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Hey guys, baseball is dying again

Oct 7, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

Every fall, like clockwork. These are becoming more ubiquitous than BSOHL stories during spring training:

And of course totally vapid and ill-informed about the economics and nature of baseball. But what else is new?

These clowns are doing nothing but channeling ancient nostalgia imported from a time when baseball was the only major sport and trafficking in standard old man “people don’t have attention spans anymore and all of these newfangled devices are just so consarned confusing.

Best part — and while this is a paraphrasing of an exchange, it’s a mild paraphrase — “baseball is too long, except football games are longer but football games are all meaningful except tonight’s meaningless Jets game will get great ratings.”

And baseball players take drugs and football players never do.

These morons, by the way, make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to be experts despite the fact that they are, at best, superficially correct about a narrow thing that matters little and are otherwise wholly ignorant of the subject about which they speak.

  1. jm91rs - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    “morons”, “clowns”

    Someone’s a little irritated.

    • Anoesis - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      Or just describing the usual antics at Fox News.

  2. Liam - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    “You can’t watch a game on one of those little TVs on your phone.”

    I do this a couple hundred times a season. I don’t understand why he doesn’t think this can be done.

    • sportsdrenched - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I can’t watch the video. Did they really say that? That’s pretty strange, I’ve watched MLB Games on three different devices this season…hell I did that YESTERDAY!. Not only that, was one of the pioneers in the streaming of games. Oh well, I guess I’m just a low information sports fan.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      I bet he accidentally takes pictures of his ear all the time.

  3. lightcleric - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    The Jets have actually been fairly competitive his season as have the Falcons despite both teams’ records. If the Jets pull this out they could actually be 3-2 and within a game of the pats. This is a pretty meaningful game for both teams.

    I just find it funny that in an article about how clueless people commenting on a sport, there’s a clueless comment about another sport….

    • lightcleric - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      I guess I worded this poorly, I assumed it was one of the people in the exchange who made the Jets comment(I can’t view it right now).

    • xmatt0926x - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Agreed. Not a Jets or Falcons fan, but the game isn’t meaningless and it will be watched by plenty of people, even if they aren’t fans of either team. and it’s not just the gambling aspect for football before that moronic stance comes up.

      Yes, the “baseball is done” stuff is ridiculous but we don’t need to counter that flawed argument by using a flawed argument against football.

      These are two sports that bring two totally different environments that interest people. Overall I think most sports fans enjoy both for different reasons. It’s the extremist fans of each sport that needs to deny the qualities of each one.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Yes, the “baseball is done” stuff is ridiculous but we don’t need to counter that flawed argument by using a flawed argument against football.

        After seeing Jim Gray pop up and realizing it was a FoxNews broadcast, I stopped the vid. Is the meaningless part something Craig said or is he paraphrasing the guys in the video?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        It was Gray who said the Jets game was meaningless, just after he said all football games are, by definition, meaningful.

      • paul621 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Actually, Craig, he said “the average football game is meaningful.” While I agree with your overall sense of this piece, that’s a big difference from “all” football games are meaningful by definition.

    • kevinbnyc - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      I’m a Jets fan, and I can’t figure out how the NFL, before the season began, deemed this game Monday Night Football worthy. The Jets are terrible, and are just messing with us by winning a few games so they can’t get a top 5 draft pick.

  4. amaninwhite - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    This could all be resolved if Pete Rose would just admit that he bet on baseball.

  5. DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    The thing that these guys never get is this: MLB, NFL, NBA, etc. are businesses, not sports. I don’t mean that cynically, I mean this. Sports are the ultimate zero sum game – if one team wins, the other loses. There is no way around it. The Dodgers can only gain by having the Braves falter. But that is an individual competition. MLB is a business, and business is rarely a zero sum game. Yes, you can only go to Kristpy Kreem or Dunkin Donuts on a given morning – but if those two are increasing overal “pastry” market share, then so what?

