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Thread: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

  1. #61
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    I work with a couple Indian guys who are huge cricket fans.

    They think baseball teams go about it all wrong. Batters should just make contact and place the ball better. And defenses leave huge gaps in the OF.

    One thinks baseball is boring but the other is a big Tigers fan. He lives up in Windsor Canada. Its kinda funny hear his accent. Canadian Indian.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    Cricket games in the 1800s could go on for days
    In 1997, I spent a couple of weeks during July in Europe (mostly London, but 3-4 days in Paris). This was before everyone had easy access to the internet, and I went through baseball withdrawal. I was actually buying two-day-old copies of the USA Today at the newsstand near my hotel in London so that I could read the box scores! Anyway, one afternoon I had some down time, and I turned on the TV. There was a cricket match on. I thought to myself, "Hey, there's a bat and a ball. I'll give it a try." But I was so lost I can't even describe it!
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  3. #62
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by gilpdawg View Post
    I love baseball...why would I want less of it?
    I love it too, but I think a lot of what isn't really baseball should be drained away.

    I'm not any less a fan of watermelon just because I don't eat the rind.
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  4. #63
    Member improbus's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    I'd like to see their breakdown on soccer. The sport is pretty much constant action. No time outs, limited substitutions, and if a player gets a red card, his team has to play a man down for the rest of the game. Yet I suspect the WSJ will bring out the tired argument that there isn't enough scoring. Yet there is so much more to it than just scoring goals. Much like baseball, in which a 1-0 pitcher's duel can be just as exciting as a slugfest, a soccer match in which an underdog can pull off a key draw against a superior team can be just as tense and exciting as a 4-3 goal fest. And goals themselves can be some of the most beautiful moments in sport.
    Also, the rhythm of the game led directly to the unique fan involvement you get at a soccer match. The singing and chanting are possible because the action is continuous. This kind of fan action would be almost impossible in the start and stop nature of our more traditional sports.

    I will be interested to see how the current kids take to baseball. It isn't too slow for those of us who grew up with three channels, no wifi, an Atari 2600, and the need to entertain ourselves for hours at a time. Also, I would guess that almost everyone on this board grew up listening to games on the radio. I'm not sure that will continue with the coming generation.
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  5. #64
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    I could write a similar article about soccer. From all the rooting and cheering I see and hear at soccer games, I would sound like as big a buffoon to that sports fans as this guy did to me.

    My response is that I can heat things up really fast in the microwave, but that doesn't mean it tastes better. In fact, you almost always get less than from something cooked in a microwave. Also, the author begged the question with his "action" criteria, and with the snideness of the article, demonstrated a clear biased list when defining "action." "So how many hot dogs do you think that kid's eaten?" "How drunk is that guy?" "Does he really have to slur f-bombs around my kids?" All action from my cheap seats.
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  6. #65
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    Also, the rhythm of the game led directly to the unique fan involvement you get at a soccer match. The singing and chanting are possible because the action is continuous. This kind of fan action would be almost impossible in the start and stop nature of our more traditional sports.

    I will be interested to see how the current kids take to baseball. It isn't too slow for those of us who grew up with three channels, no wifi, an Atari 2600, and the need to entertain ourselves for hours at a time. Also, I would guess that almost everyone on this board grew up listening to games on the radio. I'm not sure that will continue with the coming generation.
    The generation you have in future tense is already here. And baseball is very popular in my area, making a strong comeback from the soccer diversion of the previous 10-15 years. Organized baseball, that is. Unfortunately, I am seeing a real breakdown in kids not playing sandlot and backyard baseball.
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  7. #66
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    I will be interested to see how the current kids take to baseball. It isn't too slow for those of us who grew up with three channels, no wifi, an Atari 2600, and the need to entertain ourselves for hours at a time. Also, I would guess that almost everyone on this board grew up listening to games on the radio. I'm not sure that will continue with the coming generation.
    You know, baseball might work with current kids because of the inaction. They can do multiple things (usually something to do with their phones) while watching the game.

    I wonder if all of these travel teams are going to hurt baseball with this generation of kids. I could see them burning out kids on the game. Or if you aren't good enough to play 60 games a summer when you're eight years old, you stop playing because you'll never catch the kids who were good enough.

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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverRat13 View Post
    You know, baseball might work with current kids because of the inaction. They can do multiple things (usually something to do with their phones) while watching the game.

    I wonder if all of these travel teams are going to hurt baseball with this generation of kids. I could see them burning out kids on the game. Or if you aren't good enough to play 60 games a summer when you're eight years old, you stop playing because you'll never catch the kids who were good enough.
    I would say yes, travel ball is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It seems like it is letting the kids who just love baseball become advanced players at an early age. However, my observation is that it is really causing rec leagues to deteriorate from lack of good coaching, and taking all the talented kids who help raise the level of play in these leagues, as kids learn best through watching others compete, mimicing and adjusting their game. There are a lot of kids with talent, but they are not getting exposed to the level of competition that helps bring out that talent---except for the chosen few. Elitist at the core.
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    I would say yes, travel ball is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It seems like it is letting the kids who just love baseball become advanced players at an early age. However, my observation is that it is really causing rec leagues to deteriorate from lack of good coaching, and taking all the talented kids who help raise the level of play in these leagues, as kids learn best through watching others compete, mimicing and adjusting their game. There are a lot of kids with talent, but they are not getting exposed to the level of competition that helps bring out that talent---except for the chosen few. Elitist at the core.
    You didn't even mention the cost. Baseball used to be the sport of the poor in the US. It isn't that way for the most part anymore.
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Travel teams in baseball, AAU in basketball, spring football for ten year olds...... All negatives IMO. The push towards specialization for good athletes hurts baseball because the top athletes are choosing basketball and football.

