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Tag:Baseball
Posted on: July 17, 2009 2:53 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2009 2:59 pm
 

25 Reasons Football is Better than Baseball

One of my fellow community members, oldstyle14 , posted a list of 25 reasons why baseball is better than football. It was a great read, and I encourage everyone to take a look at it by clicking here .

While I agree with many of his points, I'm here to argue the opposite.


Football is better than baseball, and here's why...





1. Football is the ultimate team sport. All 11 players are involved on every play.

2. Football can be played by anyone, anywhere. All it takes is at least two players, and a $15 dollar ball. Baseball requires two $40 gloves, a $7 ball, a $50 bat, and so much more.

3. Football statistics are simple and involve little mathematics to compute.

4. The average fan can pick up and understand football. In baseball, the average fan cannot tell the difference between a two-seam, a four seam, or a cut fastball.

5. Baseball is hyper-sensitive to the elements. Football players play through rain, snow, and everything in between.

6. Every baseball player is presumed a cheater until proven otherwise. Football has no such problem.

7. The individual baseball games are meaningless. Game 34 means just as much as game 134. What you're watching has no bearing on the season.

8. In baseball, a team can effectively remove the opposition's best player from the game through the intentional walk. Football has no equivalent.

9. In football, playoff games actually mean something. That one game decides who progresses and who stays home.

10. Football rules make for dramatic combacks. A team down by two scores can easily make up ground in the final period of play.

11. Football games are lively, upbeat, and exciting. In today's world of instant gratification and limited attention spans, many cannot appreciate the finer points of baseball.

12. Myron Cope. Anyone in baseball ever come close?

13. The NFL Draft is actually relevant.

14. College football matters.

15. Every football team has a specific philosophy on offense AND on defense.

16. The American and National Football conferences play by the same rules.

17. Coaches spend more time coaching in football. Baseball managers only manage.

18. Football plays can be diagramed and discussed. Baseball only uses sequences.

19. The climax of a football game always comes at the end. A baseball game can be over by the second inning.

20. A baseball game can theoretically go on FOREVER.

21. In football, team depth matters. The third best wide receiver matters where as the third best shortstop does not.

22. Football features team cheers and slogans: "Here we go Brownies, here go! Woof! Woof! " "J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! "

23. Football rivalries are bitter and plentiful.

24. There is parity in football. You can stink today and win it all tomorrow.

25. There is a salary cap in football.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 18, 2009 6:16 am
 

Opening Day Anticipation

It's almost here. Can you feel it?

Teams are fine-tuning their rosters and players are shaking the dust off from the near 5 month layoff. Meaningless spring training games tease fans with a glimpse of the excitement that has yet to come. The World Baseball Classic attempts to hold our interest until spring bestowes upon us that gift that comes once per year with alarming regularity.

Opening Day.

Yes, Opening Day - a day which marks the beginning of the long distance marathon known as the Major League Baseball season. A day where people flock to stadiums in order to sneak a peek at new faces and admonish those of years past. As excitement builds for the first pitch, I can't help but ask myself one thing:

What are we really excited about, anyway?

Don't get me wrong - I love baseball and all the excitement created by the Opening Day festivities. I love the intrigue and speculation that goes into naming the Opening Day starters. I love the extra effort down first base, the added concentration at the plate, and how skippers manage like its game 7 of the World Series. I love all of these things except for the actual game that's being played.

That game is meaningless .

In a 162 game baseball season, the first game counts just as much as the 25th, 85th, or 155th game does. The first 9 of over 1,400 innings of play means no more than the last 9, yet for some reason to us - they do.

Cleveland Indians' shortstop Jhonny Peralta creates a lasting memory for a lucky fan.

Again I pose the question: where does this unfounded fascination with the first game of the year come from? Why should the first 27 outs be any more special than the remaining 4,347?

The answer to this question goes deeper than any statistic I could raise in defense.

Tradition.

For millions of Americans around the country, Opening Day is more than just another baseball game - it is a new beginning. For the proud father taking his son to Fenway Park for the first time, it's the beginning of a family tradition. For that son, it's the beginning of a dream. For the elderly couple who've held season tickets at Wrigley Field for 30 years, it's the beginning of another baseball-filled summer of hot dogs, laughs, and memories both old and new. For that casual fan sitting in Mezzanine section 321 of Progressive Field , it's the chance to reacquaint with familiar faces while creating new friendships all the same.

