America’s Favorite Pastime Isn’t Ruled by the Clock
It is no surprise that baseball is my favorite sport, with football as close a second as there could possibly be. However, that is not a sentiment shared by many sports fans.
Fans that love the hard hits and bone-shattering tackles of football and the fast, up-and-down the court pace of basketball can’t seem to understand the appeal of something as slow and boring as baseball.
There is no arguing that baseball is played at a much slower pace than all other sports, except maybe golf. But boring? Not a chance.
The two most popular sports in the country are controlled by time as much as they are by either team. In football, and to a slightly lesser extent basketball, the winning team can run out the clock and deprive their competition of a chance to catch up.
Every weekend, multiple football games end with the quarterback taking a knee to kill both the clock and any hopes the losing team had of one final opportunity with the ball.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach Greg Schiano were criticized for rushing a quarterback in the victory formation. There seems to be a general consensus that the losing team should admit defeat as the final seconds of the game tick off the clock.
“It’s clean, hard football,” Schiano said in defense of his actions, and I have to say I agree with him, but that’s another soapbox for another time.
Schiano’s team was playing the game until the final whistle. Maybe he should be a baseball coach, where there is no clock and there is no victory formation.
A pitcher can’t hold the ball until the guy at the plate gives in. In baseball, you have to play every inning and you have to get every out. All 27 of them.
If your favorite football team is down 34-31 with 30 seconds left to play, but the other team has the ball, you probably don’t have a lot of hope left for a good outcome. But in baseball, those seconds would be outs and those outs would matter.
If you don’t believe me, just ask a Texas Rangers fan about out No. 27, or for a happier tale, you could ask a St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Just imagine, your team is down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, there are two outs, two runners on base and the guy at the plate has a 1-2 count. One strike and the game is over.
You have a comparative politics test at 8:30 the next morning, but it is really hard to see your notebook when your face is this close to the television.
Then the batter hits a triple off the right field wall and the rest becomes history.
That’s not boring, that’s baseball.
Haley Markle is the assistant sports editor for the Arkansas Traveler. Her column appears every Monday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.