Olympics abuse baseball before killing it

Yes, I know baseball is being eased out as an Olympic sport, though not understanding why. (Surely its popularity in the entire Western hemisphere, plus Japan, makes it more popular than Olympic sports such as synchronized swimming.) But it is wrong to vandalize the game by changing its rules. From Extra Effort Made to Speed Up Baseball:

Starting in the 11th inning of a tie game — as decreed last month by baseball’s international governing body — each half-inning will begin with runners on first and second base, and the manager of the batting team can start the 11th at any point in his lineup.

Maybe they should let batters hit off a tee to make the game end even faster. Do you see why such a sudden death overtime is ruinous to baseball, in a way that it wouldn’t be in soccer or football?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Alexander Cartwright is rolling in his grave!

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Alexander Cartwright is rolling in his grave!

  • Bruce

    Better to just drop the sport than to do this nonsense. Why don’t they just have a home run hitting contest in the 11th inning? Better yet: have the runners start on third and second and run backward. No! Have the outfielders play without gloves! Hey, how about the batters have to use cricket bats? No, make the infielders face the outfield before each pitch. Hmm, how about no catcher in the eleventh inning? That’d speed things up. Or make the pitcher pitch underhanded. Hey! We could do “pitcher’s hand”! You know, instead of throwing to the first baseman–because in the eleventh inning there wouldn’t BE one, the infielders just throw to the pitcher!

    Make the left-handed batters bat right and the right-handed batters bat left?

    In the end, the t-ball example is probably the best. Or finish the game with a soccer goals and a shoot-out.

  • Bruce

    Better to just drop the sport than to do this nonsense. Why don’t they just have a home run hitting contest in the 11th inning? Better yet: have the runners start on third and second and run backward. No! Have the outfielders play without gloves! Hey, how about the batters have to use cricket bats? No, make the infielders face the outfield before each pitch. Hmm, how about no catcher in the eleventh inning? That’d speed things up. Or make the pitcher pitch underhanded. Hey! We could do “pitcher’s hand”! You know, instead of throwing to the first baseman–because in the eleventh inning there wouldn’t BE one, the infielders just throw to the pitcher!

    Make the left-handed batters bat right and the right-handed batters bat left?

    In the end, the t-ball example is probably the best. Or finish the game with a soccer goals and a shoot-out.

  • Bruce

    Better to just drop the sport than to do this nonsense. Why don’t they just have a home run hitting contest in the 11th inning? Better yet: have the runners start on third and second and run backward. No! Have the outfielders play without gloves! Hey, how about the batters have to use cricket bats? No, make the infielders face the outfield before each pitch. Hmm, how about no catcher in the eleventh inning? That’d speed things up. Or make the pitcher pitch underhanded. Hey! We could do “pitcher’s hand”! You know, instead of throwing to the first baseman–because in the eleventh inning there wouldn’t BE one, the infielders just throw to the pitcher!

    Make the left-handed batters bat right and the right-handed batters bat left?

    In the end, the t-ball example is probably the best. Or finish the game with a soccer goal and a shoot-out.

  • Bruce

    Better to just drop the sport than to do this nonsense. Why don’t they just have a home run hitting contest in the 11th inning? Better yet: have the runners start on third and second and run backward. No! Have the outfielders play without gloves! Hey, how about the batters have to use cricket bats? No, make the infielders face the outfield before each pitch. Hmm, how about no catcher in the eleventh inning? That’d speed things up. Or make the pitcher pitch underhanded. Hey! We could do “pitcher’s hand”! You know, instead of throwing to the first baseman–because in the eleventh inning there wouldn’t BE one, the infielders just throw to the pitcher!

    Make the left-handed batters bat right and the right-handed batters bat left?

    In the end, the t-ball example is probably the best. Or finish the game with a soccer goal and a shoot-out.

  • Larry

    The Olympics are a politically decided farce anyway, who cares? “Sports” and the “Olympics” are not even in the same category. I haven’t bothered with the over-hyped political obscenity that the Olympics have become since the late 20th century dueling boycotts and never will again. Just ignore them and maybe they’ll go away.

  • Larry

    The Olympics are a politically decided farce anyway, who cares? “Sports” and the “Olympics” are not even in the same category. I haven’t bothered with the over-hyped political obscenity that the Olympics have become since the late 20th century dueling boycotts and never will again. Just ignore them and maybe they’ll go away.

  • orthodachshund

    That they decided to remove baseball as an Olympic sport after this year was already reason enough for me to decide to bypass the entire Olympic spectacle this year. And I have.

    Whoever proposed this change in the rules has no respect for the integrity of the game. He makes Bud “Now the Game Counts” Selig look like a savant in comparison.

    As distasteful as it is to me, I think having a tie game is preferable to this method of resolving a game. There is, at least, international precedence for declaring a game a tie — they do it in the Japanese Pacific League after the 12th inning I’m not aware of any league anywhere resolving games in the fashion the Olympics have proposed.

  • orthodachshund

    That they decided to remove baseball as an Olympic sport after this year was already reason enough for me to decide to bypass the entire Olympic spectacle this year. And I have.

    Whoever proposed this change in the rules has no respect for the integrity of the game. He makes Bud “Now the Game Counts” Selig look like a savant in comparison.

    As distasteful as it is to me, I think having a tie game is preferable to this method of resolving a game. There is, at least, international precedence for declaring a game a tie — they do it in the Japanese Pacific League after the 12th inning I’m not aware of any league anywhere resolving games in the fashion the Olympics have proposed.

  • T Sherm

    Such a change is ruinous because baseball is not a time-bound sport. Baseball was created in resistance to the increasingly clock-bound world of the industrial revolution, and has existed as a protest against time ever since.

    A well-pitched game can finished in a little over an hour and a half, and extra-innings can extend the game indefinitely. The longest professional game ever was between Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox, lasting 33 innings and 8 hours and 25 minutes (Side note: Cal Ripken Jr. played for Rochester).

    To give baseball time limits is to ruin the spirit of the game.

  • T Sherm

    Such a change is ruinous because baseball is not a time-bound sport. Baseball was created in resistance to the increasingly clock-bound world of the industrial revolution, and has existed as a protest against time ever since.

    A well-pitched game can finished in a little over an hour and a half, and extra-innings can extend the game indefinitely. The longest professional game ever was between Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox, lasting 33 innings and 8 hours and 25 minutes (Side note: Cal Ripken Jr. played for Rochester).

    To give baseball time limits is to ruin the spirit of the game.

  • Anon

    FWIW, I see that due to some sort of tie-breaking arcana that would confuse Hermonie Granger, the little Han girl who is losing her milk teeth won the (non-junior Olympics) gold medal against the legally of age Russian-American gymnast Nastia Ljuken.

  • Anon

    FWIW, I see that due to some sort of tie-breaking arcana that would confuse Hermonie Granger, the little Han girl who is losing her milk teeth won the (non-junior Olympics) gold medal against the legally of age Russian-American gymnast Nastia Ljuken.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Anon – I had to google the Hermione Granger reference. Is it possible to understand your use of it without reading the books? I saw a couple of the movies, but that apparently doesn’t help me.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Anon – I had to google the Hermione Granger reference. Is it possible to understand your use of it without reading the books? I saw a couple of the movies, but that apparently doesn’t help me.


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