Unlike any other professional sport, baseball is just as much about what happens off the field than what happens on it. The conversations and experiences that go into the three hour session at the ballpark often times mean more than anything football, basketball, or hockey could ever hope to create.

The reason for this lies mostly in the nature of the game itself. Compared to its fall and winter counterparts, the slow-paced game of baseball generates little "action," and that often times alienates the casual fan in the process. Any action on the field involves only 3 of the potential 12 participants  - the rest of which appear to be doing more than standing around in the grass. Those factors in addition to the exhausting length of the game itself create the makings of what many consider a total snoozefest. Right?

Wrong.

Going to the ball park is an experience in and of itself strictly unique to America's National Pasttime. To many who follow the game, Opening Day is about so much more. It's about complaining over $8 beers and parking prices with friends and fellow fans. It's about booing for the 'bad guys', rooting for the 'good guys', and neglecting everything else inbetween. It's about Jimmy, Paulie, and Raffie.  It's about praying that foul ball somehow manages to find its way into your section of the bleachers. Put simply - it's all about things that surround the game that go beyond just balls and strikes.

In the grand scheme of things, Opening Day does little to define a team's success on the baseball field. What it does define are the beginnings of traditions that transcend the events of the sport itself.

And that makes this the most important game of them all.

 

 

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 8, 2009 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2009 6:28 pm
 

Legalize Steroids

Yes, it's true - that is no misprint. Major League Baseball should legalize steroids and end this madness once and for all.

When it comes down to it, what are steroids as used in professional sports? Anabolic steroids, the ones Alex Rodriguez and a host of other athletes have allegedly tested for, have been deemed illegal by USFDA and have been banned from major sports as a result.

But why are they banned in the first place?

The thinking behind banning steroids most likely goes something like this:

1. Steroids can alter an athlete's performance and create an imbalance in the competitive nature of the game.
2. Steroids have a negative impact on the health of these athletes.
3. Therefore, steroids should be banned from athletic competition.

There are several problems with this line of thinking. If the true aim of the baseball powers that be was to create a perfectly competitive environment, they have already failed in part. There are millions of different variables that go into whether one baseball player can outperform another, and no one is on the same level to begin with.

Without listing steroids as a factor, two players with similar talent level can be completely different based on the choices they  make. If one player takes legal supplements every day, diets and exercises properly, and generally takes good care of his body, he will have an significant competitive advantage over a player who neglects to do any of these things.

The second part of this theory speaks to the health risks imposed by steroids. While it is true that anabolic steroids have been linked to harmful changes in cholesterol levels, liver damage, high blood pressure, and structural damage to the heart, almost all of these health risks can be found in something so common as a cigarette. These athletes are fully grown men who play at the highest level in sports. Grown men and women should be allowed to weigh the risks and rewards of a given decision and determine whether they subjugate themselves to its consequences.

Anabolic steroids are simply a means to an end. Like cigarettes relieving stress or Viagra enhancing performance, steroids produce a benefit with several potential consequences attached to it. If the sporting world doesn't ban substances with a negative affect on performance, what sense does it make to ban those with a positive effect? Professional athletes should either be fully regulated in terms of substances or not.

 


 

If an appeal to logic and common sense is found unsound, a more humanistic view of the game will suffice.

Baseball is a game of tradition and heroes. Part of what makes the game so special is the players that captivate us with their triumphs and failures. If the heroes which make the game so exciting are constantly vilified and made out to be worse than they are, the game itself will suffer and interest will fade. Without athletes to celebrate, baseball becomes a mechanical sport void of passion and excitement.

If anything, legalizing steroids will give the sports world a more clear view of athletes and the values they stand for. Getting this issue out in the open where it can be discussed as well as researched thoroughly would clear up misconceptions as well as provide a potentially safer way for people who decide to partake in this activity.

 


 

People make positive and negative decisions that affect their lives every day. We as a society must decide whether or not to embrace the ideas of freedom and personal liberty.

And maybe this madness will finally come to an end.

Posted on: September 2, 2008 5:07 pm
 

Cleveland versus Detroit - A Rivalry?

This one has been in the makings since 1952.

Cleveland and Detroit are two cities intertwined in a brutal sports grudge match that has been in the works for over 60 years. The past and present of these two cities only leads me to believe that we as sports fans are on the cusp of a fierce rivalry - the likes of which no one has ever seen.

In order to break down a potentially competitive rivalry, it is necessary to understand the two things that make any rivalry truly bitter: history and similarity.

I'll start with the latter.

