Baseball has a different type of appeal than the other mainstream sports. Football, basketball, mixed martial arts etc. are designed to offer excitement. They aim to keep us interested by offering excitement on every play. Baseball does not offer constant excitement, it offers constant tension. Football is like watching a superhero film; it is about the flash. Baseball is about the tension; it is like watching a suspenseful movie. Baseball keeps you on the edge of your seat. There are times a given pitch matters so much in the game I almost cannot bear to watch. My football loving friends constantly mock me because of my infatuation with baseball because they do not feel the same suspense when watching baseball. It is often said baseball is a thinking man’s game and it certainly is but to be fair it offers plenty of excitement. I know I was excited when Adrian Beltre hammered Jerome Williams’s high fastball out into the bullpen last night. If golf can be gaining popularity then baseball should be able to as well, but it is wasting it’s time with Biogenesis.
The problem is baseball has essentially had the singular attention of the sports world for over a month and has not only wasted this time; it has damaged its public impression. It is difficult to imagine a worse scenario for baseball over the last month. Not only did we have the Biogenesis scandal, the trade deadline was more or less a snoozer. Baseball has been wasting great story lines.
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Pittsburg leads the NL central with the best record in baseball. Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis are doing amazing things to baseballs. Why is it these stories are not the headlines on ESPN and MLB network? Because the commissioner’s office has been dragging the process out. These suspensions should have been handed down at least a week ago.
I, like most baseball fans and sports fans in general, am sick and tired of the PED scandals. For what seems like weeks now the Biogenesis scandal has hijacked our season. Usually I am a rabid consumer of baseball related media. I take in news, blogs, radio, podcasts, MLB Network and even the occasional ESPN coverage of baseball. Since the Ryan Braun suspension I have seriously cut back my intake of baseball related media. Other than catching game broadcasts and a little bit of trade deadline talk I have done without baseball media. Truly, I do not care about steroids. I only care about the level playing field. Either everyone should take steroids or no one should. Regardless, I just cannot find it within me to get worked up about steroid use. When the topic turns to PED use I change the channel.
I understand why we should care about steroid use. If there are potentially serious health complications then I understand that some players are not willing to take them and that allowing steroid use puts those players at a disadvantage. Perhaps we should allow PEDs. Let researchers create safe PEDs and let’s see how far these guys can launch a baseball.
Maybe that is a pipe dream. Either way, I hope that we can move on from the Biogenesis scandal. It is time to get back to the parts of baseball we love. Things like Elvis and Ian turning a twin killing. Things like Darvish making grown men look silly. Things like the Rangers closing the division gap to two games. Things like Martin Perez blowing away Mike Trout to end the fifth. Things like being glued to the TV because you are emotionally invested in a game. Things like suspense and excitement.