To compare baseball to hockey is to risk that same mentality – that one is tougher, that the athletes of one sport aren’t even athletes. It’s a mixture of defensiveness from fans of a less popular sport and false bravado. But this relies on another television twisting – the knowledge of the sport through highlight reels. The emphasis of home runs and diving catches, although exciting, falls into that same trap of predictability and replay. Where baseball lives is in between, the so-called “boring” parts where “nothing’s happening.”
Baseball broadcasts aren’t groundbreaking, but they don’t have the problem of failing to show – everything is before and visible, the pitcher-catcher-batter relation clearly defined and observable. When runners reach base, the imperfect but still effective solution of splitting the screen, showing multiple perspectives, with base-running coaches in the background, cuts to managerial direction and the different plate positions all held on the screen until the last possible second, when the pitch is released, the early jump of a stealing runner or stop at the realization of a strikeout just registering at the corner of the frame.
A friend that helped re-introduce me to baseball offered one observation that also helped when it comes to season and game length: with a game every day, there is less dwelling on the past, an allowance for losses because every team will with such a packed schedule.
What it also means is just more to watch – there are those that try to see everything, but the overabundance means that there’s the routine of there always being a game on, to turn on for a few innings as inoffensive backdrop for an evening of trying-to-but-not doing homework.
Baseball extends through days, timeslots and pre-conceptions. Surely the greatest experience of watching hockey is playoff overtime when the game doesn’t end until a goal, with no commercials to interrupt. With baseball, there is the possibility for this with every game.
Every half-inning is defined this way; it could be over in regular 1-2-3 fashion, or take an hour, with nothing to break in and advertise. Sure, there’s always the signage in sight, and required broadcaster mention, but it’s a pleasant feature, and better yet an outcome of the eternal possibility in baseball – a sport unrestricted by time, where victory is always an open chance.
Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:11 AM | 99 comment(s)
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