"Your Mariners look like they've got a pretty good shot this year."
"Oh really?" said I.
"Yeah, so and so from the Angels is banged up, and Vlad Blahblahblah is out. Texas can't hit (or catch, or pitch, or something...I can't remember) and something something else wah wah wah wah waaaah waaaah"
Living in New York and not liking baseball is like living in Brazil and not liking plastic surgery. You get by, but everyone notices how ugly you are.
The problem is that I pretty much hate baseball. I think it's fun to play on the occasional weekend with a bunch of out-of-shape thirty-somethings, and it's a great excuse to get drunk on a summer day with 52,324 of your closest friends. But everything else about it is about as interesting as a health care seminar. In Malagasy. With no lunch break.
It's boring. Nothing happens for 95% of every game. The geeks in the stands may be furiously scribbling on-base statistics into their programs and discussing how the batter stacks up against left-handed pitchers, but all I see is a staring contest between a dude with a stick and a dude with a mullet. Oh, he hit the ball! Oh, someone caught it. Rinse. Repeat. For HOURS.
Then there's the length of the season. How can anyone give a rats ass about any individual game when you have to play 643 of them every summer? In New York everyone gets all hot and bothered when the Yankees play the Red Sox, but you don't hear them make a peep when the Royals or the Nationals come to town. Why? Because WHO CARES!!! You're going to be playing another game in 12 minutes anyway, so just try harder next time.
And for the record, the whole Yankees-Sox thing is a facade. There's so much cross-breeding between those fan bases that you'd think they'd give birth minotaurs and griffins. They should all take a good look in the mirror and take stock of who they really are.
One of the things I'm trying to do with my time off is give up my prejudice and try to appreciate the sport. That way I can actually talk to other guys during the summer without dozing off like Lawrence Summers at a "fiscal responsibility" summit. But even if I get past all the politics and intrigue and over-hyped personalities I know I'll end up dealing with the thing that made me drop my engineering scholarship: the math. There's nothing human in a baseball box score; it's all ratios and percentages! If I wanted my sports to be like the SAT I'd follow competitive crossword puzzles.
I'm a football man. I love watching men actually compete against each other, drawing up plays to surprise their opponents and making acrobatic moves to escape their clutches. There's drama, there's skill, and there is finesse, and every Sunday is an event. I'll even take hockey, basketball, or soccer, where guys take a field or court and actually where a split-second opening can mean a fast-break that changes the entire texture of a game. Baseball has none of that. It has the same thrill--and payoff--as timing traffic lights. It's great when you hit them right, but you spend most of your time tapping your fingers waiting for the pitch light to change.
So sorry boys. I'm doing my best, but until you add an octagonal cage or balls that explode on impact I just don't see us being friends. Let's talk some other time when the real sports begin...