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Apr 29

Make Baseball Fun Again

Washington Nationals wunderkind Bryce Harper is on a quest to “make baseball fun again,” and the Nationals decided it was good enough to sell t-shirts. The big question here is, what the hell is Bryce Harper talking about?

I will cut off the literalists out there by saying that I understand that Harper wants players to be able to play the game hard, toss out unwritten rules, and generally be able to show emotion and celebrate in the way NFL players can no longer do. I get this.

Much like an onion, there is more to this as layers are removed. At the ripe age of 23, Harper already has four Major League seasons under his belt, and much like most people who find big success at a young age, it almost iappears that he is rebelling for his lost youth. Of course, this could be misread, but it certainly seems that the reigning NL MVP wants to be a kid again, considering his childhood was most likely lost in the push for excellence.

Here’s the thing, Harper is right. No matter how you cut it – unless you are choosing to be the stingiest of misers, standing in your front yard, donning a bathrobe hosing down the neighbor kids, yelling at them to get off your lawn – baseball needs to loosen up; this is coming from one of those guys who stood on their lawn for a lonnngggg time.

There have been countless calls for the removal of ludicrous (not Ludacris, we’re not talking about Chicken-n-Beer) unwritten rules. Considering how ridiculous Harper’s request has been branded in baseball, it seems more juvenile to require your pitcher to hit an opposing team’s batter, just because his home run trot was slower than expected.

Baseball isn’t going anywhere, and it will NEVER drop below the second most popular major sport, but it is definitely behind the times. While it is understandable that we acknowledge professionals, let’s not sit so high on our ivory towers that we forget why we all like baseball.

 

  1. Baseball is a statistic sport. The game has garnered so much love from such an unlikely group of sports fans, and it has always been that way. I, for one, got into the game by memorizing stats on the back of baseball cards, BEFORE I really understanding how those statistics worked together to win baseball games.
  2. It’s fun. Baseball is the soundtrack to summer. The crack of the bat is as synonymous with good weather, barbeques, and juice boxes as it is with beer, soft pretzels, and ice cream in a hat.

 

This game brings out the child in all of us, and not in a bad way. More than football, basketball, hockey or soccer ever will, baseball brings out an inspiring pile of youth in even the most frigid person. Not everyone may like to watch it on TV, or completely understand the game, but it is woven in the fabric of society.

It’s time for baseball to move out of the dark ages and grow up by becoming young again. You don’t have to like Bryce Harper to appreciate his message. He may not be delivering it as well as he could be, but Harper has a point.

Don’t shoot the messenger; just take a moment to think about the message. Let go of what you feel you have to believe, and acknowledge the game for what it is and what it needs to be for everyone, not just you.

 

Make baseball fun again.

 

About the author

Chad

Chad has a Bachelor's Degree from Marquette University in Broadcast Journalism & Electronic Communications. Currently living in Seattle, WA, he takes every opportunity he can to go to a game, partake in the nightlife, laugh with friends & family and root for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.