Tuesday, July 2, 2013

6 comments Bleacher Report Tells Us Why Baseball Sucks in an Effort to Troll Hard

Part of Bleacher Report's success can be attributed in part to their ability to use super-fancy algorithms to ensure their site is at the top of any internet search made about a sports topic. Another part of Bleacher Report's success can also be attributed to the amount of trolling and half-assed articles that can be found on the site. When people see a crappy article or an author clearly trolling they tend to comment on that article. This provides pageviews and Bleacher Report comes one step closer to fulfilling the pact they made with the Devil so many years ago that ensured their success. Today, an author on Bleacher Report (and it doesn't matter which author really, does it?) writes "20 Reasons Baseball is the Worst." It's trolling at its best and Bleacher Report at its worst. This article could not have taken more than one hour to think about and write. But hey, it got our attention and that's all that matters. This article is written by a "senior writer," which means this author has been at Bleacher Report since 2010.

Let's start the slideshow!

Baseball season is upon us once again. Oh joy.

To many, baseball is the greatest sport ever invented. America's game. To some, it's just the sport that helps pass the time between NFL and NBA seasons.

Every year we hear this same crap about baseball. If you don't like the sport, don't watch it. I don't like NASCAR and I dislike horse racing. There are people who like these sports and I am fine with that. Don't piss in my cereal because you don't like my breakfast.

This same principle, of course, doesn't go for complaining about sportswriters. It's easier to be a sports fan and avoid baseball than it is to be a sports fan and avoid bad sportswriting. It's my own little double standard.

In celebration of its 500th* season, let's take a look at 20 reasons you should just ignore baseball.

*Not actually 500 seasons. To my knowledge.

You'll find in this slideshow the author does his best Bill Simmons impression at times. That's a side effect of Bill's popularity. We have a generation of writers who try to write like him instead of finding their own unique voice. You will see a few Simmons-like comments in this column showing his influence on the author.

No. 20: Repetitive SportsCenter Highlights

You watch SportsCenter. That's your fault. SportsCenter beats a ton of things into the ground and I would not count baseball highlights as one of these things.

Hey, look, a diving catch! I can't remember the last time I saw one of those.

Oh, that's right, it was in yesterday's Top 10. And the day before. And the day before.

This isn't the doing of baseball, this is the doing of ESPN. Blame ESPN and don't blame baseball for the highlights ESPN shows.

I get that you could say the same thing about dunks and basketball, but in the middle of the summer when baseball is all we have, it's torture.

Again, blame ESPN, don't blame baseball. When all we have from February to April are basketball highlights that can be torture for some people too. It doesn't make sense for one of the worst things about baseball to not be about baseball.

No. 19: Fantasy Is Too Much Work

It's no more work than fantasy basketball or fantasy football. It's how much time you care to put into it that determines the amount of work fantasy sports causes for you anyway. I spend as much time on fantasy football as I do on other fantasy sports.

One of the biggest reasons I love the NFL is fantasy football. It helps you care about games, teams and players you wouldn't normally care about.

It's a fun way to keep up with the season. You set your lineup once a week for four months, and you're good.

True, but how many times do you check your lineup during the week in order to stay on top of injuries? To win in a fantasy football league you have to spend a few minutes every Sunday trying to figure out which players are injured and which are not. This is after setting your lineup for the week. So fantasy football, if you want to be good at it, isn't as simple as setting your lineup once a week and calling it a day.

Fantasy baseball?

It's only something you have to mess with every single day for the better part of a year. No big deal.

Depending on the setup of the league, you can't change your lineup everyday or you will go over your allotment for each position. So you can monitor the waiver wire everyday, but you wouldn't need to make drastic changes to your team everyday.

you'll be picking up players in fantasy baseball that you've not only never heard of, but there's a good chance they're not even real.

There is a 0% chance these players are not real. I play fantasy hockey and I have never heard of half of the players. It actually helps. I have no biases and can choose players based on performance, so the fact a person doesn't follow baseball enough to play fantasy baseball and enjoy it means (a) that person should quit playing fantasy baseball, (b) that person should get over it or (c) that person should know more about the sport of baseball if he wants to know the name of every player on the waiver wire.

