Baseball: An Adult’s Game???

Bob Lemon once said “Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up.”

This comment is oh so true to all professional sports. When it’s no longer a game and it’s your source of income, the priorities shift from having fun to making money. I think this is why I like Minor League games so much. They keep fans entertained with weird gimmicks. In between innings, they have some off-the-wall game where fans might have to roll kegs from first to third after spinning around a bat 30 times. Even teammates in the minors seem to have more fun. For instance, the entire Padres AAA affiliate had Jeff Francoeur believing his teammate Jorge Reyes was deaf. And this prank went on for days if not weeks before they finally told him. Seriously, watch that video in the last link. This is what baseball is supposed to be… a child’s game.

Why do I bring up the topic of Baseball being a children’s game? Because of all the commotion that the Brewers and Pirates bench clearing brawl has stirred up. Every year it’s like picking open an old scab. And similar to every year, everyone has to take sides and point fingers at who started it and who deserves what penalties and who got off too easy… blah, blah, blah.

Yes, I’m a major Brewers fan, but I’m not taking sides in this one over who started it. A verbal disagreement is one thing, but throwing punches deserves some form of penalty because these players are role models to kids. They shouldn’t be teaching the youth how to play the game of knockout. They should be teaching them how to play a game for entertainment and enjoyment.

What I will and am taking a side on is that the game of baseball is meant to be fun. It’s meant to entertain. Everyone is so uptight about other’s feelings and good sportsmanship that they have forgotten about the emotion and feelings of the individual player. No, I’m not advocating that players should go gloat in the opponents face. But let them have some fun out there. Let them enjoy themselves. If pitchers can fist pump after striking out a batter with the bases loaded or on the final out of a game after receiving a save, then batters should be able to admire how far their hits go (even if it doesn’t leave the park… Gomez). They should be able to make gestures back to their team’s dugout after a two RBI triple to take the lead in a game. They should even be able to have a team celebration after a walk off win (I still enjoyed the season the Brewers would untuck their jerseys rounding the bases after a walk off win). This isn’t poor sportsmanship. This isn’t disgracing the game’s forefathers. This is simply the players enjoying themselves. This is them letting their emotions for the game show.

And for crying out loud, let the batters do bat flips. This is one of my biggest desires in the game of Baseball for the entertainment. I mean look at these bat flips from Japan… It’s just FUN to watch.

So as I get down from my high horse, I leave you with one last quote:

“When baseball is no longer fun, it’s no longer a game” – Joe DiMaggio

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