There's Just Something Special About Baseball Season

There's Just Something Special About Baseball Season

There's a reason it's "America's favorite pastime."

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Baseball has always had a distinct aroma. The fresh smell of cut grass, the art of the chalky white lines painted on the field for gameday and the crack of the bat that will be heard in a split second at the center field bleachers. Hotdogs covered in the essential fixings that leave a taste in your mouth that can only be washed away from an ice-cold ballpark beer. Watching baseball on TV is undoubtedly not the same as sitting in the wooden ballpark chairs, however.

The pace of the game can be a deciding factor on whether or not people enjoy the game. Baseball is not constantly moving like basketball and doesn't have the physical contact that we crave from football (except the exhilarating bench-clearing brawls). However, there is a reason why baseball is included in the debate on America's favorite pastime sport. The MLB has been around for over 150 years and hasn't changed much to this day.

There is no time limit — no pressure of a shot clock, inattentive halftime, or designated media timeouts. Game three of the 2018 World Series turned into the longest World Series game in history when the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers played an 18-inning game that lasted seven hours and 20 minutes. With no time limit, you experience raw talent, every last bit of energy and pushing up against the mental barriers that come with the sport of baseball.

Yes, baseball can be a slow and uneventful game to watch, however, when you think the game is over and there will be no comeback, a pitcher throws one down the middle, and the batter sends the ball high over the outfield wall. The bases unexpectedly become loaded, and a rally is started. A seventh-inning comeback can leave every seat in the stadium empty because everybody is standing in excitement.

There are so many other entertaining factors than just the baseball game itself. One of the reasons why baseball is my favorite sport is because the athletes interact with the fans. You see the outfielders dancing in-between innings or playing catch with a kid in the stands. You see how grateful and how happy baseball players are while they play. If you're lucky enough to sit behind the dugout, you learn how every team has its personality. I prefer the outfield seats at an MLB game strictly for the fans and the chance at catching a home run ball. You can become friends with anybody around you regardless of the jersey you're wearing. They will most definitely rip you apart but will offer to grab you a beer because you became their neighbor for the duration of the game.

Baseball allows you to reminisce about your childhood. Neighborhood legends have been made during back yard baseball games. I always wanted to play two-hand touch with my brother and his friends, but they never let me play or would go easy on me because I was a girl. When the plastic bats and whiffle balls came out, gender didn't matter. You were another number in the batting order and an extra hand in the outfield. You and your friends played like you were in the big leagues with your own commentating and pitching style.

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29 Insane Jose Canseco Tweets

"I see the inner dragon of people"
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Retired baseballer Jose Canseco's Twitter account is a goldmine, overlooked by many but home to dozens upon dozens of bewildering and hilarious dispatches from his enigmatic psyche. Among his favorite topics are the "sandsquatch," his ex-wife, and the various beings of the supernatural. I compiled a number of my favorite tweets.


1-2.


3-5.


6.


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8.

I don't even know what the fuck is going on here.


9.


10. In which Jose patronizes Jack Nicholson


11-16. In which Jose patronizes Elon Musk



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18. In which Jose channels Dril



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21.


22.


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24-26.


These last three are my personal favorites.


27-29.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/jose-canseco-goats-pulled-over-twitter_n_4316666.html

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Dexter Fowler Deserves An Apology

Roughly a fourth of the way through the season, it's very clear that a lot of us were wrong about Fowler.

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Baseball is a mental game just as much, if not more of a physical one. Baseball is one of those unique games where failure is present at all times. If you hold a .300 batting average, you've got a pretty good chance of getting into the Hall of Fame. For context, Ty Cobb holds the record for highest career batting average at .366 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. In any other sport, if you're only successful 30% of the time, you're rarely viewed as excellent in your sport.

But I don't think the nature of the game usually sways fans from shortsighted opinions and conclusions about the players, especially if they're on our own team. Cardinals fans went through something very similar with our own Dexter Fowler, and some of us really dragged him through the mud. In the second year of his five-year, $82 million deal, Fowler had the worst statistical years of his career. A .180 batting average with a .278 OBP were the cornerstones on what was a very confusing year for many Cardinals fans.

But I want to be very clear when I say that there were two camps with the Fowler situation: those who thought the year was simply a statistical outlier and those who thought that Fowler was at the end of his career, the Cardinals were foolish to give him the money and that the team would be better off trading him if they could find a suitable trade partner for such "broken goods". And maybe this is just my biased Cardinals Twitter point of view, but I felt like the second group was definitely the vocal majority.

But what I think we often forget to remember is there are real people out there playing that game. As weird as that may sound, sports fans often forget that athletes are just as vulnerable to the mental lows that plague so many everyday Americans. Dexter Fowler spent the majority of last season in a deep depression that was both caused and a source of his poor performance on the field. And I'm sure all the negative press he got and the angry fans in his mentions didn't help in the slightest.

But the Cardinals never gave up on him, and for good reason. The numbers Fowler has put up this season are outstanding thus far with still roughly 80% of the season left to play. The commitment the front office showed to Fowler is a reflection of the culture established that makes players want to come and play for this organization. The Cardinals never gave up on him, and so many fans should have taken that same approach. As I said earlier, those are real people out there playing in those Cardinal uniforms.

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