Game 7 of the World Series. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948. The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. Can Cleveland, a city that had been void of a major championship for 52 years win a NBA and MLB title in the same year? Can Theo Epstein manage and control a team so well that he broke the 86 year drought for the Red Sox in 2004 and the 108 year drought for the Cubs in 2016? These are story lines that can’t be fabricated to be more compelling.
I hadn’t watched a baseball game in close to 4 years and if I had to guess I have only watched 3 games in the past 6 or 7 years (all of which were playoff or World Series games). I don’t like baseball anymore. It used to be my favorite sport growing up, my dad was a huge Detroit Tigers fan and passed the passion for the game down to me. After the Tiger playoff runs in the late ought’s, I lost my desire to keep up with the game. But last night I was going to watch. Last night was more than just a stubborn millennial refusing to watch a sport with a viewing demographic of old white men.
I fired up my fireTV stick, loaded the Fox Sports Go app and selected the game. The first thing that appeared on my old plasma screen was the punchable “addicted to hair plugs” face of Joe Buck. I forgot Joe Buck called all of the major MLB games for Fox. Not a great start. After the awkward in booth conversation between the commentators bulky over produced graphics occupied the screen. I then muted the game to eliminate the Joe “America is the greatest country in the world” Buck from ruining my experience.
The broadcast then went to the field reporters. Ken Rosenthal did his best Craig Sager impersonation with his attention seeking bow tie. Field reporters who have a signature look have reached a level of narcissism that can’t be matched in the sports world.
I’ve made it known that I don’t like the sports broadcasts by Fox. Once the game started and Fowler hit the lead off home run I became excited. Fun baseball, something I thought was extinct. Then the producer for the broadcast immediately zoomed in on sad Indian fans in the crowd. Fox utilizes crowd shots like your conservative friend on facebook uses anti-Hillary Clinton memes. At the conclusion of the top of the first inning, the broadcast then showed a reaction video of Chicago fans in a Chicago bar after the Fowler home run. Of course they went crazy and all looked to the camera in the corner over reacting and jumping like idiots to get on TV. Reaction videos on the internet are popular right guys?
Then the commercials started. An ad for Speak for Yourself, a debate show featuring Colin “Sean Taylor was a thug” Cowherd and Jason “obese fedora” Whitlock. The bombardment of terrible sports production and Fox Sports propaganda truly amazed me. Before the inevitable Undisputed ad violated my eyes the stream froze and that was the only excuse I needed to turn the game off.
I tried to watch baseball. I really did.
This whole post sounds petty and irrational but I can’t be alone in experiencing these feelings. From what I have seen, the game turned out to be amazing. Multiple home runs, errors, rain delays, extra innings, all kinds of drama unfolded while playing under monumental pressure. But as much as I wanted to, I didn’t care. The barrier of entry was to overcome the Fox Sports mishaps and I don’t care enough about baseball to tolerate Fox. The morning after one of its most historical, highly rated, and memorable nights, I am going to divert my attention from Fox Sports to shit on the game of baseball itself.
I am not the first to proclaim that baseball has not aged well in recent years. Current society requires fast and constant stimulation, something baseball does not provide. The game is so slow and dull that even baseball fans out there must admit that they do not dedicate all of their attention to the game. Only old people who refuse to use smart phones, never upgraded their VCR to a DVD player, and watch the games in letter boxed standard definition know the lost art of not multi-tasking.
Baseball also has a peculiar set of unwritten rules which have racial and ageism undertones. If you hit a big home run and flip your bat or trot a little too slow around the bases, you will get hit your next at bat by a fast ball. Madison Bumgarner, the Giants pitcher is guilty of this. You can’t even look at Bumgarner as Yasiel Puig learned this past season. The racial elements come into play when it’s the Hispanic players who come from a more flamboyant and emotional culture who are being targeted by the very white Bumgarner’s of the world for over celebrating.
Jose Fernandez, a young dominate pitcher awaiting a $200 plus million contract died during a boat accident last month. A tragic story that took a great young influence away from the game that is void of the lively emotion Fernandez provided. I hadn’t seen Fernandez play since I stopped watching baseball when he joined the league, so after his passing, I went to youtube and watched some clips. I clicked on the video showing Jose Fernandez’s first home run (he was a good hitter for a pitcher). He hit the home run against the Braves, admired the long shot, and ran around the bases slowly. As he rounded the bases, very white Brave’s infielders were staring and yelling at him for “pimping his trot” around the diamond. As he reached home plate, catcher Brain McCann confronted him and the benches cleared. The commentators during the clip were also reprimanding the “rookie mistake” made by Fernandez and stated he need to show more class than that.
Show more class?
He hit his first home run. Let him enjoy it. If the Braves were so upset about being showed up, don’t give up a home run to a pitcher. I felt disgusted after watching that clip and saw other suggested clips of Brian McCann confronting show boaters at home plate. I watched a couple of them which solidified my dislike for the outdated game of baseball.
Fox Sports didn’t help its case, but I did try baseball again. Like my love for power rangers, country music, and conservative ideals, I used to like baseball, but now that fondness is just a memory. The 2016 world series may give off the illusion of baseball making a comeback in popular culture, but it is just that, an illusion. Goodbye baseball, I have officially moved on.