John Walker's Electronic House

Be Interested In Baseball, You Idiots

by on Oct.01, 2008, under The Rest

I know literally two people who care about this, but baseball has worked out rather well this year.

The White Sox just won their tiebreak game against the Twins for the American League Central Division, with a home run by Thome, and incredible pitching by Danks. And three days ago the Phillies won the National League East Division, in a game I missed while at the PC Gamer Showdown (I got to see their meaningless encore game on Sunday night, which they won 8-3 with their B-team).

Thank goodness for baseball, or I’d have no sporting interests at all. And of course it’s hard to enjoy a sport unless you’re rooting for a team. And so while my relationships with Chicago and Philadelphia are second-hand, these are the teams I’ve followed.

I’ve been watching the sport since 1999, when Channel 5 started showing it, but didn’t take an invested interest until 2005, following the White Sox. I couldn’t really have picked a better year, since they went on to win the World Series. And I was lucky enough to be in Chicago during the Divisional play-offs, and felt the remarkable levity in the whole city as they supported their team. (Well, one of their teams – Cubs fans were less elated. This year Chicago is going to be berserk, with both the Sox and Cubs through to the play-offs for the first time in 102 years).

I think it’s safe to say the Phillies succeeded this year due to my wearing a Phillies cap at all points when outside (it’s that or have my weird, rubbish hair stick out at stupid angles), and most especially when on stage in front of a crowd of literally a few people at the Showdown. In fact, it was that very night that they won their division, so it’s pretty undeniable it was due to me. I look forward to their gratitude.

So yes – the next few weeks are going to be great, so long as both teams don’t go out before at least the divisional play-offs. I’ll allow one of them to not make the World Series, because clearly the confusion of not knowing which side to cheer on might spoil the whole affair. Although I suppose I’d be pleased whoever won or lost in that scenario, so maybe it would be for the best. Yes, okay, I shall expect both teams to make the final. Although I will not be wearing two caps to ensure this happens – there are limits. (And frankly, I’m not really able to bring myself to wear a White Sox cap any more, since it’s encroaching on Yankees territory as a fashion label in this stupid, twattish country. Oh, and all those hundreds of thousands of Yankees-hat-wearing idiots must be very disappointed that their team didn’t make the play-offs for the first time in over a decade. EXCEPT THEY’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE YANKEES, THE FASHION VICTIM MORONS).

Also (and this is a sentence that will only make sense to two people reading this), if the Dodgers win anything in the post-season, I will be demanding some major rule changes. They didn’t even win enough games to win the wildcard in their league. Ridiculous.

9 Comments for this entry

  • km

    woo! (nothing else. i’m going to bed for real now)

  • The Poisoned Sponge

    I find it really boring watching sport for some reason. I love playing it, and regularly do, but watching it tends to be a little dull. Is that wierd?

  • Pace

    So it was you responsible for the Phillies winning the NL East? I may have to kill you. I’m a Mets fan. As I was last year when the Phillies won. By a single game. On the last day of the year. Slightly less tension this year as the Phillies clinched the division over the Mets with two games to go. The Mets however again waited until the very last day to lose the wild card to the Brewers. By a single game. On the last day of the year. It’s especially brutal having followed 162 games throughout the course of the year only to lose out on the last one. Twice!

    (And the Dodgers this year aren’t even as bad as the Cardinals, who actually won the world series 2 years ago with a worse regular season record than the Dodgers’ is this year. Guess who they beat in the NL championship? That’s right, the Mets. By a single game.) (oh, and as any proper Mets fan I also hate the Yankees and anyone wearing their caps.)

  • mathew

    To me, baseball is only slightly more interesting to watch than cricket (which is a damning statement.)

    Basketball is where it’s at – looking forward to going to see the Raptors more this year hopefully.

  • botherer

    Didn’t the Mets have a squillion game lead for the longest time? They had to work hard to lose by one game from that.

    And Mathew, really, no. Wouldn’t it save a lot of time in the Taking It In Turns Game to just play the last thirty seconds, to save the unutterable tedium of watching them take it in turns to score points?

  • Pace

    It was last year when the Mets had a squillion game lead that they worked quite hard to get rid of. This year was more neck and neck with the Phillies for …. wait a second, was that a taunt? Oh that’s just mean!

    My main problem with basketball is all the knuckleheads that play it. (in the NBA at least.) And yeah baseball doesn’t have a high level of action all the time, it’s more laid back, and that’s part of its charm. I mean they play it just about every day for almost 6 months, you have to take it a bit easy! But, at least they don’t break for tea time like in cricket. (I think.)

  • The Poisoned Sponge

    Oh just watch rugby you fools.

  • botherer

    The thing about baseball is it seems incredibly slow until you figure out it’s a game about pitching, not hitting. If you watch it waiting for the home runs, then sure, you’re going to see maybe three or four in three hours. But when you realise it’s a battle between two pitchers, and that there’s a logic and a tactic behind every moment, then there’s something exciting happening every few seconds.

  • Pace

    Yeah, there’s a lot going on, and the more you know the more you can appreciate it. It’s difficult to convey the complexity of all the strategy, from pitching to fielding to coaching to baserunning. It takes a long time to learn the game properly. (try explaining the infield fly rule to someone sometime.)

    This made me think of an absolutely adorable science fiction short story about aliens and baseball (and cricket!) I read awhile ago. It’s absolutely lovely, if anyone is interested. (note it carries on to page 2.) (that site loads slowly, be patient.)

    (and that made me think of a fun add-on to Spore; have your creatures play baseball.)