7 Things that are Wrong with Baseball

 

I love baseball. Since I was eight years old it has been my favorite sport. I played it for years, had the joy of winning and the agony of losing. The fun of team work and reaching personal goals. I pitched, played first base, spent time behind the plate and in the outfield. Every spring, especially when I smell fresh grass, I can sense baseball season and my body yearns to be out there.

What’s happened to my game?

My son and I have been watching Ken Burns’s excellent PBS series simply titled Baseball. It’s a marvelous historical review of what was once the national pastime. I think as I watch those episodes, the nostalgia of a time that once was creeps into my heart and mind.

So, here goes, it’s a bit of a deviation for my usual posts, but for what it’s worth, here’s what I think is wrong with my favorite game (in no particular order):

Playoffs. I want to go back to having the best teams (measured by their success for the whole season) not just the hot teams. I know it’s all about TV money and high contracts, but geepers if you play 162 games and have the most wins in your league you deserve to be in the Fall Classic.

Post Season Night Games. How many kids can stay up past midnight to watch the World Series? Where’s the romance of sneaking in a radio or TV during the day? It’s gone. Heck, I can’t even stay up and watch the games, no matter how exciting.

TV Commercials. I know it’s all about the money, but…how many times can we watch a Viagra ad? What do the players do between innings during these long commercial breaks? Maybe that’s what got the Red Sox into trouble—too much time on their hands waiting for the commercials to quit so they could play ball instead of hoisting some cool ones.

FoxSports TV Announcers. Come on is Joe Buck and Tim McCarver the best Fox can do? I grew up listening to Vin Scully, so I know I’m spoiled. There out to be someone better out there. These guys are bad. McCarver the other night, “A Slider is a pitch that slides…” Come on. As my daughter-in-law says, “Hey Tim, a fastball is a pitch that’s fast…”

Steroids. I know, it’s been said lots of times by many people but when you watch Burns’ Baseball you realize how many great player’s records were shattered by druggies. Seems rotten.

Dodger Ownership. Wow, the team I love is in serious trouble. No World Series in over 20 years after dominating the NL for a long time. First it was Fox, now it’s the McCourts. Where’s Walter O’Malley? Peter O’Malley? Somebody with some common sense, a love of the game and a stable marriage needs to buy them quickly before the team sinks into the Pacific.

Cool Sunglasses. Remember baseball sunglasses ad how they had this flip lens that came down? Now the players wear “cool” shades, no flip and two playoff games were affected because the center fielders could not see the ball emerge from the shadows. Since when does cool overrule common sense and helping your team win? Go back to the flip ups.

So, there’s the list. You can agree or disagree. That’s what makes baseball so much fun (maybe I should have added instant replay).

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Brennan Manning

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