A Different Kind of Ballgame

Here’s a tip for you students working in the library: If you brought lunch, but forgot headphones, the best and most entertaining thing to watch muted over some cold pasta or risotto is Sportscenter’s Top 10 plays of the day.

That is to say, of course, that you are anything like me and have a fondness for the beautiful sports our planet has to offer these days. If you are, follow my lead into a distinction I am about to make here. If you are not, this could be even more for you. For in my eyes, we sports fanatics falsely claim a discipline for ourselves that might suit better with you guys.

After watching highlight rankings from all, if mostly, American sports, that discipline to me is baseball. I even dare say the following: Baseball should not be perceived as a sport, but rather a game.

How I came to this? By watching the Sportscenter Top 10 under a watchful eye: In between Slamdunks, between-the-legs-ice-hockey-penalties and other crazy manouevers, baseball catches always rank high among these spectacular clips. Not seldomly, they form the core of the top five plays the day has to offer.

And here is where I pick a fight: I refuse to put baseball players on the same ground as athletes from other sports.

Having played many sports all my life so far, I can not help but see guys swinging the bat and catching balls, who do not live up to the profession of an athlete in my opinion. From my perspective, a fair chunk of these ‘sportsmen’ resemble in shape a dart player far more than a linebacker or a point guard.

Now, I know what you are about to say. How it takes amazing coordination skills to strike a curve ball just right. Or how a fastball served right on the money can be an act of sheer brilliance, given the pitcher read the batter just right. All true.

You would urge me to simply accept that these individuals have dedicated themselves to a darwinistic adaption to excel and triumph over competitors in a very distinctive field and discipline. Also true. But so do chess players. Golfers. Or protagonists in snooker, poker or – most recently – E-sports.

I do not disagree with that. What I disagree with is the exaggeration of the athletic component in the GAME of baseball. I see the silver medal of the notable Sportscenter Top 10 plays of the week being handed to a guy for a running catch. Stylishly, an accelerating arrow marks the impressive sprint here by the catcher.

But here is the real catch: Do the math once if you see a run like that the next time. After doing just that, I figured the guy ran twenty metres in five seconds. That’s 25 seconds for a hundred, a distance I have run in less than 15 seconds. In 10th grade. So cut the big whoop please.

But where does this leave us? It leaves us at drawing a line right here. A line that leaves baseball with its comfy, clean sheet uniforms and chilled lawn-dangling amongst picknick games.

And to me, that line that is drawn by sweat. The one thing that separates a sport from a game after my definition: The essence of exhausting, sportive exercise that is absent in lay-back games.

Given that, how often do you see towels in baseball compared to Tennis, for instance? Exactly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.*