It’s Time to Appreciate Time, In Baseball

Story by Evan Abramson  

People don’t have patience.

It’s as simple as that. At least 40 million people watched game seven of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. I can’t even fathom the total amount of people who watched 2,430 total games in any given season, totaled by the people who attend the games plus the ones who watch them on TV.

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But when people start complaining that America’s pastime, and in my opinion, one of the greatest sports ever created to play and watch is boring, or takes too long, well then, I say to you, Mr. Impatient, “calm down, learn how to relax, and try to expand your dog-like attention span.”

I have never understood people who tell me they don’t like baseball because it’s too boring or takes too long. Because these same people tell me they like watching basketball, a sport where completing the final two minutes of a game seems to take an eternity. Seriously, with what seems to me like 25 timeouts being called, combined with 50 commercials, all happening after every 10 seconds of actual game is played, I don’t understand how people can sit through the madness.

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I mean, come on people. I get we live in the world of social media and faster food delivery, but the idea of patience has dwindled down to the likes of some historic invention that no one uses anymore, like the newspaper (which don’t even get me started on).

Simply put, millennial’s have no idea how to wait or relax. We always have to be moving, have what’s new, or be entertained. If our Twitter feed is three minutes old, we viciously scroll up to try to refresh the feed for the 1,000 new Tweets that have somehow been created. If a TV show we are streaming starts to lag or needs to buffer, we freak out because we have to wait five minutes before we can start watching the Game of Thrones season seven finale again (I’m actually fine with this last one).

But enough is enough. We need to chill and go back 20 years. We need to learn how to sit at a game on a beautiful day or in our rooms, and enjoy a nice cold drink and a hot dog. We need to realize that sometimes, the greatest moments in sports history may take a little longer to develop than happening all within three seconds. In what other sport can we see a man like Bartolo Colón, Big Sexy, a 44-year old pitcher, swing at a pitch and hit a home run. And by the way, the call by Gary Cohen during the home run, to me, is one of the greatest calls of all time.

So, you see, when someone tells me that baseball takes too long or baseball is boring, I first, can’t take you seriously, and second, know that you have no patience. If you can watch Bartolo’s home run above, and watch the below video of Mike Piazza hitting a home run at Shea Stadium right after 9/11 to lift the spirits of New York’s people, and tell me baseball still is boring, then I want you to email me why. Because I’m genuinely interested how that’s possible.

Whether it’s hysterical or inspirational, baseball has so much to offer, on the field and off. With that said, I want to share some numbers before I end my little rant.

The average MLB baseball game takes two hours and 56 minutes. The average length of a NFL football game is three hours and nine minutes. So, when people want to see baseball eliminate the extra time between pitches, the time a coach can talk to his team in a mound visit, or take away the intentional walk process and make it just a call so that the batter can take his base without having to see four pitches, I say “no.” Because that would mean no more of this:

And better yet, I say to everyone who thinks baseball takes too long, “baseball doesn’t want you.” I mean it. If you think it’s too boring to watch, don’t watch it. It’s ridiculous to change something that’s perfect. Read this New York Times article changing the game from nine innings to seven innings? Are you serious? That’s like saying we should take away a period from hockey or a quarter from football.

And that’s not even the craziest suggested change. Other suggestions from the New York Times “letter to the editor” article include eliminating the fourth ball needed for a walk and making foul balls count as strikes that could strike you out.

Look, baseball is a slow game. I’m not crazy. But slow doesn’t mean bad. Baseball is a developing game. That means that every hit can’t be a home run. You need to steal, bunt, take pitches, swing for power, swing for contact, and hit and run. There is no feeling better than witnessing a no-hitter or a perfect game being thrown. And the feeling seeing the final out being made, or the hit or walk to break it all up is just as exciting. And you know what, it all goes back to having patience, something people no longer have. Baseball is perfect, and it shouldn’t change.



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