Why would anyone think the world wants another column observing that playoff baseball games are long? How can sportswriters with the largest platforms and carte blanche to write off of anything happening in a World Series sit down at their computer and write the same goddamn thing that's been written hundreds of times before with the names and dates and lengths updated? Is it a lazy habit? Some sort of addiction?
More importantly, if you're the sixth person of the year to point out that playoff baseball can sometimes take four hours to complete and often finishes after midnight, are you doing it because it's topic that inspires personal passion or are you doing it because you think that's what an audience wants to hear? Because if it's the latter, it might be worth considering that audience is lame and has long ago been satiated by previous protestations that people watched baseball for 40 minutes longer than you think they should have on their own time.
We're all on the same page already. It isn't a revelation to point out it takes a bit longer come October to find a winner. That's part and parcel of every single pitch potentially having intense meaning. And managers crossing their T's and dotting their I's making sure they make the right decisions. And players taking an extra deep breath or two before discovering if the past six- or seven months of their life have been building to the ultimate high or deepest disappointment. The pauses aren't a bug, they are a feature. They are the quietness in which the storm grows. The tension builds toward release and everyone is cursed and blessed by the ability to think — an increasingly small window of opportunity in our lives.
Who are these pieces for? Not for those who like the sport because if you like something, why would you want less of it? Conversely, if you don't like something, why would slightly less of it suddenly make you a fan? Do you think if all playoff games magically concluded in 2 hours and 40 minutes the authors of these concern-trolling columns would even notice, let alone appreciate an improved difference?
I'm not sure.
In years I can stomach it there's the requisite response column from yours truly in which I point out the same things. They all amount to the same basic principle, distilled down to the headline of this blog post, which, honestly, will become newly relevant again next postseason when the cycle rears its ugly head. It'll be the definition of insanity because nothing will change.
At a certain point America's national pastime switched from baseball to floating ideas to fix baseball and it's been a really bad trade. Writing about what you don't like about baseball is not as fun or rewarding as writing about what you like. It's confusing why so many are committed to the negativity. One wonders if it's completely earnest or it's an example of outsourced ideas to the squeakiest social-media complainers.
Anecdotal evidence but I can only live one life: I've talked a tremendous amount of baseball in my real life with expert audiences, novices, and those who wouldn't look up from their phone if they sat in front of a game for four hours. Never once has any person mentioned the length of games as being a problem. Thinking back, it seems as though all of that conversation has originated from media types who want to put on their Wise Knower of Things hats and sound like an un-fun human version of an Axios story. Length of baseball game talk is like the deviant cousin of ratings talk.
It's a giant buzzkill and the people enjoying the games don't give a damn about it.
Consider this a plea to end the insanity and this column forever. It's a giant self-own and the writer comes off as a joyless crank. There are more than enough of those speaking for the sport already.