difference between the playoffs and going home. Not to mention once we get into the playoff hunt, then it really gets interesting.

11) The Draft Is a Joke

“Woo, we drafted that one guy! I don’t actually know his name, but it doesn’t really matter. It’ll take like five years for him to actually get up to the majors, and that’s if he hasn’t been traded away by then, which is more likely.” Also, the MLB draft is a million rounds long, and by the end of it, teams are picking players as favors to friends.

Booooooooooooooooooring.

Well… I don’t have too much to say about this. Baseball does have its weak points, but just because the draft is boring doesn’t make the sport itself boring.

10) Crazy Fields

Crazy Fields

Crazy Fields

Don’t you hate how the Raiders field is 10 yards longer and five yards wider than the Niners field? Oh, never mind, they’re the exact same dimensions. Same with basketball and hockey. But for some reason, baseball fields feel like they can make up their own … rules. “Golf courses are different, we should make baseball fields like golf courses!” So we get fields like Minute Maid Park that slope up and have a pole in the field of play and Fenway Park, whose dimensions indicate whoever designed the outfield fence was drunk. It’s like if Norman Dale went to go measure the hoop in Hoosiers and was like “how far to the free-throw line? 16 feet? Hmm, ours is only 15. Sorry guys, everything is different here. We’re screwed.”

That’s another cool feature about baseball. While there are many things that are regulated (dimensions in the infield, for example), a franchise can set the ballpark to look like whatever they want! Think that your team won’t ever be a good hitting team, and is better at fielding? Then push that wall back!

9) Baseball Fans Are Annoying

“Only 38 days till pitchers and catchers report!” Go away. And why are you in my room in the first place? It’s three in the morning! Baseball happens basically all year long—is there really a need to count down during that wonderfully brief period of time when there isn’t any baseball?

First of all, baseball doesn’t run all of the time. The World Series ended a few months ago. Thank goodness Spring Training is coming up in just a few weeks. (Yay!)

8) Statheads Are Even More Annoying

I’m not anti-statistics, so please put back your torches and pitchforks. I’ll admit that the old codgers of the baseball world who act like advanced statistics are a newfangled bunch of poppycock are the worst. It’s great that we can measure the game in new and interesting ways. But do you have to be so smug about it all? The moment anybody complains about advanced statistics, you all sound that stat signal and converge upon whatever poor soul said he thought Miguel Cabrera should have won MVP over Mike Trout. I get that things like VORP are great, but it’d be even greater if you could stop beating us over the head with it.

Ouch. I don’t consider myself a “stathead”, but I care about stats more than the average guy. You have to be in order to be a true baseball fan… right? Stats run baseball, it’s that simple. Managers and owners make decisions based off of stats. That’s all I’m going to say…

7) The Yankees and Red Sox

Will everybody shut up about these teams already? Especially now that they’re both going to suck this year.

It’s a good thing we don’t have to worry about that anymore. We already talked about the new Tigers-Red Sox rivalry.

6) The Designated Hitter

Even ignoring how incredibly stupid it is that the National and American Leagues have different rules for the same sport, the designated hitter rule is terrible. Maybe the NFL should adopt an all-time-quarterback rule, with one guy playing QB for both teams. I’m sure the Jets would be on board with that. And maybe the NBA should allow one player to be on offense all the time and another player to handle the defense, just not crossing the half-court line. Antoine Walker would have loved that.

It’s a good thing we may not have to worry about that for too long, with the NL considering adding the DH.

5) No Replays Where It Matters

No Replays Where It Matters

No Replays Where It Matters

Yes, baseball has replays on home runs now. Congratulations. It’s five percent there. Now if only baseball would get with the 21st century and allow replays for blown calls like Jim Joyce ruining a perfect game or to help regulate strike zones instead of leaving it up to umpires who are trying to end the game because they’re tired. We have the technology to make it fast and easy. The NFL handles it well, and the NBA is even getting into the action. Maybe if it weren’t so insistent on being a dinosaur, baseball would figure this out too.

As a longtime Tigers fan who still remembers that terrible day, it saddens me to see that picture. But, emotions aside, the MLB has done a good job in changing the replay problem, in my opinion. Had another Jim Joyce moment happened now, Jim Leyland would’ve been out there, and the replay would’ve been pulled out. *Sigh* Unfortunately it happened in 2010…

4) No YouTube Clips

Sports are social now. If I’m not watching the game, but DeAndre Jordan destroys Brandon Knight and it’s all over Twitter, I can see a replay of it pretty much immediately. But not with MLB. Oh no. They have a team of YouTube assassins ready to pull down any clip that somebody may dare to post. Fan makes a crazy catch in the crowd? Better wait for MLB.com to get their own video of it, because if it shows even a second of game time, they’re going to yank any unauthorized versions from the Internet.  A great way to gain new fans for a sport whose fans are dying off faster than AOL subscribers.

