(4) Play Ball!!!

In roughly 12 hours here, Major League Baseball will shove off on a mercilessly and inexplicably long season.
Being the asshole that I am, I am only here this morning to talk down on it, simply because I don't like baseball much as a spectator sport.
Back in August of 2009, I offered up some suggestions on how to "fix" baseball, and they were mostly good ideas, to speed game play along and make for something to get fans involved in something more than drinking beer, fighting off sleep and singing "take me out to the ballgame" after the 5th inning.
[Phlip note - ... and heat stroke]

I mean, I understand why play the game when it is played if you're not going to play it exclusively in indoor stadiums. One must first make sure that the players are comfortable in an environment most like what they're used to. In such, I must see to it that it feels the most like Cuba and The Dominican Republic if I intend to have anything made of this.
Okay, that was mean...
What I MEANT to say is that it is not realistic to play a "field" sport exclusively indoors, and the nature of baseball serves it that playing in any element other than a clear-ish day is a recipe for disaster when one considers that there is no such thing as a tie score. In such, the season must be played between spring and fall, when the weather conditions will AT LEAST present some usable days to play the games outside in the country in which they're to be played.
That does NOTHING to explain why in the fuck the season is ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO games long, although I have a good idea why... College basketball ends in April, followed by NBA ball and hockey both ending in June, there are no sports in the summer other than baseball until football resumes in September, then basketball and hockey in late October. It stands to reason that baseball season could be cut in half to roughly match those of basketball (82) and hockey (85), with the only detriment being advertising dollars to the owners -- which they apparently do not properly share with the players all things considered -- so don't hold your breath on that.

I find it kind of laughable that professional baseball possesses the pretense to start their season on the toes of the NCAA tournament due to end tomorrow.
Sure, fine... Just throw up a few shit games that no one would pay any real attention to until they have properly realized their shit, why don't you? NOOOOOOO, these motherfuckers START the season with the biggest game of every year, the Yankees and Red Sox.
Dick move, that... It reminds me a lot of the type of person who sees a group of people having a GREAT time doing something that they may not personally like, so they go out of their way unnecessarily to ruin it.
[Phlip note - not terribly dissimilar to what I am doing right here right now, I know I am an asshole though and have never claimed otherwise]
Way to pad those old opening night numbers in a fit of desperation at the expense of others... I mean, everyone knows that more people are watching football than baseball these days. It has a lot to do with the fact that football is more entertaining on the whole, seeing as how SOMETHING happens more often than every 10-15 fucking minutes.
I find it only fitting that the OTHER thing that has been sapping all the media attention, Eldrick Woods' penis, was a late comer to step on toes as well, almost reactive to baseball's fuckery of college basketball. Scheduled his return and a big media day on the same day. Serves 'em right, fuckers...

Perhaps the writing is on the wall, since "only" 116 million total people watched the 6 games of world series last year [source] whereas this February's Superbowl was the most watched single television show in the history of ever with 106 million people viewing [source], with 5 less presentations to pad that old bottom line. This, when a team from the largest media market in the world was in the series?
tsk, tsk, tsk...


[Phlip note - is this the 5th inning stretch? Perhaps you should all join me in song]

"Drag me out to a ball game,
Man look, at this fuckin' crowd;
Force me to eat peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't give a fuck if I never come back.
Let me drink, drink drink to the home team,
They never win 'cause they're lame...
For it's three, six, eight beers, you're out,
At the old ball game."

[Phlip note - shit, at least that is how I hear it]

The national pastime is hardly identifiable as such when less and less people PARTICIPATING are natives of the country in which they currently haul big bank. Torii Hunter was right it seems, no matter how poorly chosen his words might have been.
The national pastime is hardly identifiable as such when you drive past parks where we as kids in the 80s might have been seen outside playing baseball with cheap bats and tennis balls on makeshift (or even prepared) diamonds, to see those SAME parks in terrible disrepair/abandonment, even if contained in parks that are otherwise still in use. In those same parks, though, you see the kids throwing their footballs and shooting the basketball.
Using the aforementioned, if the national pastime is something to be identifiable by the people of the nation, why in the hell are we still even calling a sport the national pastime? I from here on declare that the national pastime is now debilitating pessimism, not baseball. I mean, it seems that the vast majority of people spend more time sitting around bellyaching about SOMETHING than doing ANYTHING.
[Phlip note - hell, helps me through these days at the plantation sometimes]

In terms of sport, I see more kids playing Lacrosse (Native American... IRONY!!!) and Soccer (British, I think?), hell even Tennis (another Brit game) and Golf (Scottish) than I do baseball or any derivative of it that we played on the sandlot and in the street as kids. This in addition to the aforementioned Basketball (invented in the US by the Canuckistanian James Naismith) and American Football, which -- if the failing condition of the AAU/Little League stadium right by my Granny's is indication -- both stand head and shoulders above baseball, even at the club and school levels.
A "pastime" is not to be taken or spoken in terms of the elite and super rich, so much as that which is earnestly participated by the majority of a constituency. That much being said, boys are digging in their heels and playing sports other than baseball, if any at all. The shortening attention span of us all and baseball's general refusal to acknowledge it by doing ANYTHING to shorten the length of games aren't helping their plight.
We won't even get into the annual steroids circus, that will make legs of its own soon enough.
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