Western Courier

America’s pastime belongs in the past

The new face of the MLB, Aaron Judge, takes the field in a playoff game against the Houston Astros.

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The new face of the MLB, Aaron Judge, takes the field in a playoff game against the Houston Astros.

Devon Greene, Assistant Sports Editor

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Baseball, the “American pastime,” is engrained within us from a young age. I’ll go out on a limb and say that most people have played t-ball or little league. It seems inevitable that baseball would be one of the most popular sports in our lives. However, I’m here to tell you that baseball is boring, stoic, old-timey and awful.

I’ll admit from the lede that I watch as little baseball as humanly possible. Baseball to me is like seeing someone out in public that you don’t want to talk to so you immediately sprint in the opposite direction, head straight home to pack all of your belongings and then buy a plane ticket and move to Siberia so you never have to encounter them again.

I’ve only watched one full professional baseball game on television and that was game seven in last year’s World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. The only reason I watched that game is because we’re in Illinois and the Cubs had one of the most ridiculously long championship droughts I had ever heard in 108 years and even then, I couldn’t help myself from getting on my PlayStation and playing NBA 2K while I watched.

Baseball is notorious for being slow and this couldn’t be a truer statement. I was watching game five of the New York Yankees and Indians series because all that was on TV were reruns of Impractical Jokers and NBA preseason basketball.

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner took the plate in the ninth inning and my worst nightmares came to fruition. Gardner stepped up and was there for what seemed like 34 years before he was done with his turn. Gardner saw 12 pitches come his way and it was only about 20 minutes, but it was just the worst 20 minutes of my entire life.

The commentators and everyone in the stadium just could not believe what their eyes were seeing. Writers even chose to write about how it was such a battle and an amazing feat by Gardner to stay at the plate with a full count for so many pitches.

I really couldn’t care less. He eventually got on base, which I guess is a good thing, but there is no way that I need to be sitting there for 20 minutes watching some guy hit foul balls over and over again.

The unwritten rules of baseball are the most absurd, preposterous and asinine things I’ve ever heard of in my whole life. The one that makes me the most furious is the rule that you can’t celebrate “too long” when you hit a home run. What in the world kind of rule is that? If I’m in the major league and I nail a home run off a pitch by Clayton Kershaw, who I only know is good because he’s been forcibly shoved down my throat every time I watch SportsCenter, I can guarantee you that I will be losing my mind and rubbing it in his and his team’s collective face for as long as humanly possible. I’m moonwalking to first base, doing the worm to second, hammer dancing to third and disco dancing to home before I touch the plate with my index finger like Richie from “The Benchwarmers.” What we get instead is a bat flip.

A bat flip is when a player that hits a home run throws his bat in the air in some manner. When a player does this it is seen as one of the most disrespectful, awful things you can do. It gets so bad that the next time that player gets to the plate, the pitcher will sometimes hit them with a 90 mph or faster fastball.

I don’t know about you, but that seems overboard to me. The only way I’d attempt to hit someone with a fastball is if they came up and punched me in the face, spit on me, kicked some dirt on me while I was down and laughed in my face while they skipped away. If you want real disrespect, look in the NBA. One of the most disrespectful things I’ve ever seen in my life was when DeAndre Jordan caught an alley-oop from Chris Paul and decided to commit first degree murder in front of the world against Brandon Knight by dunking on him so hard his soul left his body and he fell down on the floor like a fallen angel. There’s a legend going around that Brandon Knight is still lying on that court in Los Angeles to this day.

One of the things that I’ll never understand why baseball fans cheer for is a no-hitter. Sure, I guess its impressive if a player throws however many pitches in a game and no one gets a piece of the ball but why would you cheer for the least amount of action that is physically possible in a game? The only thing that I find interesting is scoring in baseball, so when I see a score end up at 0-1 it seems like a waste of my time.

One more of those unwritten rules that is buried within baseball is that a player cannot bunt to break up a no hitter. Why would I help you get a no-hitter? If you think I wouldn’t go to do everything that I can possibly do to ruin your day, you’d be sorely mistaken. If I’m the last guy at the plate and you haven’t allowed a single hit all day, I’m going to swing, bunt, or whatever else I can do to stop you from getting in the record book against my team.

Baseball is the most boring of all the four major sports. Basketball is fast paced, cool and has a strong foothold in the entertainment scene. We see our basketball stars in commercials, raps, and movies like “Space Jam” and “Airplane.” How do you rap about a baseball player?

Football is intense and the biggest sport in America. Hockey is the least followed in the States, but it’s still more fun to watch because we get to see guys get their head punched off their bodies sometimes. Baseball is just so monotonous. I don’t want to be sitting on my couch for three hours watching some guys stand still for the majority of the time for the game to end 0-0. At times, it seems like the players in the outfield could get a complete game of Monopoly in before the game is over, which might be more captivating to watch than the actual game.

The only thing interesting is when players like Aaron Judge shows up and starts smacking baseballs so hard they spontaneously combust into flames, disintegrate into nothing and ceasing to exist. However, even their stars get into slumps. Judge looked like a steaming pile of garbage against the Cleveland Indians in the last series.

Baseball is really the only sport besides golf where you see this happen. Star players can be good one season and then turn into a wet blanket by the time the next one comes around. In basketball and football, stars are consistent and dependable, but in baseball, when some of those players get a sense of adversity, their brains turn to mush and they suddenly forget how to baseball.

Baseball isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, sadly, but all I know is I will continue to avoid watching it like it is the bubonic plague.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
America’s pastime belongs in the past