Time to hurry up and get done, MLB


By Jeff Linville - jlinville@civitasmedia.com



There was a time when baseball was easily my favorite sport.

I watched many games on a tiny 13” black-and-white TV in my bedroom because no one else in the house would tolerate sports.

I played Little League ball on the White Plains Pirates (a teammate was Mount Airy football coach Kelly Holder).

Over my teen years, however, baseball was replaced by basketball, football and boxing.

I still enjoy watching a baseball game live, but I just don’t enjoy those TV broadcasts anymore.

There is too much time between actions to hold my interest. You can watch a three-hour game (or longer) and see 17 hits on average. Say the game goes 200 minutes long; that comes to one hit every 12 minutes. The rest of the time is filled with missed pitches, ground outs, pop flys and lots and lots of blah, blah, blah from the announcers.

Consider that a foul ball is pretty similar to an incomplete pass in football. The ball goes up, you gets excited and hold your breath, and then you let out a sigh and wait for something else to happen.

However, while there are only 17 base hits for both teams, even the worst passing attack in the NFL gets at least 17 completions per game. In case you’re wondering, that is Carolina’s Cam Newton so far this season (16.8). New England is averaging 32 completions per game, New Orleans 29.5 and Detroit 27.3.

And those are just the passing plays. Teams run an average of 26 rushing plays per game.

Between both offenses, an NFL fan sees about 125 plays per game. And that’s with 22 players running around at once.

In baseball, most of the action is just the pitcher and batter. And “action” is a kind word since half the time the batter doesn’t even swing.

Compare that to basketball where teams run up and down the floor scoring 200 points between them.

Heck, I’m not a soccer fan, but at least futbol has players constantly on the move with no timeouts.

Baseball fans will say that it isn’t all about the action. It’s the strategy between pitcher and batter. It’s the anticipation of what could happen.

Well, chess has great strategy, but only the most ardent fans would want matches televised.

And if you’re talking expectancy, there’s nothing better than MMA. Two guys can be stalking around the octagon for a couple of minutes, and you’re afraid to take your eyes off the screen for a second because the fight could be over in one swing. Now THAT is anticipation.

Still, despite all this that I’ve said, I do enjoy high school baseball and going to watch the Winston-Salem Dash a couple of times a season. When you attend a game, there is so much going on that the time between pitches disappears. There are fans cheering, music blaring, concessions to be bought and consumed. And minor-league teams like the Dash try to give fans something entertaining between innings.

But I don’t want to watch MLB on TV.

And I’m tired of seeing it on ESPN. It’s fall weather, time for some football. The Chase is in full swing for NASCAR. NBA training camps are going on. College basketball teams will soon be holding their Midnight Madness sessions.

The boys of summer should be over by now. Instead, baseball drags on longer than ever.

Reggie Jackson used to be called Mr. October because his bat came alive in the World Series, and the World Series would be starting right about now.

Instead, we are just getting started on the MLB playoffs.

The World Series isn’t scheduled to start until my birthday at the end of the month. The title won’t be clinched until November. That’s just ridiculous.

Reggie Jackson would be Mr. October/November. Now you just know that isn’t right.

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By Jeff Linville

jlinville@civitasmedia.com

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.

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