why i don’t happen to be watching the world series (and why i don’t care)
Over five games or so I’ve managed to catch probably somewhere between an hour and two of footage of actual baseball going on. I’ve been on Twitter for about 99% of the action, but there is an obvious difference between watching the game and watching people liveblog it.
important note: the games start at 5pm PT, and i usually work till 7, sometimes later. that means by the time i can turn *on* the game, it is usually about halfway to three-quarters completed. i’m fairly sure this plays a role.
anyway, i’ve struggled with this. does this make me a bad baseball person? do i have to put back in my crazy fan card because i haven’t watched most of the world series? this is the championships of baseball, hannah! get your act together and watch it! but every time a game is on i just… i don’t care. really, i don’t. and sitting here at 1:23am pondering my potential unemployment (my employer is folding in late nov) i think i have realized the point.
i do not like these two teams. it is not because they are not the yankees. there are lots of other teams i watch on a fairly routine basis that are not the yankees that i would have watched: MIL, BOS, TBR, DET, PHI, ATL, NYM, WSH, PIT, COL, ARI are the ones i can think of off the top of my head. these are teams i like to watch even when they don’t play the yankees. either they hit/pitch well or i’m just, one for way or another, attached. i watch their meaningless september games and their exciting leads and god knows what else.
TEX/STL are two teams i would not watch in the regular season. i have no interest in these teams. it just never happened. i hate texas, which i suppose counts as an interest, but i’m not interested in actively turning a game on FOR texas. the same for the cards – if STL is playing PHI, i’m rooting for PHI. if STL is playing….PHI, WSH, PIT, COL, ARI, MIL…i’m not rooting for the redbirds.
and there is nothing special about this game independently. the game has the same rules, the same wierd shit happening, the same predictability. there is stuff on the line – the world championship – but… i don’t really think i care who wins. i mean, i want texas to win less than st. louis, but i don’t really give a shit. i’ll know, of course, for my baseball repository of knowledge, but i don’t care. unless it’s the yankees (or maybe boston, tampa or detroit), i really don’t give a shit who wins it. these are fairly evenly-matched teams. medium starting pitching. rebuilt bullpens. power hitters. overmanaging. it’s not like offense-heavy texas is vs pitching-crazed san francisco, here.
so, i don’t care who wins the world series. so what inspires me to watch the games? to see the players? you want me to watch this game so i can see lance lynn come in with two on and no out? you want me to watch mitch moreland hit a homer? this is what is supposed to be thrilling? marc rzepczynski? octavio dotel? really? there is a kind of pleasure in watching the absurd succeed, i’ll give you that. but there is really no suspense, in my opinion. watching mariano rivera face david ortiz with a man on third and two outs has a suspense: amazing pitcher, amazing hitter. watching 2011-improved lance berkman face scott feldman has no suspense. if napoli wins, i go ‘of course.’ if feldman wins, i go, ‘well, in baseball, 30% is considered successful.’ am i jaded to baseball? have i come to rely too much on the stats that the surprise no longer matters? is there something wrong with me? i am still impressed with pujols’ power. i still love how napoli screwed the angels. i love watching pitchers helplessly swing and miss, ian kinsler plays, and so forth. but to wait for those plays i have to see these pitchers i don’t care about. tony la russa overmanaging. bunts. TOOTBLANs. I have to listen to joe buck and tim mccarver. it seems like the bad outweighs the good.is there something wrong with me?
what’s the best matchup – for suspense of good player v good player factor – that you can think of in this series? hamilton vs motte? napoli vs carpenter? feliz vs pujols? wilson vs berkman? i don’t know. none of those sound like halladay vs m. stanton or m. rivera vs bautista or strasburg vs jose reyes.
what i care about is good baseball at this point. and rzepczynski and dotel and feldman… those don’t strike me as “good baseball” names. and yes, they could throw some good ball. and they have. and you can’t predict baseball. but the name factor is almost overwhelming for me, combined with how i judge samples. it’s cool that marc rzepczynski got hot at the right time. that doesn’t make him good.
i don’t need the postseason to tell me who the good ballplayers are. the regular season is there for that. and i know who they are: bautista, granderson, ellsbury, kemp, braun… halladay, rivera, hamels, kershaw, sabathia, verlander, and so forth.
and on top of that, i have to listen to this shit broadcast?
a couple of people have told me that this is a “great series.” i don’t know what that means. is it like a tv show, where you watch the first, second, or eighth episode, and then you’re hooked? i don’t have time to watch a three hour ballgame to persuade me to watch more. i watched the entire baseball season for that (assuming i watched 200 games x 3.5 hrs a pop – an extremely conservative estimate – that’s over 800 hours of baseball not counting live games). maybe there is some great baseball coming in here. but to me, arthur rhodes loading the bases in the ninth inning so neftali feliz can get albert pujols to ground into a double play is not “great baseball.” that is “dodging a bullet.”
to summarize…for me, watching the world series mean i would be:
-watching two teams (neither of which i like) win an award (that i don’t care who gets it between them) while listening a terrible broadcast (that i don’t like) and watching players (which i am not invested in) do things. and while i may miss some good baseball, i will avoid the compulsive overmanaging, awful broadcast, eye-rolling names to make the playoffs, and downright bad baseball.
maybe i am being too hard on the rangers and the cardinals. maybe i have some subliminal east coast bias. maybe i am just spoiled/blessed by the the yankees and, overall, the AL East. but that doesn’t change the fact that i certainly don’t *feel* like i’ve missed much. and this is the world fucking series. i love baseball. i should be pining for every game. why don’t i?
if you’ve read all 1100 words, feel free to tell me what you think about my conundrum in the comments.