Earlier last week, I was on KRUI’s radio show “Sports Squawk” (Wednesday’s 1-2pm) and the question was posed “What are you most excited for about the MLB season?” After a brief second, I blurted out, “October.” That’s right. The thing I am most excited for is the end of the season. After the shock in the studio had completely set in, I proclaimed, “I vow not to watch a single minute of baseball this year.” Now, while I realize that I can’t really avoid replays and highlights on TV, I will not sit down to watch TV with the intent to watch a MLB game (unless I am at the game). Again, after the shock wore off, the show ended and I lost the respect of my peers. But I can justify it. I didn’t really explain why on the radio, but there are several factors as to why I won’t watch baseball again for a long time.
The first reason is maybe the most practical. I hate the speed of the game. It has gotten too slow for me. The games are typically about 3 hours long with more commercials than the average sport that is shown on TV. Football is starting to get this bad too, because they take commercial breaks between kickoffs and the offense taking the field, but baseball is especially slow, because of the half inning commercial and the pitching change commercial, which gets especially frustrating around the 7th or 8th inning. The pitchers love taking their time as well. They are starting to get a little bit better, but then the batter decided to step out of the box after every pitch, and suddenly we have a 4 hour game on our hands. If the Yankees and Red Sox are playing, it’s almost guaranteed a 3 and a half hour game or longer. It’s too much. They used to be able to play double headers in an afternoon back in the days of Ruth. Why can’t we go back to that?
Secondly, the steroids scandal has finally broken me down. For the longest time, I have just let the scandal happen, and allowed it to not affect me watching the games. That time is over. I don’t know who to trust anymore. I’m just assuming that everyone is taking PEDs, and the sportsman in me keeps saying that cheating is immoral. That begs the question, “If everyone is doing it, is it cheating?” And my answer is “Yes.” It’s a disadvantage. And for the record, I’m sick of everyone saying that PEDs saved the sport because homeruns began flying out of the park more frequently. Or you could just move the outfield fence closer. Jam even more fans in the stadiums with more seats. It’s either that or have the endless debate about who’s going to the Hall of Fame. Which leads me to my third point.
The Hall of Fame voting process has been completely destroyed. There is no way to distinguish the weight of steroids on someone’s HOF resume. Barry Bonds had HOF numbers before he became the Hulk but we remember him as the Hulk in San Francisco, rather than the overall great player he was in Pittsburgh. The HOF process is always going to be talked about. Just the fact that no one got in this year is a travesty, and do you think Joe Buck is going to stop talking about it? Absolutely not. So all of these things have added up to the frustrations that have culminated into my personal baseball strike. You don’t have to join me, but answer this: Can you live with yourself for cheering on cheaters? I can’t. That’s why I’ve stopped. I hope there is a day that I can watch baseball guilt free again. But until then, I’ll stick to the sports that I can trust.