I remember many a summer night as a kid playing versions of baseball in the back yard or the alley while Bernie next door had his garage radio set on BLAST for the neighborhood to listen with him to his beloved Minnesota Twins ball games. Harmon Killebrew hitting a home run late in a game on a three and two pitch … good times!
When the late Brian Johnson (“Johnners”) and Henry Blowers (“Blowers”) commentated on Crixket for BBC Radio the best parts of the transmission of Test Match Special was during rain and tea intervals when they would discuss cake. And there was plenty of time for their light relief from boredom over the three or five days of Cricket Test Match!
But if a game is only perfect for radio it must surely be utterly boring when live in the stadium/ground/pitch/wherever.
On this I must respectfully disagree. Baseball is great in the park, too. There’s plenty to watch that might escape casual notice—e.g., the infield shift, which tells you a lot about what’s likely (but not certain) to happen next.
The only time I watched a baseball game “in the park” was a Sunday afternoon game in New York’s Central Park. The play was a trfile interesting because the players were not professionals causing things to be missed. However, the game ended acrimoniously when one team substituted a late ringer to help them win the game. That bit was really entertaining to watch but hardly worth watching the rest of it.
I should add that MLB’s latest round of rule changes will restrict the use of defensive shifts, presumably to increase scoring, which, contrary to the evidence provided by what the rest of the world calls football, is the only thing fans care about.
“Looking to increase offense and hasten the game’s pace, M.L.B.’s 11-person competition committee voted to restrict defensive shifts, institute a pitch clock and increase the size of the bases.” (NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/09/sports/baseball/mlb-bans-shift.html)
Soon the game itself will come to more resemble the modern shenanigans pulled between innings than baseball games of old.
Vin Sculley sigh Such a loss. He made baseball fun for me. One of the things I’ve done post COVID is watch old Dodger games.
Hardly! It is great in the stadium! In fact, I attended the Cardinals opening game, in the “Green Seats” (right behind home base, row 6) no less. All the food I could eat, a great view, Clydesdales, Hall of Famers, and and a great game.
As to boring, its only boring if one has little knowledge of the strategy of pitching and hitting. If one has a decent knowledge of the types of pitches, the strategy of a pitcher facing particular batters, defensive strategies, and a working knowledge of analytics*, the game is indeed entertaining. One doesn’t have to have a thorough knowledge of any of those but one has to know more than the batter is suppose to the hit the ball and run to fully appreciate the game. There are other sports where strategy is no less important to winning but understanding strategy is less important for being entertained. Basketball in my estimation is an example. It’s fun to watch fast running and dunking even if one’s doesn’t understand the game strategies employed.
I think baseball is great on radio and TV. I can’t say the same for Hockey. Hockey is fun in person but I find it boring on TV. Soccer, well, I find it less than exciting in all venues.
*Regarding statistics, one analyst put it this way:
All sports have statistics, but there is something about baseball that lends itself to being the perfect sport for number nerds everywhere. So much so there’s even a specific name given to the study of baseball statistics: sabermetrics.
Precisely. But I will also say that I thought soccer was boring until I watched it enough to be able to see all the ways that the “boring” parts were similar to what I love about baseball. So often when a team is on the attack, it’s the equivalent of a base hit to the gap with a fast runner on first.
A 1-0 decision in soccer and in baseball could either be the most boring thing you’ve ever watched or the most exciting thing you’ve ever watched. Depends on your take.
Indeed, and now with larger bases and limited shifting, there is more running and “small” ball. I like the changes.
As I said earlier I have seen it in stadia. Yankees and Mets in their old ones in the same week and also several years before the Mets at home at Shea Stadium. There were moments of excitement like Strawberry being run out between first and second base but it really was momentary.
Horse drawn stage coaches and line ups of men in red blazers are not the game.
But I’ve said my piece.
Except for the new pitch clock.
I but it is part of the entire experience.
I’ve been using photos and even text capture without taking a photo to grab text from physical books. It cuts down on photos and for the last year or two has done a really good job.
One of my primary uses of Audio Hijack is to sync the radio broadcast with the TV so that, even if I do sit down to watch a few innings, I still get the radio call uninterrupted.
I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but I’ve seen a bajillion baseball games (for uninteresting reasons) and I keep watching things like the aforementioned video and more games that friends and family insist on. If I had to rank the amount of excitement baseball brings me, I’d put it right below paint drying. Unlike baseball, dry paint is exciting, because then the paint is dry in my house and I can move the furniture.
Also depends greatly on what park you are at. Living in Boston and having access to Fenway has definitely changed my view of MLB games compared to when I was in Michigan going to Tigers games. Fenway has a magic of its own.
No worries, you don’t. I understand why some find baseball boring, just as I find soccer boring, yet my understanding is that soccer is the world’s most popular sport.
I’m stretching this analogy but for some, watching baseball can be like watching chess, boring. However, a knowledgeable chess player would find a chess match exciting because of a deep knowledge of chess strategy. In baseball, it’s the focus on the strategic duel between pitchers and batters that makes the game interesting. It helps to have a decent knowledge of different pitches (different types of fast balls and breaking balls, etc.), and of course a few astounding defensive plays don’t hurt.
Pitchers’ duel FTW!