No. 18: Baseball Injuries Are Hilariously Stupid

Gus Frerotte head-butted a wall and got a concussion. Stupid injuries happen in every sport. Bill Gramatica tore his ACL over-celebrating a made field goal. Glenn Healy stabbed himself fixing bagpipes. There are other examples of non-baseball players getting injured in a stupid way.

The list goes on. Sorry that all of your "athletes" are so fragile that they should literally be wrapped up with bubble wrap between games.

Mr. Tough Guy at the keyboard doesn't think baseball players are athletes because they have stupid sports injuries.

No. 17: The Games Last Forever

In 2009, MLB games were an average of 2 hours and 52 minutes, according to MLB.com. In the playoffs, it was an even more excruciating 3 hours and 30 minutes.

That's insane. This year's Super Bowl was only 45 minutes longer than that with a billion commercials and a freaking 34-minute power outage.

Yes, but the Super Bowl was longer even without the power outage, no? NFL games are on average longer than MLB games, which is always a little fact those who complain baseball games take too long leave out. I'm not going to argue baseball games aren't too long. I can handle the length of the games and those who can't handle it are the ones complaining about it.

And that's just the average MLB playoff game we're talking about. 

It's the Bill Simmons-like use of italics to emphasize a point. 

I'll give baseball credit for trying to speed up the game, but it's too little, too late in my book.

Too little, too late baseball. You are done as a sport. If Bleacher Report says it, then it must be true.

No. 15: Managers Wear Uniforms

No thank you.

This type of in-depth analysis is why people should visit Bleacher Report everyday at least 20 times per day. The author doesn't like managers wearing uniforms, so baseball is the worst.

No. 14: Hall of Fame Voting Is Stupid

Every other sport has Hall of Fame voting and baseball's Hall of Fame voting makes more sense than the NFL's Hall of Fame voting process. At least MLB releases the results of the vote, while the NFL treats Hall of Fame voting like the conclave to elect a new pope. MLB writers are also allowed to say who they voted for and who they didn't vote for. If any sport has a stupid Hall of Fame voting process it is the NFL. The electors aren't allowed to say who they voted for and why.

Writers don't vote for players because of personal grudges.

Marvin Miller (the person the article linked is about) wasn't a player. He was the head of the player's union. When the author said he doesn't know a lot of the players on the fantasy baseball wire he wasn't kidding. He probably thinks Bud Selig is the Brewers' catcher.

They don't vote players in to make a statement.

There are really just too many reasons to keep going. And we haven't even gotten to the steroid issue. Let's just move on.

Actually, the article you just linked is about the steroid issue. The "New York Times" had a blank cover in reaction to Hall of Fame voting, so linking this article is getting to the steroid issue.

No. 13: MLB "Athletes"

It's hard to respect baseball when so many of the players in the league can still play at a high level with half a can of dip in their cheeks or carrying around an extra hundred pounds or so.

There are probably around five baseball players who are carrying around an extra hundred pounds or so on their frame. That's five baseball players from 30 teams who carry 25 players on their roster. Compare that to the NFL where each individual team probably has around five players who are carrying an extra hundred pounds or so. 

The author puts a picture of Pablo Sandoval beside this picture but he doesn't have an extra hundred pounds on his frame. He may have an extra fifty pounds, but not a hundred pounds. So even the example the author uses of a player carrying an extra hundred pounds or so isn't entirely accurate.

No. 12: There Are Too Many Games

Do you know how exceedingly difficult it is to care about a game when there are 161 other ones? 

I would like to see the season shortened to 154 games, but if you have a favorite baseball team then most likely you would enjoy watching as many baseball games as possible. The fact there are so many games means it doesn't matter if you miss a game or two. I guess the bottom line is that if you don't like baseball then it is difficult to care about one game out of 162.

People say the NBA season is too long, and baseball season is almost twice as long.

The baseball season isn't twice as long as the NBA season. This is a lie. The NBA season goes from November to June. That is eight months of NBA games. The MLB season goes from April to October. That is seven months of MLB games. There are more MLB games, but the season is actually shorter than the NBA season. Good try though. Math can be hard.

You can not care about baseball for half of the season and then start paying attention when it matters. That's what the A's did last year.

