I love watching most sports (Formula 1, golf, and snooker are absolute no-gos), and had been having a good run of watching local live games in the first two months of the year. I managed to see an ice hockey game, and a volleyball game for the first time tried to whistle with my fingers at a football game and had tickets for a basketball game before it was optimistically delayed until October. With no real-life events to go to and a small selection on the TV, I thought it was time to try and get into a new sport: baseball.
I read that baseball teams normally play 162 games in a season – winner! There’d be no end of games to catch up on! This year things are a little quieter, and there are only 60 games this season, that’s double as many as a normal football season. I found a game between the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies that was on at a decent time, so I cooked up some vegetarian hotdogs and sat down to experience a real American past-time.
I knew very little about baseball beforehand. My knowledge was picked up from years of watching George Costanza work for the Yankees in Seinfeld, and the Brad Pitt film, Moneyball. Needless to say, that knowledge didn’t amount to much.
Ever the keen student, I swotted up on some of the terms beforehand thanks to this handy beginners guide from the BBC. But once the “action” started and the endless stream of stats came onscreen, I was lost. I spent half an hour trying to work out the different terms, entirely missing what was on screen. Which, in the end, wasn’t a bad thing – it was so painfully slow that nothing had really happened. In fact, in the three hours that I was watching, there was barely any action at all.
A normal baseball game lasts 9 innings (where each team bats until three players are out) unless the score is equal. Well, after 9 innings, this game was still 0 – 0. It was so slow and uneventful that even the commentators mentioned it. That did make me feel a little better, knowing it was just bad luck rather than it being the norm. By this point it was midnight and I was shattered, so I called it a night, satisfied that I’d seen enough of a baseball game to give it a fair chance.
The score ending up being 2 – 1 to the Astros, but due to baseball’s crazy amount of games, they’re playing each other again on Thursday night. It goes without saying that I won’t be watching the rematch. Although it was exciting whenever somebody actually hit the ball, baseball just isn’t my game