McDonald: Stop Messing With The Game

We are here in Central Islip tonight after the Ducks lost to the Bridgeport Bluefish, 9-7.

More importantly, it featured a lot of offense, some shoddy pitching and some poor fielding.

More or less, what is to be expected in an independent ball game, after all, these guys were not picked up by any big league organization.

So it stands to reason the game lasted 3 hours and 8 minutes. No matter what you do, a poorly played game will not go any faster. And frankly when pitchers are in trouble, they tend to linger on the mound.

That’s the problem with all these yahoos, who try to tinker with the game. Baseball is a battle of wills that features individual matchups intertwined with team play. By trying to limit a time at bat, you are essentially destroying what makes the game great.

Last month, on the encouragement of a New York Daily News columnist, the Ducks and Bluefish staged an exhibition game that featured three balls and three swings, a cockamamie idea by author Paul Auster, who seemed to try to make the game more about him, rather than the changes it will make in the game.

The league went along with it for the publicity. A full press box sells tickets and the Ducks are trying to do just that in today’s economy. So you can understand why they went with this one time offer.

It failed.

Ultimately, by limiting the time between innings or time between pitches, you can’t change the fact that baseball is governed by the play of both teams rather than a clock. No matter what you do, if the teams don’t pitch or field properly, you will have a longer game, like tonight’s affair.

Instead of trying to tinker with the game too much, maybe enjoy it for what it is, an escape from the rat race of life for a few hours. In Queens or in the Bronx, you expect – or at least hope – the game will be played crisply, but here in Central Islip, there’s no reason to expect perfect baseball.

Here the game is different, since it’s an enjoyable night out for a family. Sure there are some household names that pop by from time to time, but this team is generally filled with guys named Brownell, Griffin, and Ford. And it’s the enjoyment of the game rather than the diehard win or lose of the majors that makes this experience fun.

So maybe it’s time to stop looking at changing the game and just enjoy the game the way they had for the past almost 150 years. Baseball is like a fine wine, it supposed to be savored and once it is, it becomes one of life’s greatest pleasures.

In this day and age, it’s hard to do that sometimes. But maybe we need some old fashioned in our lives.

Savoring a baseball game is a good start.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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