Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Weird Trick to Make Baseball Better

Craig Calcaterra just wrote a great article about how football is declining in popularity. Here's a link. I found it highly entertaining and it reminded me of an article I wrote a couple years ago making fun of football and comparing it to baseball using no real evidence other than what I have seen watching the two sports. I enjoyed writing it and thought I'd repost it here in case anyone else wanted to re-visit it or more likely see it for the first time. While I am not nearly the writer Calcaterra is, piling on football as they are struggling is fun to me.

Originally written 2/6/11:

So I'm watching the Super Bowl and I'm not much of a fan of football. I used to be, I just grew out of it. It frustrates and confuses me.

I always heare football is exciting and baseball is boring. In football you have a full contact sport in which 70 plays(just a guess) are ran by each team. At best, a QB throws for 350 yards and a RB runs for 150 or so. Yes there can be extremes more than this but I think those are fair numbers to use. 500 Yds equals 1500 feet which is a bit less than 17 total bases. This equates to 4.25 runs. A little less than an average MLB team scores in every game. 

A triple has a player run 270 feet in a few seconds. This is like a 90 yard run in football. I'm guessing there were more triples in MLB this season than 90 yeard runs in football. Yes they play 10 times more games, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that there were more than 10 times more triples than 90 yard runs. 

Then there is the home run. Something unlike anything in football. An exciting split second that immediately changes the flow of a game. It's like a 60 yard touchdown toss, only that I would equate more to an RBI double. It counts as a score and is exciting, but not a split second game changer.

The best thing about baseball to me, is the fact that plays aren't called back. DOn't you love it when you're favorite player shoots thru a hole and runs 50 yards to a touchdown, only to be called back because your least favorite 300 pounder held another 300 pounder for a split second too long (not that any amount of holding between obese men is acceptable). This is not judged by anything quantifiable, only by whatever amount of time a ref feels is fair at the time. When plays get called back in baseball, George Brett makes history. In football, it happens all the time, so why get excited just to have your hopes dashed.

Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. I should look at it as a football fan. The best parts are when a wide reciever outruns a defensive back by 10 yards,catches a ball and scores. Just like any player running down a ball in, say an outfield. Or when your favorite running back runs for a 40 yard run, or a hitter hitting a double. Many prefer the full contact action of the sport that is unique to footbal.

There are other intricacies of football, like the 1st down, that can't be equated to baseball but two of the biggest differences in football and baseball are contact and kickers. I know no one other than kickers like kickers, so I will ignore this. You are welcome.

So to make baseball more appealing to the masses, starting immediately, I would like to see a change to baseball. I want to see full contact baseball. I want to add five players to each team on the field at all times. None can weigh less than 300 LBS. These 10 players would line up behind the home plate umpire and before every pitch, I want the catcher to yell. This would tell the fat men when to charge each other and no points can be scored by these men as they are offensively ineligible, just as in football. The rest of the game would be unchanged. I could add that they could be eligible on certain trick plays as long as you tell the umpire or if they sneeze or twitch before the catcher yells, the pitcher moves 5' closer, but that is silly. What kind of sport would have rules like that.

After looking at the major differences in athletic accomplishments in each of these two sports, I feel baseball has the edge and by adding the one "exciting" thing that baseball lacks, this should allow MLB to soar to be the most popular sport to ever be played on this planet. Even more than Soccer. Oh yeah, Soccer is more popular than football...well that's another article.

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