We’re at the halfway point of the baseball season, more or less, and let’s celebrate and honor the occasion by turning to our longtime punching bag and traitor to everything that is righteous about America, Rick Reilly.
David Simon Cowell cannot be having a good day. It has long been DSC’s contention that baseball games take too long and have a pace of play problem. (To be fair, he has had to witness a lot of Cubs games.) Now, Rick Reilly (“Riles”) is agreeing with him on the record, thereby indisputably proving him wrong. Sorry, DSC. Tough day. We’ve all been there.
Take it awayyyyyy, Riles!
Not that baseball games don’t have a pace. They do: Snails escaping a freezer.
Off to an excellent start.
It’s clear no MLB player or umpire has ever read the procedures or else how do you explain what I witnessed Sunday, when I sat down to do something really stupid — watch an entire televised MLB game without the aid of a DVR?
So, let me get this straight. There are some rules in the official rulebook of a sport that are not being consistently enforced. Weird! Complaining about pace of play rules not being enforced is like complaining that NBA coaches don’t get whistled for stepping onto the court or that NFL players don’t all wear to-the-letter standard uniforms.
Cincinnati at San Francisco was a three-hour-and-14-minute can-somebody-please-stick-two-forks-in-my-eyes snore-a-palooza
Well, look, if one particular baseball game was kind of boring, we might as well shut down the whole fucking sport.
Consider: There were 280 pitches thrown and, after 170 of them, the hitter got out of the batter’s box and did … absolutely nothing.
I adore the idea of Reilly sitting in the stands keeping track of this with tally marks on a notepad, while making snide punny remarks to his seatmates.
Mostly, hitters delayed the proceedings to kick imaginary dirt off their cleats, meditate, and un-Velcro and re-Velcro their batting gloves, despite the fact that most of the time, they hadn’t even swung.
And did you know that sometimes in basketball, players high five each other after free throws…EVEN WHEN THEY MISS THE SHOT???
By the way, the average number of seconds per pitch this game: 31.34. Thirty-one seconds per pitch? This is not a misprint. Do you realize people can solve an entire Rubik’s Cube in 22 seconds?
Another timely reference. Still got it, Riles! And this has been mentioned countless times before, but the NFL averages 11 minutes of action per three-plus-hour viewing session. But nobody complains…why? A) Because Major League Baseball is run by an incompetent public relations nightmare, and B) Americans are so in the bag for the NFL it’s disgraceful (and I say this as an American who’s in the bag for the NFL).
Whoo-eee! That’s rich. These guys wandered away from the box like 2-year-olds at a petting zoo.
Good joke, Riles, but let me polish up that punchline for you: These guys wandered away from the box like a closeted high school kid trying to force himself to have sex with his prom date.
There were 14 attempts by pitchers to pick off runners, not one of them even coming close. Most of them resembled somebody tossing a turkey to a co-worker.
“I do not like one of the strategic elements of this sport I am watching. Eliminate it!”
Four times the hitter, after going through his Art Carney routine, got into the box, decided the pitcher was messing with him, and called time out.
I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable pop culture omnivore, and I don’t have a fucking clue what this Art Carney reference is supposed to mean.
Five times the catcher called time out to go out to the mound to discuss, what? ObamaCare?
Ha ha ha ha! Crazy! Such a crazy scenario, because it’s so nonsensical that these dumb ballplayers would be discussing a current news item. Just a weird, wacky, silly, hilarious scenario. And what do these football players talk about in their “huddles” anyway? The relative merits of Hegelianism and Kantianism?? HA HA HA HA HA!!
And explain to me why a reliever who’s been warming up in the bullpen for five minutes still needs eight pitches to warm up on the mound. Do field goal kickers get eight practice kicks? Dumb.
Other Rick Reilly suggested changes to improve baseball:
- 11 men per side instead of 9
- Make the ball oblong and construct it from a porcine’s hide
- Stop calling the head coach a “manager.” What are you, a gay?
- Allow full contact
- Replace bases with end zones
- Each run now counts as either 7 or 3 points
- Add a sprinkling of Tebow dust
Please, I beg of you, bring on the NFL.
Attend live event of activity you do not enjoy. Write article describing why you do not enjoy it. Insert puns. Collect ten million dollars.
Please, I beg of you, bring on the end of Rick Reilly’s contract so I can get on with my life.
Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk sagely observed that this isn’t the first time Reilly’s cried wolf about baseball being in trouble because games too long. When he made the same argument in 2000, he ended up being about as prescient as Darren Rovell when he claimed tennis was in trouble in the U.S., right before the 2012 Wimbledon broke all kinds of ratings records.
If you don’t like baseball, don’t watch baseball. Pretty simple.