Monthly Archives: September 2009

Love it or Hate it

Here’s a great quote from Joe Posnanski about why some people hate certain sports:

I’ve always said that I have no interest in converting non-baseball fans into baseball fans. For one thing, I don’t think I could do it. But for another, I fully understand why some people think it’s oppressively boring. I understand because … baseball IS oppressively boring if you don’t like it. …

So, sure, if you don’t like baseball you don’t like baseball. But, you know, football is nine minutes of action and 51 minutes of meetings. Basketball is repetitive, and hockey is a game of line-shifts deflections, and soccer is a whole lot of kicking the ball back to the goalkeeper. Golf is about walking and geometry. Tennis is a math teacher explaining angles. If you want to pick out the worst things in a sport, you can make them all sound insanely boring — except MMA, perhaps, which is like watching assault and battery. The beauty in all these sports is those moments of brilliant action and the way the imagination fills the empty spaces. People have been burying baseball for a long time, and there are certainly reasons to believe that someday soon America will move on to something else.

I don’t think so, though. Yes, it’s local. No, it doesn’t do great TV ratings. Yes, there’s cynicism in the game and yes kids need more stimulation in their lives. But there’s something about baseball that has endured and, I believe, will endure through steroids and short attention spans and free agency and big contracts and everything else. Maybe I could explain it like this: If you go up to a baseball fan anywhere in America — in Montana, in Florida, in Texas or in Connecticut — and ask “Who scored the millionth run?” there’s a chance they will say they have no idea. But there’s a pretty good chance they’ll say “Bob Watson.” Why do they know that? Why do they care about something that meaningless? I think they care because of something I have said about baseball before: ”I never argue with people who say baseball is boring because baseball IS boring. But then, suddenly, it isn’t. And that’s why it’s great.“

Sometimes people say things you’re thinking much better than you can. I’ll just leave it at that, and use it as another explanation of why I love baseball.