Friday, February 20, 2015

The ten most annoying things in baseball that must go

Oh, look! A listicle! Thank god for listicles, cuz what would we do for reading otherwise?

As the title says, there are a few annoying things about baseball. Most of them have developed in the last decade. I've written them in a listicle because that's how you're supposed to write everything these days unless you're talking about WAR, OPS, or BEBOPALUBOP+. Without further ado:

10. Formulaic beat writing that could be produced by a software program

Used to be, writers were writers. They could make you feel like you were there with the written word. You felt the tension of the at bats, the breathing of the crowds, and the slight breeze coming in from leftfield. You smelled the hot dogs and the freshly mowed grass and you heard the thump of a fastball blowing by a hitter. Now, you get game recaps thrown together in an hour because deadlines, and there's a real dearth of quality. Heck, I don't read many game recaps anymore. I do appreciate Tom Boswell, though.  I want to believe.

9. Space Wars Night, Anniversary of Player's First MLB Turd Night, Plastic Junk from China Night, etc.

Promotions have gotten out of control. Insane people line up three hours before a game to get a cheaply made bobblehead whose only key to the supposed identity of the likeness is the name on the back of the jersey. We have people dressing up in costumes that aren't remotely related to baseball, teams issuing stupid uniforms for some stupid idea an intern probably came up with, teams giving out all kinds of junk that people throw in their closets to collect dust. Whatever happened to team photo day? What every happened to baseball card day? There used to be a few promos a year. Now there's one every other day. Why does everything have to be commemorated? Everything is so "memorable" that nothing is memorable anymore. Just watch the game.

8. Craft beer madness

You don't need sixty choices of beer when you go to a baseball game. You don't even need ten choices. And most of those choices aren't even good. Liquified hops. I mean, they're so much the opposite of Crud Light that they almost are Crud Light. They go full circle.

Now, I don't like bad beer. People made fun of me in college because I wouldn't drink crap beer. Back then, we were called "beer snobs" and were looked down upon. Some of the same people who looked down on me for preferring imports and domestic premiums now look down upon those who drink what they used to drink back then. Btw, I would never drink Crud Light at a bar, but at a baseball game? 'Merca!

And while we're on the topic of beer, how about you Nationals fans actually watching a game for once instead of spending all of the your time in the bars?

7. Rain delays with no rain

This is getting out of hand. Forget your fancy radars. Use your eyes. Play the game until it's too wet to play. I've been to three games in the last couple of years when there was a rain delay with no rain. I've seen several others on television. No one is going to melt if they get a few drops of water on them.

6. Bitching about broadcasters

Does Thom Brennaman say annoying things sometimes? Of course. Does Marty Brennaman criticize some players too much? Definitely. But I'd rather hear Thom be annoying all of the time and Marty criticize everyone than put up with the incessant whining about how bad the announcers are. Learn to tune it out, mute it, or don't watch/listen. You're ruining the game for everyone, including yourself.

5. Rooting for outs

Some players strike out a lot and they don't get on base other times. This is not the type of player you want on your team unless he's like Brooks Robinson in the field. Some players don't strike out very often but they also don't get on base that much. These players are equivalent to each other. Other players strike out a lot but get on base four out of ten times. These are the players you want on your team. Why are you rooting for the player who makes more outs just because he strikes out fewer times than the guy who doesn't get out as much? And why do you refuse to see there is no logic to what you say?

That being said...

4. Sabrbullying

Look, we're not doubting your math skills. But your caustic criticism of the ill-informed is not witty - it's just mean. You don't have all the answers. You can't even decide on how to measure defensive effectiveness. I loved Bill James's takedown of the sabrbullies last year. You've forgotten how to enjoy the game for the game. Not everything is about numbers. There's nothing wrong with letting yourself feel the romance or nostalgia of it all.

And by the way, wins do matter. Sure, a guy who goes 13-14 may have played for a bad team, but four or five fewer runs in a season may have given him a winning record. That could have been one bad inning that he brought upon himself. And that guy who went 15-5? I want him on my team.

3. God Bless America and other faux patriotism displays

We get it. You love America. You've probably never even been anywhere else, but hey, you're the best, right? (If only you knew.) These self-aggrandizing displays of narcissism by people who think serving their country just "isn't for me" and that clapping for soldiers who put their lives at risk somehow makes up for it and is somehow "supporting the troops" is disgusting. If you want to be patriotic, visit Arlington Cemetery or donate to a veterans organization. You might actually learn something about real patriotism.

2. Taint Louis Barfnals fans

We know. 11 World Series rings. You tell us every day. A hundred times.

1. Listicles

 Can we please go back to writing well-thought out essays instead of caving into ADD Nation?

By the way, if you haven't picked up your copy of Baseball Prospectus 2015 yet, you can get it here.

1 comment:

Ronny Breivik said...

Agree on the beer comment. Why not sell a draft license per season? Should bring in revenue.

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