Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why Baseball Is Awesome

Dane Cook? Seriously? Screw that...he doesn't get to do romantic comedies with Jessica Alba AND be in commercials extolling the love of the game.

Here's why you love baseball.

-- How a player hitting .230 against the rest of the league has a .660 career average against an ace pitcher.

-- Turn back the clock night.

-- The fact that people who flunked out of high school math will spend hours calculating ways to measure a player's stats.

-- Players like Garret Anderson, Tim Wakefield, Bernie Williams, Geoff Jenkins or Jason Varitek. Guys who are All-Stars but a shade below being superstars who have stayed with one club their whole careers (or in Varitek and Wakefield's case, one club for a really long time) and do their job day in and day out. These guys won't make the Hall or anything, but they will be heroes in those towns for decades.

-- The fact that sometimes, the game comes down to the shittiest guy in your lineup at the plate and you can't pinch-hit for whatever reason, so you just have to suck it up and pray.

-- When that shitty player actually comes through with a miraculous hit.

-- That time in eighth grade softball when I completed an unassisted triple play. I will remember this until the day I die.

-- Sliding hard into second base.

-- A player breaks a team record that has stood since 1932.

-- A one-two-three inning takes 15 minutes because of two pitching changes because the manager is worried about lefty-righty matchups.

-- When the game is close in the ninth, and the star player who had the day off comes in to pinch-hit.

-- Half of the free world wouldn't piss on the New York Yankees if they were on fire.

-- The fact that people will be talking about the Mets' collapse for decades to come. Holy crap, that was pathetic.

-- Nolan Ryan headlocking Robin Ventura and feeding him punches.

-- Field of Dreams. This movie only works with baseball. For some reason, I just feel the concept would totally fall apart or get silly if the sport was, say, hockey or football.

-- The beer vendor at the Rogers Centre who looks about 100 years old, has a voice that sounds like velvet death and advertises his product by asking who wants "ice.....collllllddd......beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer."

-- The batter continually hits foul balls to stay alive in a key situation and to wear out the pitcher.

-- Organ music.

-- VORP.

-- A really good mascot. What I wouldn't give to spend a day as the Phillie Phanatic.

-- Hitting a teammate in the face with a shaving-cream pie while he's doing a post-game interview.

-- The double-switch.

-- An old-timey hand-operated scoreboard.

-- When two announcers will spend five minutes comparing a guy's batting stance to seven other players, all of whom played anywhere between 10 and 40 years ago.

-- Two leagues, four playoff spots in each. So when you get into the postseason, it means something.

-- Sacrifice bunts.

-- That moment when you realize your team's fattest and/or slowest player is actually going to try to stretch that single into a double, and you cheer harder in that moment than you've ever cheered in your life.

- The original theme to This Week In Baseball that they still play a snippet of at the end of each show.

-- This Week In Baseball, period.

-- Bill Veeck, one of the greatest human beings to ever live.

-- The fact that getting to first, second, third and home is still a common sexual euphemism.

-- The replay of a home run swing, when you can see all of the fans slowly standing up in the background to watch it go

-- When a 30-something career minor leaguer finally makes his big league debut.

-- Ignoring a teammate when he's pitching a no-hitter or perfect game.

-- The minors.

-- This article. It rates a bit on the Rick Reilly scale, but it's still pretty cool.

Feel free to include your own.

1 comment:

Chad Nevett said...

It's just damn fun to play during the summer. More than any other sport I've played.

And you made an unassisted triple play? How did I never hear this story? (Well, probably because it's not an embarrassing one being told to me by Dave while you're swearing it didn't happen that way.)