This sentence is a clusterfuck of "what the fuck does this mean?" The author says as a baseball fan I am able to not care about baseball for half the season and then pay attention when it matters. Then he says the Oakland A's didn't care about baseball for half of the season, and then started watching the games when they mattered. Who is this "you" person? "You" starts off as meaning "a fan of baseball," and then the author uses an actual baseball team as an example of fans of baseball not caring about baseball for half of the season. The author is saying fans can not care about one single game and then he randomly switches to talking about a team that tanks for half of the season.

He is changing the frame of reference, yet he also uses his Bill Simmons-like skills to know exactly why the A's didn't play well in the first three months of the 2012 season. It's because they didn't care about baseball. Once they started caring, they started winning games. It's perfect Simmons-like reasoning. I'm sure the team started high-fiving each other more and that helped them win games too.

No. 11: The Draft Is a Joke

"Woo, we drafted that one guy! I don't actually know his name, but it doesn't really matter. It'll take like five years for him to actually get up to the majors, and that's if he hasn't been traded away by then, which is more likely."

It took Bryce Harper a little over a season to make it to the majors. Mike Trout is twenty years old and Stephen Strasburg was called up after a little over a year in the minors. Sure, it can take players drafted in high school a few more years to make to the majors, but that's the beauty of minor league baseball, you can watch these guys play before they become stars.


Is a 9 year old girl writing this slideshow?

No. 10: Crazy Fields

Don't you hate how the Raiders field is 10 yards longer and five yards wider than the Niners field?

I see what you did there! NFL fields are all the same! This is some crack writing right here.

But for some reason, baseball fields feel like they can make up their own damn rules. "Golf courses are different, we should make baseball fields like golf courses!"

Baseball fields are completely unlike golf courses. There's almost no similarities other than both have grass and dirt on them. Each golf course has a different length to each Par 3, 4, and 5 hole, but the basic length between the batter's box and the pitcher's mound, as well as the length between basepaths, doesn't change in each individual baseball park.

It's like if Norman Dale went to go measure the hoop in Hoosiers and was like "how far to the free-throw line? 16 feet? Hmm, ours is only 15. Sorry guys, everything is different here. We're screwed."

But the standard measurements for the field are the same in every park and no team has an advantage over another team. There is some sort of home/away advantage in statistics, but it isn't like the fences are shorter for one team when they are batting compared to the length of the fences when the opposing team is batting. Plus, this is a really throw-in "Hoosiers" reference. It's really, really, really thrown-in without a good explanation as to why.

No. 9: Baseball Fans Are Annoying


"Hey, here is a random 'Hoosiers' reference!"

"It takes way too long for high school players to make it to the majors and that's why the draft sucks!"

Yes, baseball fans are so annoying.

No. 8: Statheads Are Even More Annoying

I'm not anti-statistics, so please put back your torches and pitchforks. 

Saying statheads are annoying isn't being anti-statistics at all. He's just being super-real and edgy. He is like the Jason Whitlock of Bleacher Report, just telling it like it is.

But do you have to be so smug about it all? The moment anybody complains about advanced statistics, you all sound that stat signal and converge upon whatever poor soul said he thought Miguel Cabrera should have won MVP over Mike Trout.

I'm pretty sure the convergence starts when someone criticizes statheads without clearly understanding the basics of the advanced statistic he/she is criticizing.

No. 5: No Replays Where It Matters

Yes, baseball has replays on home runs now. Congratulations. It's five percent there.

This complaint from the guy who says baseball games are already too long. The author thinks baseball games are too long, but he wants there to be 95% more replay. I am for expanded replay, but I'm also not bitching the games are too long and that's why baseball is the worst.

Now if only baseball would get with the 21st century and allow replays for blown calls like Jim Joyce ruining a perfect game or to help regulate strike zones instead of leaving it up to umpires who are trying to end the game because they're tired.

"Baseball games are too long, which is why there needs to be instant replay on balls and strikes."

You figure it out because I can't.

No. 4: No YouTube Clips

But not with MLB. Oh no. They have a team of YouTube assassins ready to pull down any clip that somebody may dare to post.

