Friday, March 17, 2006


Friday Baseball Standings

Boy, that Western Conference playoff race is something, isn't it?

Bonus St. Patrick's Day fun link: Japers' Rink lists the Top 10 Patricks in hockey history.


I must confess -- not being a baseball fan -- that I don't really get these standings. How are they calculated? What do they do with the games in hand, etc.?

Yeah, I was thinking about mentioning that in the post, but then I realized that "or read it in 2 weeks on" didn't really make sense...

Baseball is the most beautiful game ever created. I just wanted to point that out.

One suggestion: you have already got the division leaders marked by an asterisk. Placing the three division leaders in the top three spots of this leader board only confuses the issue as much as the normal standings do. The beauty of the "baseball-style" standings is that you see every team's relative ranking. So, Calgary should be dropped below Nashville and the Rangers below Buffalo.

Baseball is the most beautiful game ever created. I just wanted to point that out.

Right. That's why you are glued to the World Baseball Classic rather than March Madness . . .

What really confuses me about baseball are the apparent legions of people who love talking baseball, writing about baseball, reading about baseball, waxing poetic about baseball, recreating baseball games in their minds from the boxscores in the newspaper, but who really don't much care for actually watching baseball.

In baseball, games in hand are indicated by the 1/2 number. The standard way to interpret the number of games one team is behind another is the number of games in which that team would have to beat the other team in order for their standings to become equal. I don't know if that is what Matt is doing here, as baseball doesn't have the overtime and shootout option, and that obviously changes things. Is he taking total points and dividing by two?

I LOVE watching baseball. The only problem is that we get stuck with Blue Jays games most of the time, and the Red Sox are my team. And there is nothing better than sitting outside on a hot day drinking beers, eating hotdogs, chewing spits, and watching the game.

And yet the good thing about baseball is that, and I know this sounds weird, you don't need to watch the game to enjoy it. A score card tells me everything I need to know. Well not everything, but it breaks down the game so simply and thoroughly that youl can actually create emotion in your mind. Esoteric? Yes. Super nerdy? Indeed. But a wonder, nonetheless. It cannot be denied that part of its pleasure is that it can be imagined totally in the mind. It's probably why baseball is considered the sport of academics and intellectuals. You really get trained to watch, or not watch, the game in a certain way. It sounds strange, but so does the way we speak about hockey to most Americans. It's about familiarity, immersion, and comprehension.

I am sure that doesn't make any sense. But this is a hockey site, and it's St. Patrick's day. I am sure Cosh will chirp in and flush it out in a much better manner than I am.

And by the way, the Baseball Classic has been great. But it is still an exhibition series. Comparing it to March Madness is like comparing pre-season basketball to the Stanley Cup.

I hate to piss on the "I love baseball parade" but baseball is the least exciting of all the major sports. In fact its the only major sport where the majority of players are standing around collectively scratching their arses for the majority of the game. To be succinct, its boring as hell in a manner that only rivals golf.

In fact baseball sucks to the degree that its a less exciting spectator sport than curling. And if you want a sport where a ball is bouncing around, and there really isn't any physicality to the game I'd suggest women's tenis is highly preferable. It at least has more to recommend itself than solely the ball bouncing about, and of course there are those lovely grunts that accompany it like the sound track of a porno.

To summarize, baseball sucks almost as badly as the Calgary Flames would without Kippersoff.

So activity and physicality are the two criterion for what makes something a sport? Do you watch a lot of soccer, then? Or ultimate fighting? Some might say that a game where a guy can intentionally smash a guys head into the ice, or swing a stick at his head, is probably a little too physical. And what is the average NHL player's ice time, btw? 18-20 minutes? You think he could throw a 92 MPH fastball for 1.5 out 3 hours? Sit in the crouching position for that same amount of time, as well as have the intelligence to call a game? How about intentionally driving a diving curveball to the opposite field? Or even making contact with that ball 1 time out of ten, let alone hitting it 400 feet out of the park, or hitting it safely 3 times out of 10?

Every sport has its own demands, and its own challenges. Some people like to watch those challenges, others don't. But I don't think its fair to dislike a sport because it isn't exactly the same as one you already know and love. If that was the case, we'd all be forced to be big fans of roller derby or jai alai.

A lack of judgment rivalled only by Barry Fraser.

Whew. Now THAT is funny.

Cuz it's true. Stupid stupid Barry Fraser.

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