    The lack of participation from African American kids is by far the thing that hurts baseball the most. Puig is such a great story in large part because kids like that don't play baseball in America anymore--- or at least they are very rare. Black kids have completely turned to football and basketball and because they can do those two things year round (in addition to other social factors) baseball is an afterthought to them at best.

    Baseball will never go away.... It has too strong of a foothold in certain areas of the country, but it has already been displaced by football and basketball in the national consciousness and it will only get worse from here unless someone can figure out a way for the best youth athletes in the country to play ball again.

  13. #70
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    You didn't even mention the cost. Baseball used to be the sport of the poor in the US. It isn't that way for the most part anymore.
    Thanks for adding that. For example, you now buy your own bat, batting helmet, and of course, you must have a bat bag. You usually have to buy baseball pants now too.

    Sponsors buy t-shirts, caps, and catching equipment from what I see. Oh, and buy advertising.

    And most leagues have registration fees. My son plays in a league that does not charge registration fees, but he must agree to participate in fund raising activities (so not really free anymore, but sweat equity).
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  14. #71
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    Thanks for adding that. For example, you now buy your own bat, batting helmet, and of course, you must have a bat bag. You usually have to buy baseball pants now too.

    Sponsors buy t-shirts, caps, and catching equipment from what I see. Oh, and buy advertising.

    And most leagues have registration fees. My son plays in a league that does not charge registration fees, but he must agree to participate in fund raising activities (so not really free anymore, but sweat equity).
    My nephew is a catcher and in our local leagues, players are expected to provide their own catching gear. The regular-season jerseys were free, but All-Star uniforms were not.

  15. #72
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    Thanks for adding that. For example, you now buy your own bat, batting helmet, and of course, you must have a bat bag. You usually have to buy baseball pants now too.

    Sponsors buy t-shirts, caps, and catching equipment from what I see. Oh, and buy advertising.

    And most leagues have registration fees. My son plays in a league that does not charge registration fees, but he must agree to participate in fund raising activities (so not really free anymore, but sweat equity).
    Soccer is still really popular in my area. It's big with the immigrant community and has made inroads into the lower income brackets because most kids just need a ball and can get cleats and shinguards second hand. Baseball and football are popular in my middle class neighborhood, but the expense and time commitments are ridiculous. The baseball leagues have kids buying their own equipment, just getting jerseys and hats. And then there are multiple games and practices each week. There's supposed to be a two hour limit to games, but they always seem to start an inning right before the limit, which allows them to go over.

    Football in Northeast Ohio is insane. Families buy the equipment for the players and they have 2 hour practices 5 nights a week with games on Saturdays. And this is for pee wee football. If you're a household where both parents work, it's almost impossible for parents to keep up with the schedule.

    As I see it, soccer and basketball are becoming the sports of choice for a lot of low income and dual income working families because of the low cost of entry and the lower time commitments. Of course those sports also have travel clubs, but plenty of kids can still play inexpensively through rec leagues and the YMCA.
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  16. #73
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    Quote Originally Posted by Edskin View Post
    Travel teams in baseball, AAU in basketball, spring football for ten year olds...... All negatives IMO. The push towards specialization for good athletes hurts baseball because the top athletes are choosing basketball and football.

    The lack of participation from African American kids is by far the thing that hurts baseball the most. Puig is such a great story in large part because kids like that don't play baseball in America anymore--- or at least they are very rare. Black kids have completely turned to football and basketball and because they can do those two things year round (in addition to other social factors) baseball is an afterthought to them at best.

    Baseball will never go away.... It has too strong of a foothold in certain areas of the country, but it has already been displaced by football and basketball in the national consciousness and it will only get worse from here unless someone can figure out a way for the best youth athletes in the country to play ball again.
    One of the things baseball might try is a movement I've started to see in youth soccer. There has been an increase in soccer academies run by professional teams as well as colleges and private organizations. In order to increase the size and quality of their talent pool, they've been entering into associative agreements with the rec leagues and local soccer clubs to offer free skills clinics to the players and coaching clinics for the coaches. I've really seen an increase in the level of play from when I was a kid. Plus, although you still have the expensive travel clubs, some of the academies have "no pay" teams where talented kids can play higher level opponents regardless of their parents' ability to pay. I know MLB has started some inner city academies, but it might be something for the Reds and Ohio college programs to think about creating their own network of academies where they work with existing rec leagues to provide clinics for players and training for coaches, not just in the inner cities, but also in some of the poorer rural communities in surrounding counties. Those rec leagues would then serve as feeders for the academies themselves, which would then give pro teams and colleges a leg up on scouting the local talent.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  17. #74
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: Baseball is slow and boring

    I teach for Cincinnati Public Schools in two different neighborhoods. Baseball has made a roaring comeback with urban youth in this area. The Reds deserve a lot of the credit for their Community Fund, RBI and Rookie Success initiatives.


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