Cleveland and Detroit are eerily similar to one another. Both are lakefront cities, both have all three major sports team (NFL, NBA, and MLB), and both cities claim a strong tie to Rock & Roll, music, and fatty foods. In addition to their passion for the respective collegiate programs, these two cities share in social problems such as poverty, education, schooling, and obesity.

For a closer look at the two contenders, I present the tale of the tape:


Cleveland, Ohio

  • Age: 212 years old
  • Weight: State Ranked 17th in TheCalorieLab's most obese state poll in 2008
  • Famous Food: Cleveland Roast Beef Sandwich
  • Rulership: Monarchy (King LeBron James I )
  • MLB: Cleveland Indians
  • NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • NFL: Cleveland Browns
  • NHL: (none)
  • Total Championships: 10 (8 Browns, Cavs 0, 2 Indians)
Detroit, Michigan
  • Age: 307 years old
  • Weight: State Ranked 10th in TheCalorieLab's most obese state poll in 2008
  • Famous Food: Cooney Island Dogs, Detroit Square Pizza
  • Rulership: Democracy (?) (President George Bush)
  • MLB: Detroit Tigers
  • NBA: Detroit Pistons
  • NFL: Detroit Lions
  • NHL: Detroit Red Wings
  • Total Championships: 29 (9 Lions, Red Wings 11, Pistons 5, Tigers 4)



As you can see, both cities have significant achievements over each other - with Cleveland holding the edge in rulership and Detroit countering with total number of championships. The battle is close enough that we need to look to the second category to find out who holds the edge in this most heated rivalry - history.

Cleveland Browns versus Detroit Lions

The Browns and Lions might actually have the most bitter historical feud of the contrasting teams. Buried away a long time ago in the history books is arguably one of the most intense competitions in pro-sports.

During the early 1950s, when soul patches and top hats were the order of the day, the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns stood atop the football universe. The Cleveland Browns from the AAFC (All-American Football Conference) were the juggernauts of their league and finally merged into the NFL. Awaiting the Browns were none other than the heavyweights of NFL at the time, you guessed it, the Detroit Lions.

These two franchises met for the first time in the 1952 title game, which resulted in a 17-7 Detroit victory for the 1952 NFL Championship. A year later, the two teams clashed once again - the outcome closer with a similar result, a 17-16 Lions victory.

Cleveland won NFL championships in 1954 and 1955 - to go along with the one they achieved in their inaugural season in 1950. Had the Browns defeated the Lions in '52 and '53, it would have marked the single greatest championship run in sports - with the Browns capturing the league title 5 times in a 6 year span.

Currently, this particular rivalry has lost steam due to confrontations limited to at least one preseason game per year and the general poor play of the two teams. The Browns and Lions have clashed this off-season with the Browns sending a 3rd round draft choice and Leigh Bodden to the Motor City in exchange for former Lions first round pick Shaun Rogers.

Also, Cleveland superstar Braylon Edwards is a Michigan native and attended the University of Michigan where he excelled as one of the best players in school history.

Cleveland Indians versus Detroit Tigers

Indians/Tigers is intense. The rivalry here stems from the fact that both teams normally contend for the AL Central Division Crown. Each series draws a significant amount of passion, as something normally is at stake for the winner. With baseball's American League being what it is with the big-market powerhouses to the east, the best chance either team has of winning is through the divisional title.

The past few years have seen the Indians and the Tigers flip flop for divisional superiority. Since each city has a passionate baseball fanbase, it can be argued that the brewing resentment is just waiting to erupt into full-blown hatred.

Cleveland Cavaliers versus Detroit Pistons

To my knowledge, this one is by far the most physical. Previous seasons are marred with hard fouls, clutch performances, and embarrassing dunks. With the Cavs still searching for their first NBA title, the Pistons' success in 2004 over the Cavs in route to their 5th NBA Championship only adds fuel to an already ferocious fire.

Cavaliers' management took the Detroit rivalry a step further by printing and advertising Crimson "Beat Detroit" shirts that were used in '06 in support of the Cavs and the Indians who were locked in a fierce race for the Central Crown.

Michigan versus Ohio State

Two main cities with a football hatred dating back to 1897. I think this one speaks for itself.


So there you have it.

Two cities, multiple teams spanning all along the sports and history universe. While few make anything of it now, don't be surprised if the Cleveland-Detroit feud escalates into one of the most heated rivalries in all of professional sports.
Posted on: August 23, 2008 9:53 pm
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com