Monday, July 09, 2007

A MID-SUMMER CLASSIC SNOOZER


All-star games have become a joke! Take a look around at all the majors. The NBA and NHL all-star games for the most part penalize players that actually play defense. The NFL Pro Bowl is a slight upgrade from watching the all-stars play touch football upon the sands of Waikiki Beach.

Perhaps the one major that provides an all-star game that is somewhat true to the integrity of their respective sport is Major League Baseball.

At least that used to be the case.

I can remember as a kid, neighbors would gather around in backyards and watch the Mid-Summer Classic on portable TV sets that featured the proper angle of rabbit ears antennae coupled with just the right positioning of aluminum foil in order to efficiently accept the heavenly sent signals.

Players played with pride. They battled to represent their league and they willingly accepted the honor bestowed upon them – a spot on their league’s all-star roster.

Today the MLB all-star game is watered down considerably and it will be next to impossible to restore the passion and interest that once brought neighbors together in backyards, around picnic tables and in front of dozens of spiced up crustaceans.

Not many care enough any more.

There are too many games on. There are too many unfamiliar players on too many new teams. The interleague play highly diminishes the allure of this one time must see television event.

Today players want bonuses to participate. When I was a kid, participation was the bonus. Now in order to get them jazzed up about the game, Einstein’s opposite came up with this incentive of all incentives – let’s let the winning league have home field advantage in the World Series.

Gee, that ought to pump up Brian Roberts and the Devil Rays’ Carl Crawford, don’t you think?

Baseball certainly has its fair share of issues and the all-star game isn’t anywhere near the top of that list. The pace of the game is choking it. Kids today want immediate reward and they are adrenalin junkies. A 4 hour baseball game to the X-box generation is like a gumball to a crack head. It lacks the juice and it doesn’t feed the craving.

Today the Mid-Summer Classic is no different than the game itself or the other major all-star games. They are no more than cures for insomnia.

There was a day when football games were nearly an hour longer than baseball games. Today you are more likely to finish a Ravens game before an Orioles game. That’s like getting a much better entrée at a much better restaurant with far more efficient service at a lower price.

No wonder they don’t gather in backyards the way they used to.

2 comments :

Jonesing for Football said...

Couldn't agree more. Last night I tried to watch the home run derby and it just seemed that they were trying so hard to make it compelling TV. It wasn't, particularly with Berman calling every home run.

"WOW"

"OH MY!"

and then of course

"BACK-BACK-BACK"

Dan Patrick is retiring from ESPN. I wish Berman would do the same.

Anonymous said...

"That’s like getting a much better entrée at a much better restaurant with far more efficient service at a lower price."

I disagree completely with this line. Baseball is a far superior game, always has been, always will be.

Unfortunately, it is just not "made for TV" the way that football is.