20 Reasons Baseball Is the Worst
Baseball season is upon us once again. Oh joy.
To many, baseball is the greatest sport ever invented. America's game. To some, it's just the sport that helps pass the time between NFL and NBA seasons.
In celebration of its 500th* season, let's take a look at 20 reasons you should just ignore baseball.
*Not actually 500 seasons. To my knowledge.
No. 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.
No. 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.
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.
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 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:
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.
No. 15: Managers Wear Uniforms
No thank you.
No. 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.
No. 13: 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."
No. 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 last year.
No. 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.
No. 10: 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 damn 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."
No. 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?
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 5: 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.
No. 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.
No. 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.
No. 2: Did I Mention There Were Too Many Games?
Little known fact: The 2009 MLB season is actually still in progress.
No. 1: It's Not Really the Worst
The worst part about baseball is that it's not really the worst. Despite the many, many, many faults I've laid out, it's still kind of great.
I love the experience of going to a game, being outside and drinking a cold beer on a hot day with baseball basically being a nice background.
I love the unwritten rules and nobody pitchers like Dallas Braden screaming at A-Rod for breaking one of them and crossing his mound.
I love all the weird stuff baseball players do to amuse themselves during the long games and the long season.
I love an underdog team like the A's putting together a historic run at the end of last season, even though they ultimately came up short.
So here's to another season of baseball being the worst...and me still watching.