    Baseball is doing great – Jayson Bay and Hunter Pence are scoring contracts that earn them in a year what Tony Gwynn earned in a career. Sure, if baseball were on the trajectory the NBA or NFL were on, they wold be doing better. But revenue is rising. Baseball is fine.

    Not to mention which metaphor so you hear more often: “3 strikes and your out”, or “3 Offensive play that accumulate less then 10 yards and you have to punt”

    • jarathen - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      “Well, you know, you either take the extra point or go for two and hope it works.”

      Modern lexicon to be sure.

    • zzalapski - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Agree with your overall premise, but I take it you meant the junior Gwynn. Tony Gwynn, Sr., made over $47M in his career.

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        What, you didn’t hear? The Angels just Bay to a 10-year, $480 million contract.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        I was going to use Dave Winfield in my example actually – but liked the more contemporary angle 😉

        None the less, Mr. Pence will have a cool $54 Mil in just 3 years, and he will not have HOF numbers in that span. So the money is coming from somewhere

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Not to mention which metaphor so you hear more often: “3 strikes and your out”, or “3 Offensive play that accumulate less then 10 yards and you have to punt”

      To be fair to Football they’ve shortened it to “3 and out”.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        They still don’t use it in every day life.

        You can’t find a “tough on crime” D.A. anywhere in America who doesn’t tout his record in baseball terms 😉

      • bravojawja - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Unless you go for it on fourth down. Then, you know, you could get another first down.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        True. Though that also applies to baseball: “3 strikes and yer out! Unless the catcher flubs the ball… in which case you get to run to first… and if reach it you’re safe.

  6. paperlions - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Craig, don’t feed the trolls.

    Opinion pieces in newspapers or on TV/Radio have generally always been stupid…now, we just know they are dumb opinions immediately….whereas before people didn’t have access to direct information to form their own opinion (not that most people are effective at this).

  7. cabrera24 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I would of tune in for both games yesterday but I can’t sit there and watch playoff baseball on TBS !!!!!! They’re the worst

  8. tferr85 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    You can Baseball on your phone with any provider. Cam you believe it? People won’t even go to games any more.

    Football you can watch if you have Verizon. Can you imagine that! What technology!!!!!!! WHOD OF THOUGH THAT WE COULD STREAM SPORTS TO OUR PHONES 10 YEARS AGO!!! FOOTBALL POPULARITY WILL RISE!!!

  9. NatsLady - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Well, I was trying to “watch” both yesterday–the 51-48 game and baseball. Football (to me) is hard to watch. Too many interruptions and ads, and you don’t get the continuity of the game. ONCE exactly ONCE in all the football games I looked in on, did I see an interception and then the teams immediately lining up the opposite way. Every other time, a turnover was met with an ad break, yet those are the critical moments in football, when momentum shifts and you want to see if the team can take advantage.

    In contrast, baseball coverage doesn’t break until there is a pitching change or between innings. You get to see the pitcher falter, the “momentum” shift, etc. And I’ll give TBS this, they are trying to introduce “new” stats–some of them pretty meaningless (shutdown inning ERA), but they are trying.

    I do wish they would quit with the in-game interviews of managers and coaches. Just DON’T DO IT.

    • misterj167 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      I tried to tune in ti the Niners game for a bit yesterday, the Niners had just scored a TD. Commercial break. One play kickoff lasting about fifteen seconds, then another commercial break. One play lasting about another fifteen seconds, there was an injury on the field so yet another commercial break.

      All this talk about how baseball is slow to watch, at least they don’t have a commercial break after every pitch.

  10. leerosenthall - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Craig, why do you expend so much energy debunking these clowns? All you’re doing is sending them traffic by linking to all these stories.

    And why didn’t you at least do a post about Tyler Kepner’s terrific story in Saturday’s New York Times? When I read it, I was sure he wrote it just for you!

    “The comparison of baseball to the N.F.L., in cities like Pittsburgh and the country as a whole, is never far from the surface. The notion that football rules and baseball is passé has persisted for decades, never mind that the fundamental difference in the sports — the schedules — invalidates the premise.

