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My Emotional Problem With Modern Baseball

PHOENIX - MAY 12:  Brandon Phillips #4 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by teammate Adam Rosales #23 in the dugout after Phillips hit a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of the major league baseball game at Chase Field on May 12, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Kevin PapaCorrespondent IMay 15, 2009

With all the nagging problems the four major American sports seem to constantly unearth, there is one that never seems to be solved. Emotions, or the lack thereof, in professional baseball.

I know I am going to get a lot of criticism for this one, but I think baseball is one of those sports that could use some fierceness.

What makes playoffs in any sport so popular and loved? The fiery, win-or-go-home mentality of the players, and the do-or-die atmosphere surrounding each game, no matter the importance.

Regular season baseball is the exact opposite of this, with mind-melting boredom in games that just add to the drone of mid-summer.

I don't see how or why a player can hit a home-run to give his team the go ahead run and lead them to victory, and they round the bases with an expression that looks like someone just shot their dog.

The reception in the dugout is nearly as bad. Each player gives a high-five, sure, but there is no emotion save for a Shelley Duncan-type response.

Now don't assume I believe baseball is irrevocably destroyed and cannot be repaired, but a little injection of anger or excitement would be nice. If I want a dulling, numbing  atmosphere, I'll do my taxes early.

And maybe I'm spoiled as the result of numerous years of repeated football and hockey obsessions, but as dynamic and old-school as the sport is, it can only use more passion.

So players, when you hit a grand-slam to give your respective team the one-run edge, show some entertaining reaction. Jump up and down. Run erratically.

But give the fans something original, and put your heart into it. That's all we can ask for.

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