MLB has taken great pains to ensure any good highlights are posted on MLB.com pretty soon after they occur. I watched Justin Upton hit a game-winning home run against the Cubs about five minutes after it happened. I don't enjoy that MLB doesn't allow YouTube videos of game-action to stay up, but MLB has a very good web presence and I would argue they have done a pretty good job of allowing fans to see highlights online, even if the highlights have to be on MLB.com. 

Fan makes a crazy catch in the crowd? Better wait for MLB.com to get their own video of it, because if it shows even a second of game time, they're going to yank any unauthorized versions from the Internet.

And from my experience MLB usually posts the video fairly quickly. Of course I also know Marvin Miller wasn't a baseball player and am not writing a slideshow simply for the purpose of trolling. 

No. 3: PEDs

This is funny because MLB is the only major sport that has openly acknowledged and taken strong steps to exclude PEDs from the sport of baseball. To say baseball is the worst because of PEDs is essentially congratulating the NFL and NBA on completely turning a blind eye to the epidemic of PEDs in their respective sports. Because any non-naive person knows the NFL has a major PED issue and I would bet the NBA does as well. 

Who is taking PEDs? Should we let them into the Hall of Fame if we think they took PEDs? Should we wipe their records from the books if they took PEDs? How much do PEDs really help anyway? PEDs PEDs PEDs.

I no longer have the ability to care anymore. 

Okay, just wait until the NFL and NBA have a more substantive drug policy. We can't knock baseball for trying to rid itself of the PED epidemic in the sport while other sports ignore their own PED issues. 

No. 1: It's Not Really the Worst

"You know this whole slideshow I just wrote about how baseball is the worst? Well, it's all a lie and I really like baseball." 

This is Bleacher Report for you. They post an entire slideshow and at the end of the slideshow basically admit they were just trolling you for pageviews. At least the author was honest about it I guess. 

I love the experience of going to a game, being outside and drinking a cold beer on a hot day with baseball basically being a nice background.

What the author really means is that he loves being bored by the overly-long game he is attending and getting to stare at the baseball field that inexplicably doesn't have the exact same dimensions as every other baseball field. 

I love all the weird stuff baseball players do to amuse themselves during the long games and the long season.

So the whole thing of saying baseball players aren't really athletes and saying baseball is the worst because of the hilariously stupid injuries baseball players incur was just a bold lie for the slideshow? 

I love an underdog team like the A's putting together a historic run at the end of last season, even though they ultimately came up short.

You know, if they had cared for the entire season they probably would have won the World Series. Unfortunately they were bored during the first half of the season and that's why lost so many baseball games. 

So here's to another season of baseball being the worst...and me still watching.

But only watching during the second half of the season when the games count. The first half of the season is pointless, which is why baseball is the worst in the author's opinion, even though it isn't the worst in the author's opinion. 

Bleacher Report everyone...


jacktotherack said...

In celebration of its 500th* season, let's take a look at 20 reasons you should just ignore baseball.

*Not actually 500 seasons. To my knowledge.

BOOM! ZING! Oh shit, did this guy bring the funny with that one! Is it really necessary to have footnotes when your sports page consists of annoying-as-fuck slideshows with under 50 words on each page? Didn't think so.

Bleacher Report is the Skip Bayless of the sports interwebs. Worthless.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, the "Skip Bayless of the sports interwebs." Insults don't come much worse than that. Any attention is good attention, right?

Anonymous said...

Baseball is still painful to watch.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, so is horse racing and ice skating. That's why I don't watch those sports and don't attempt to take a shit on these sports simply because I don't like them. Not everyone can like baseball, that's fine.

JJJJShabado said...

Re: Fantasy Baseball, it's not like weekly fantasy don't exist. I'm in one.

Re: Draft, the NHL and NBA drafts are similar in that there is drafting for the future. The NFL is the anomaly in that it expects players to play immediately. There are some kind of affiliate leagues in the other three sports. Stashing foreign players in the NBA is like what the MLB draft is.

Bengoodfella said...

JJ, this guy just doesn't like baseball and therefore he thinks of any reason (good or bad) to say baseball sucks.

You are right that the NFL is the only league where players are expected to play immediately. This is somewhat true in the NBA, but many first round picks are still expected to come off the bench and not slide right into the lineup.