Been shirking my duties as a blogger here for any number of reasons: working on my own book, looking for full-time work, other blogs, ranting on Facebook (not necessarily in that order). But one of the things I wanted to mention was the misguided attempt by MLB to try to cater to people who maybe shouldn’t be watching baseball in the first place.
If you can’ stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. And if you can’t stand extra innings, don’t come out to the ballpark or watch. In fact, when it comes to the latter, you are the master of your domain; simply turn it off or change the channel.
Baseball is too slow, some say. You know what? That’s one of the selling points. A nice leisurely get-together with family and friends on a warm summer’s evening. Perhaps no time limits make things less dramatic. Try telling that to the nail-biters when their team is down to their last at-bat with men on base and trailing.
I used to track games at Mets and Yankees games for STATS Inc. And since I didn’t drive to the ballparks, I had to get out of there in time to make the last bus or train home to New Jersey. Once the clock struck 10:30 or so, I started to sweat. Same if the game went into extras. But I would never want to see the likes of what they’re suggesting: putting a runner on second to start the inning. Ugh. Look at all the fun contests there have been, and the pride in saying you saw the whole thing, either in person or on the tube.
Here is one take on the ridiculousness of such a plan.
According to the writer,
The open-ended nature of extra-innings contests fueled both record books and literary imaginations. W.P. Kinsella’s novel “The Iowa Baseball Confederacy” was about a game that lasted more than 2,000 innings. The pro baseball record is 33, for a 1981 contest between minor league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. That game inspired the book “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game,” by Dan Barry, a columnist for The New York Times.
Here’s another commentary, courtesy of John Thorn, official MLB historian. And, of course, the Times has to weigh in. And The Sporting News, formerly known as the “bible of baseball” before things went south, which calls the idea “extra dumb.”
Although I will say that one bad thing about extra innings is that it has lead to a decided lack of imagination when it comes to coming up with book titles.