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Jordan Bean | Sacked

The good old days

Published: Monday, November 5, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 06:11

Remember the good old days?

I’m talking about the days before Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites became popular. The days were more leisurely and relaxed, and we could enjoy what was around us instead of constantly having a screen in front of our faces.

The clock moved at the same pace as today, but the world seemed slower. It was as though we had more time.

Then we turned the corner into the 21st century. With that turn came a change in our sports viewing. Football has surged upward while baseball has faded into the background.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m one of baseball’s biggest fans. I’ve played at a highly competitive level my whole life, and by now it’s part of who I am. I know I’m not the only one who loves the sport. Many of you do, too.

But think about this: When was the last time you sat down in front of your television and invested yourself in a full nine−inning baseball game?

Personally speaking, I can’t remember the last time I watched a complete game of baseball, even throughout the playoffs.

One thing I can tell you is the last time I sat down and watched a full NFL game. That would be yesterday — all day — and before that was Thursday. Next will be tonight for the Monday Night Football showdown between two teams I don’t even root for.

This begs an answer to one obvious question: What does football have that baseball does not that makes it successful?

The main cause for the success of football is that it is a fast−paced game in a fast−paced society. Have you ever taken the time to watch an Oregon Ducks football game?

They move at such a quick pace that sometimes the screen will become one big blur as the cameramen try desperately to catch up with their speed.

And baseball?

They take their time. A pitch is delivered — there’s your action. Then what? Then the batter steps out and adjusts his batting gloves. The pitcher gets the ball back and paces around the outskirts of the mound. The third base coach gives his signs, followed by the batter returning to the box.

The pitcher stares in for the call from the catcher. But wait — he doesn’t like what he sees. After the catcher cycles through three different pitches, the batter calls timeout because the pitcher is taking too long. The pitcher steps off, gathers his composure, and then returns to the mound.

After another ten seconds of getting the sign, a pitch is finally delivered. This scenario is all too true for Major League Baseball. It’s not uncommon to have a minute — maybe even two — pass from the time the action stops at the end of one pitch to when it starts with the next.

It should be noted that in that same two−minute time frame, the Ducks will have already reeled off six to seven plays and will be lining up for the extra point after scoring a touchdown.

The bottom line is that Major League Baseball has been slowing down in a world that’s speeding up.

I can’t sit here and give you answers to this problem — it’s not my job. My job as a fan is to watch the sports that appeal most to me.

What I can do is point out the problem exists and hope that it is soon solved.

My dad used to tell me, “Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions.” So the ball’s in your court now, MLB. Here’s the problem. Bring us solutions. Until then, MLB, you’re sacked!

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Jordan Bean is a freshman who has yet to declare a major. He can be reached at Jordan.Bean@tufts.edu.

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