Most boring World Series game ever leaves baseball fans in agony
Call it the result of insomnia or a case of being a curmudgeon, and admittedly not a fan of either team, but Friday's World Series game played between the Red Sox and the Dodgers turned out to be more ordeal than ideal if you wanted to use it as quintessential modern baseball.
Fans spent more time at the game than they probably did at work. And most of the time was not entertaining.
The game was more a battle between boredom and aggravation than watching baseball's best two, because the number of goose eggs being posted on the scoreboard was a result of strikeouts more than stellar play. Eighteen innings of play saw 34 strikeouts recorded by both teams, or 11 and one third innings of watching players flail weakly at fastballs, curveballs, sliders, and changeups as each player attempted to end the game with one swing of the bat.
That the home run swing finally occurred in the bottom of the 18th inning by nomadic player Max Muncy, having a career year, says more about the state of the game today than any type of drama being played out. Even though the players are rapping dingers (hate that term) in record bunches, there's a bunch of wasted time of inaction that is not good for the game.
Surely, this game will be regarded as a "classic" by many baseball pundits. But it wasn't.
It was a laborious, tedious, prosaic watch, reminding one more of completing surveys, questionnaires, and employment history forms. Each inning was like bureaucratic paperwork, redundant in the questions posed, differing only in vocabulary and syntax.
Although anecdotal, ask the kids who watch or follow baseball today. There may be more "travel" baseball teams playing well into the autumn in the northern states and year-round in the south, but chances are, most kids don't even follow the game, because baseball is boring.
Commissioner Rob Manfred might disagree and point to the ratings, the revenue increase, and the stream of players participating from other countries and continents as proof that the game is thriving.
It's great for the game that the business of baseball continues to stockpile money from the various avenues of media; that it continues to scout, sign, and play the best players on the planet; and that the metrics have improved the strategy of the game.
But the tradeoff is damaging. Games taking eons to play because of commercials, pitching changes, and computer printout assessments cannot be healthy for baseball.