Friday, July 18, 2008

Dear Mr. Met,

Today I went on a job interview, and at the end of the interview, I was asked to write a letter. This could be any kind of letter and to anyone, to prove that I know how to use Microsoft Word and to write. As soon as she told me about this task, I knew that I was going to write a letter to Mr. Met. So, here is what I wrote to him this morning:

Dear Mr. Met,

I would like to take this time to congratulate you and the Mets on the current ten game winning streak. You have all been performing so well throughout. I am very impressed and I think that you deserve a lot of the credit. You take the time to be the best mascot that you can be by using that big head and puffy hands of yours to help root, root, root for the home team. Without you, I am not sure if this would have been able to happen.

I just want to remind you that this recent surge and now tie for first place does not mean the season will be a cake walk from now on. There is still a lot of work to be done, so I don't want you to get overconfident and ruin the team's chances. The season is marathon not a sprint, so please pace yourself.

Thank you for all you have done so far,

MissMet, Ardent Fan

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Hockey is Boring

With all due respect to my editor, assistant to the editor and Yintzer, Hockey is boring. In Baseball, a base-hit greatly increases the chances a run will score. A different count be it 1-2 vs 3-1 greatly changes the probability that a batter will reach base. Runners being on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out makes the at bat much more exciting than it would be if this same at bat took place with 2 outs and nobody on even if you are in the first inning. Plus, it clearly passes Devo's piss-test. (if you miss 1 pitch because you are pissing, you very well could miss a 2 out three run hr in the top of the 1st which changes the course of the game). Great pitchers sometimes are owned by mediocre hitters (See Joe Mc-ewing vs. Randy Johnson pre-Yanks) and sometimes mediocre pitchers own great lineups (See Oliver Perez vs. New York Yankees of 2007). This stuff is fascinating if you love numbers, stats and you have played the game most of your life. Oh, it does help when your favorite team made the playoffs every year you have rooted for it (this year that ends). However, this post is not a referendum on baseball but rather a criticism of hockey and why it is unwatchable to most of Americans.

(1) There is no clear progress or demarcations towards points being scored- In football there are first downs, in basketball there are baskets every few seconds and in baseball there are walks, basehits, hbp's ext. In hockey, the only thing that approximates this is a power-play or penalty shot. I admit, these are exciting situations. However, 5 on 5 regular season hockey puts me to sleep. Much like Yintzer thinks that baseball is nothing more than pitch, pitch, walk, walk, hit, strikeout. Hockey, to the average american sports fan, is just sending the puck down the ice, chase the puck, line change, send the puck down the ice, a check against the boards, line change zzzzzzzz. Sorry I'm back.

(2) It is a very expensive and difficult game to learn and play- All you need to play basketball is a ball and any playground in America. Baseball requires buying a glove and bat but finding a field is relatively easy. Football follows along the same lines as Baseball. Hockey however is insanely difficult to play. You have to learn how to skate (which is damn near impossible for those of us who have horrendous balance), you need to reserve ice time, (which, as my friends who play it tell me; needs to be done at 5am or late at night) and then you have to buy a stick and join obscure leagues that most towns don't even offer. Many schools don't even have teams. No such trouble for the Big 3. This obviously makes it hard to enjoy watching for the majority of Americans who have never played the sport (ice hockey specifically) even 1 time.

(3) Tie Games or half tie games in sports are immoral- I'm sorry this is obscene. No sporting contest should ever end in a tie or a cop-out of the losing team getting 1 point as is the case in the post Lock-out NHL when a team loses in OT or a shootout. Every sporting event should have a clear loser and winner. The victor should indeed get all the spoils. If the NFL actually had tie games more than once every three years, I'd be as passionately anti-tie in the NFL too. There is something unnatural about leaving a sporting event where your team loses and you say "that's cool, at least we got a point." Imagine if in baseball a team got half a win for extending a game to extra innings. That would ruin the thrill of a walk-off hr in extra frames. To me this ruins regular season hockey games.