Really? Another non-legitimate reason to dislike a sport. Yes, it isn’t all that convenient to not have MLB videos on YouTube, but really? And at No. 4? Nuh, uh. Not good enough.

3) PEDs

If I never hear about PEDs again, it will be too soon. Who is taking PEDs? Should we let them into the Hall of Fame if we think they took PEDs? Should we wipe their records from the books if they took PEDs? How much do PEDs really help anyway? PEDs PEDs PEDs. I no longer have the ability to care anymore. Use whatever you want, just for the love of God please stop talking about it.

Um, has anybody heard about the controversy with HGH and Peyton Manning? Yes, PEDs are a hassle to worry about, but every sport has its problems. The NFL has its controversies just like the MLB.

Numbers 2 and 1 are basically useless. I’m sorry, but I don’t have the energy to write about something useless. Anyway, think that you have another reason why you may not like baseball, tell me so in the comments, and I will try my best to refute you. But, hey, maybe you’ll stump me. Go ahead, try.

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3 thoughts on “20 Reasons Why Baseball is the Best

  1. Here’s one thing (although I would have done almost as exactly as you did – refute each point. I just happen to ramble more and probably would have found more reasons to support your points … I was thinking of them as I read but getting all the way here to comment? I’m hella lazy and I’m not going to go back and pin point things I would have added to support your arguments – however the person that wrote that sounds like the everyday average football fan – I am a HUGE fan of the NFL but it doesn’t hold a candle to Major League Baseball.

    Football is a sport for the masses – lots of action, fighting, crushing people and it doesn’t take much intelligence to watch it. Like you don’t have to know what a …. for lack of a better example a play-action pass is to be able to understand a football game at a basic level.

    Baseball they say is a “smart person’s sport” – it’s a game of inches and nuances that some people just can’t understand. There is beauty in each pitch and with each pitch anything can happen. I was at MLB’s 19th Perfect Game and Dallas Braden was down to the last out. He had I believe it was Gabe Kapler at the plate -I was panicking and literally hiding in my chair because I knew that with every pitch in the at-bat there could be a hit that would ruin the entire game that we’d been sitting in silence not talking about since the sixth innning. He eventually got Kapler to ground out to Cliff Pennington who was I believe at third or short that day – I was honestly so panicked that when I heard the ball and the bat connect I wasn’t sure if I should look or not. Just typing about it gets my adrenaline rushing … that was the most beautiful game I’ve ever been to. A lot of people would have found that game relatively boring (the A’s only scored like 3 or 4 runs) but for the true baseball fan – each and every single pitch held so much meaning! It was a work of art and something so rare to behold – but a football fan likely wouldn’t have noticed it was a PG and would have said there wasn’t enough action – when for me there was almost too much action. A pitchers’ duel is just as fun as a slug fest can be … the masses can’t see it.

    I was also at all the home games during the A’s 2002 streak. They shouldn’t even have won the last three games!! 18 was won in the bot of the 9th on a walk-off homer by Miguel Tejada, 19 was a 9th inning walk-off doulble by Tejada and the game they should have lost – AL record setting game 20 they were up 11-0 in the second inning only to end up in the bottom of the 9th with the game tied. Howe put in Hatteberg to pinch-hit for Byrnes – it was obviously with the intention of him talking a walk so the A’s would have a base runner on when the heart of the order – Eric Chavez and Tejada- got to the plate. Yet the most unbelievable miracle happened and Hatty killed that ball into the right field bleachers! I guess that doesn’t really fit in – well actually it does make sense – in that case the game defied all logic.But you’d still have to understand the reason Hatty was even at the plate in the first place and then surprise!

    I love baseball because anything can and usually will happen to make the game interesting. Oh and one thing I do remember to add to the part about the schedule being “too long” as the lame NFL guy said … I like your rebuttle but I would add that there is beauty in the fact that you don’t have to wait a week or even a couple days for games! If you lose today there is always the chance of victory tomorrow.

    The original author was likely just some bonehead jock who just doesn’t understand a “smart person’s sport.” Thanks for letting me ramble on in your comments and thanks for the great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment Jen! I do agree with you here, it seems like the die-hard NFL fans don’t like the MLB because we don’t brute force our way through anything. It takes a lot of strategy and mental awareness (which is way I’ve always loved the sport).

      Also, nice point on the MLB schedules! It is always nice to get the excitement the very next day, instead of waiting a whole week (in the case of the NFL).

      Liked by 1 person

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