October 5, 2021
The baseball playoffs begin this evening with a pitiful concoction called the wild card game. This is a profit-generating device that serves no useful purpose.
In a one-game playoff, the worse team can easily take the place of the more-deserving one. This year’s National League game, set for tomorrow, is a prime example. A season that encompasses 162 games will not determine who moves on to the real playoffs and who packs up until next spring. No, a one-game winner-takes-all will settle that matter.
The Dodgers have the second-best record in all of baseball at 105-56, yet they might have to start making plans for next year after tomorrow evening because a team with 90 wins can beat them one time to get the chance to play in the divisional series.
I have long ties with baseball and my love for the game. However, major league baseball has done a great deal to drive me – and a great number of long-time fans – away for a number of years. The starting place for my grievances begins with starting times for evening games. I am usually in bed by the time the second inning rolls around. It is simply easier not to watch at all, and that is usually my game plan.
The prolonged games because of incessant and tiresome commercial breaks rank high on my list of reasons not to watch as well. However, this does not just apply to baseball, but nearly all televised sports. Years ago, when I was a newspaper writer, I attended numerous college football games. One particular season I had games two weeks in a row. The first one was nationally televised, and it took four hours and fifteen minutes to play, and there were prolonged periods of dead time on the field while everyone waited for an official to get word from the booth that the network was ready to resume the telecast. The second one was not televised in any form because one of the teams was banned from all television that season. That game took two hours and forty-five minutes to conclude.
Of course, we are all familiar with the “those last two minutes on the clock took 25 minutes in real time” complaint. It is real and will remain with us. Why not? Huge commercial profit margins during that time.
I will likely look at scores the next morning throughout the baseball playoffs, and once again not watch the World Series, let alone much if any of the playoffs, in baseball, the NBA, or the NCAA basketball tournament.
Of all the major sports, I thought major league baseball playoffs and Word Series would be the last thing I would stop watching. I was wrong.
I have loved sports throughout my entire life. Most of them have quit reciprocating that love for me, though. I am not longingly looking for a return to the past when things were simpler for the viewer. I understand why things are the way they are and that they will not change just for me or long-time (older) sports fans. Televised sports in our time does not cater to senior citizens.