A HUUGE CAVEAT TO ALL OF THIS IS HOWEVER, THAT PLAYOFF OVERTIME GAMES ARE THE MOST THRILLING EVENTS IN SPORTS! The idea that at any moment a team can win or lose a game and that this game could end a team's season is captivating. However, this excitement is lost in regular season games where an artificial shootout gives one team a full win and 1 team a half of a win. I know this article will be hated on by my hockey loving co writers and friends but I still express the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of Americans. Regular season hockey is really boring. So is NASCARR and golf, by the way, which I know actually puts me at odds with many of my fellow hockey detractors. But I need not take up any space on this primarily Northeastern Blog with NASCAR stuff.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Why I Hate Baseball

So since this is a New York site primarily, there is quite a bit of talk about the Yankees and the Mets. The truth is though when I read those articles, I really have no idea what they’re talking about because frankly to me baseball is one of the most boring things ever. It’s the daytime soap opera of the sports world (and no, I don’t count curling, that’s an insult to sports) and just fails to capture my interest on every level. Now I know a lot more people watch baseball than my sport of choice hockey, but I don’t care and feel free to make fun of hockey, you wont say anything I haven't heard a hundred times over. So here are the reasons why I hate baseball.

It’s boring as all hell
This is of course the primary reason we as humans don’t watch things. I played baseball when I was a kid and watched it back then too, but then as I grew up I realized “Jesus, nothing is actually happening.” I mean they stand there, pitch, pitch, foul ball, pitch, strikeout, pitch, pitch, pitch, walk… you get the point by now. So when someone actually hits the damn ball people get excited. Why? Because it meant something finally fucking happened that’s why! Honestly, just sit and think about a hit for a moment. A guy standing still just hit a ball. Is that really an exciting thing?

You can be an out of shape fat ass and still be one of the best players in the league
You’re probably saying “football is filled with fat asses!” and yes, that is true. However, that 350lb fat ass can also run you down and break in you half. The baseball fatties? They’re just plain fat, like some middle age drunk that stumbled out of the bar. You see pitchers with these huge guts that even their uniforms cant hide, and wonder how when they pitch their stomach doesn’t make them fall over. Look at the Red $ox David Ortiz a.k.a. Big Fatty. Huge gut hanging out yet heralded as one of the best in the game. This guy cant even run around the bases for god’s sake, it’s like watching an out of breath hippo drag itself along. And if the base coaches want to get him to move faster they are forced to wave twinkies to motivate him to do so. Really, it’s embarrassing.

The designated hitter rule: legal cheating
I distinctly remember one time in little league where my team caught the other cheating. What were they doing? Having one kid pitch and another kid hit in his place because each was better at that those respective duties (for the record instead of making them forfeit we continued the game to show we could still outright beat them which we did). It was forbidden by the rules. Yet somehow this basic rule was cast aside and now instead of making a pitcher hit you can put in someone else. I’m sorry, but that’s not playing the game. Ortiz (sorry, as I don’t watch baseball I don’t really know anyone else)? He doesn’t play baseball. He hits. In order to play baseball he needs to take the field. Of course if they put him out there he’d probably just start grazing but I digress. What if hockey could just throw a third defenseman on the ice? Or a football team an extra receiver? That’s pretty much what you’re doing with baseball.

Things you can do during a baseball game while not actually missing anything:
Read War and Peace
Take a crap and read the paper
Be the thirtieth person in line at the concession stand and make it back to your seat
Have a quickie
Watch the entire North-South mini series
Recover from ACL surgery
Be kidnapped by aliens
Run a marathon

Just some ideas for you.

Economic System? What’s that?
Most sports now have a cap to keep spending out of control, or at least limit the amount of stupid contracts one team can give out. Baseball though only has some pathetic luxury tax that has proven to do absolutely nothing. Now things are to the point where mediocre players get $5mm a year. It’s kind of sad when you think about it.

That’s how I see a lot of these players. Not that they don’t have a few bad asses, but when you’re a hockey fan or football fan you know the only way a player is not going back onto that ice/field is if you snap a limb in half or cause severe head trauma. Hell, one of the Penguins player had a broken nose, then took a slap shot to the face that made the remainder of his nose pretty much explode. Ten minutes later after some quick repair he was back on the ice. Don’t really see much of that in baseball.

And did I mention nothing freakin happens during the games?