July 20, 2012;Washington, D.C. USA; Baseball reflect in a glass case prior to the game between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball, America’s Pastime: Boring??

I was sitting in the back row of a company wide meeting the other day and the women giving the presentation said “Let’s not be boring, boring is baseball, baseball goes on and on and on and is just so boring, as a company, let’s not be baseball.”  Obviously, once I heard her mention baseball, my ears opened just a little more.  I began processing her words in my head and thinking why does baseball and the word boring seem to find each other in a sentence.

So I politely raised my hand to ask a simple question “why do you feel baseball is so boring?”

Sept. 19, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; A selection of major-league baseball gloves are seen in the dugout before a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Without any hesitation, I interrupted her opening comments back to my question, “The stick, the ball, the field, the players are all just a small part of what baseball really is.  Baseball teaches life lessons you can’t learn elsewhere.  You gain leadership skills, team working ability, patience, adversity, respect, work ethic and so much more.”

I went on explaining my reasoning for my outburst “The sport is not boring, every pitch matters, and within every pitch, the difference between a homerun and a strikeout is an inch and a half, a play at first base or home plate can be inches away for the opposite call.  Need drama?  September and October baseball can be some of the most on the edge of your seat moments in all of sports.  Also, players are always talking back and forth to each other and don’t let an umpire make the wrong call.”

“Before the television, the Internet and video gaming; baseball was what kids played and what most would talk about.  Is the world becoming to technically advanced to understand a simple sport, a game, America’s pastime?”

I proclaimed, “Baseball is referred by many as a great teacher of life.  You see the curveball in life because of the lessons picked up while enjoying this great game.  The game of baseball can teach us so many important things about life – never give up, failure is part of life, soak in the moment that’s ahead of you, one step in front of the other, focus on only what you can control and to be yourself.”

Then, I sneezed and realized I wasn’t saying any of this aloud.  Everything I said was true but nothing was getting to our presenter.  Maybe I’ll send an email and enlighten her on my thoughts on why exactly baseball isn’t boring; she’s only the Vice President of our company.  Or maybe I should ask what that meeting was about….

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  • fireboss

    We’ve become an ADD society. Those who disdain baseball have the attention span of a puppy. Football is their mantra, th e plays last 20 seconds, they have them explained to them in the next 30 while everybody decides to do in the following 20 . . .lather rinse repeat… It allows them to wander in and out of a game, drink and eat without missing anything. If per chance they burp and miss a play they know it will be replayed at halftime or after the game if it’s important. That’s why a game that has a 60 minute clock takes 3+ hours to play.

    I suggest a quote from Red Barber:

    Baseball is dull only to dull minds.

  • Lee Trocinski

    Any sport can be considered boring to someone that doesn’t understand the sport. There’s constant action in hockey and soccer, but I don’t know what they’re doing (along with little scoring), so it’s boring to me. Basketball is probably the most entertaining sport to the general public, combining the constant action and high scoring. I don’t see this happening (nor do I want it to happen), but changing the rules to make 3 balls a walk and 2 strikes a K would definitely speed up the game, possibly helping.

    The bigger problem with baseball is interest in the game. Each individual game is less important, so someone can just say “I’ll watch tomorrow.” Football wins this category with its week-long buildup to each game.

    Baseball had its long roots as the National Pastime because professional baseball leagues were around 50 years before football and 75 years before basketball. Things have gone in cycles, with basketball peaking in the 80′s and early 90′s, before the NFL took over. Things aren’t looking great for the NFL’s future at the moment, so baseball could retake the top spot, if this PED stuff can be expunged from the game.

  • Bob Long

    Baseball is a game of chess in cleats. How many people can actually sit and watch a game of chess?
    Baseball has all the components that you “thought of” in that meeting, but it is as much a game of strategy as chess. Every move in chess is similar to each pitch in baseball. Every pitch can be good, ok, bad or a horrible “move”. Every swing of the bat holds the same potential.

    The major problem is that in today’s “instant gratification” society, there is no gratification in every swing of the bat or every pitch. At least football has “gratifying” action every play.
    The loss associated with thinking that baseball is boring lies in the fact that people no longer want to think and strategize every pitch and swing for 3 hours. Mindless action rules the day.
    Why do you think that below average action movies make so much money?