August 6, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Baseball Still Blows

I'm reporting at the Houston Astros game tonight for SportsRadio 610. Needless to say...I'm having an abysmal time!

Can you blame me? Can you - as a hardcore...or casual fan of sports - sit down for three to four hours, and actually focus on a baseball game the whole way through?

I'm not just saying this because I'm stationed here in Houston, where every night I'm treated to a minor league baseball team. The sport is nothing more than a stale affair mingled with crotch grabbing and chew spitting. You couldn't PAY me to watch it.

I take that back...continue to pay me...please. I'll suck it up.

But even if I lived in a place with a good team - where fans actually cared about the sport - I'd struggle to watch the game. Too slow. Too boring.

Baseball will never change the game up. Why? Because Bud Selig and company are zealously over-loyal to the sport's history. Only a buffoon would blindly ignore a blown call by an umpire, and then upon seeing the replay in HD, justify that human error is a part of this game. Yes's a BAD part.

I digress. The game is beyond saving (though a pitch clock would help a lot).

I've made it perfectly clear that I have ZERO faith in Selig's ability to make baseball watchable. It all comes down to the players and managers to turn this Pinto around.

How can you do that?

Easy. With characters. Guys who don't give a damn...whether they're on the field, in the clubhouse, or talking to the media. Guys who want to compete and have fun at the same time.

Guys who can play the game WITHOUT looking as bored as we are.

Maybe I was spoiled. I grew up with Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez, two guys who entertained us with their shenanigans every night. I saw the 2004 Red Sox - a team that nicknamed themselves the idiots - win the World Series in dramatic fashion.

And my love for Ozzie Guillen has no bounds...especially after I got the full Ozzie experience.

But today, all I see are 450 clone-zombies repeating the same thing every day. On the diamond. In the dugout. Talking to the media. Very few players nowadays actually stand out.

That's why we need more Bryce Harpers, who's chilling out in center field at Minute Maid Park as I write this post.

Bryce's stardom has a lot to do with the absurdly over the top hype he's been receiving since high school. But the guy is pretty entertaining to watch.

And it doesn't have a whole lot to do with his play. His stats are the definition of mediocre. It's because the dude has swag.

He overhustles - which apparently is frowned upon in baseball. Just ask Cole Hamels. He makes epic misjudgments in the field, and plays it off as no big deal. He has actually said "clown question" and "bro" in the same sentence. And he showed up fools at the All Star Game with cleats that would put the Million Dollar Man to shame.

Love him or hate him...he's actually someone polarizing enough to keep you interested in baseball. But unless we see a wealth of young players similar to Harper, Nyjer Morgan and Brian Wilson make it to the big leagues, we'll be forced to suffer through more boredom.

Unless...they juice up again. I'm down for that.

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