    “One sport has 16 games and plays once a week. The other has 162 games and plays almost every day. Both are fascinating and fun to watch, and loyalties are passed down through generations. The one with 10 times the scarcity, naturally, has higher ratings and draws bigger crowds to its individual games. The one with more dates to sell, naturally, has more total viewers and ticket buyers, taking the entire schedule into account. Those who bash baseball forget the second part.”

  11. papichulo55 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Dying? No, but there are issues. Better draft rules to protect overseas exploitation ; transparent, consistent PED enforcement; increased efforts to attract top athletes in existing markets; improved strategies tu o develop new markets. it is very telling that our sport cannot hold a place in the Summer Olympics. One has to wonder just how many more Puigs and Trouts are out there.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      All that tells is that baseball won’t suspend it’s season to allow the IOC to profit off the best players in the world. And if Olympic inclusion is telling with regards to sport health, I guess the NFL is somewhere below synchronized swimming.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Better draft rules to protect overseas exploitation

      How are overseas players being exploited? It’s bad enough people want them to enter the draft thus destroying their earning potential, what more would you have MLB do?

      transparent, consistent PED enforcement

      There’s a post at least once a week here about players being busted for PEDs. What exactly is your complaint?

      it is very telling that our sport cannot hold a place in the Summer Olympics.

      One, it’s not much of a global sport. Two, it’s absolutely irrelevant to how the sport is doing here.

  12. supersportguy - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I’m confused.. is this an article?

  13. hojo20 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    There’s too many layers of MLB playoffs. Wake me up when the LCS is here and then maybe I’ll watch it over an NFL game.

    • bravojawja - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      Uh-huh. Let’s see:

      World Series, League Championship, Division series, Wild Card game
      Super Bowl, Conference Championship, Divisional round, Wild Card round

      Yup, way too many baseball layers. And baseball’s playoffs are too long, too, right?

      MLB: Oct 1 – Oct 31 (or as soon as Oct 27)
      NFL: Jan 4 – Feb 2

      • sportsdrenched - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        And in the NFL playoffs theres that dreadful weekend between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. That weekend is by far the slowest sports weekend of the year for me.

  14. Florio_Jr. - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:08 PM


  15. billyboots - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Jim Grey is the biggest hack in televised sports.

  16. papichulo55 - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    @church, you kidding, right? You must have missed a lot of news where you live, so I”ll just skip ahead to the slow, global growth. Baseball is like any other multi-billion dollar business. It must ALWAYS concern itself with its global position. MLB knows this, but has not been doing a good job. Our sport has not penetrated the European, African and Southeast Asian markets, and its not because MLB is arrogant enough to believe that they don’t need them. Ford went by for years not paying attention, allowing the Asian makers to grow big enough to threaten American sales. Don’t be so sure that, long term, Soccer won’t take hold here in a big way. The best way to keep our sport healthy is to get everybody to play baseball, everywhere.

  17. papichulo55 - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    @church, as hard as I tried I cant resist talking about the need for standard, international rules for signing players. As a Dominican, I am offended that MLB teams set up baseball camps and get 13 and 14 year old kids to drop out of school, leave home and chase a dream. YOU might think thats cool because they are poor anyway, so WTF. But what happens when the dream dies? And for most, they come back home worn-out, broke and uneducated. Would you be happy watching billionaires pimp YOUR kids?

  18. Old Gator - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Are the undead actually dead? I mean, maybe baseball is undead, you know? Best idea: hold up a mirror to it. Can you see it? So, there…..

  19. papichulo55 - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Of course, you are right again Gator. My point is that good health and unpleasant self-audits are not mutually exclusive. I am not hating our game, or questioning its health. Just want to keep the light shinned on a few ‘Uglies’. Which reminds me, my colonoscopy and prostate exams are due next month…..

  20. shadowcell - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    breaking: Alex Rodriguez to sue baseball for dying before he can finish suing it for everything else he’s suing it for.

  21. rcali - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    That sounds like a clown question bro.

  22. schniz61 - Oct 8, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Still, a salary cap is needed in baseball.

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