Friday, October 28, 2011

Confessions of a new baseball fan...maybe

I'm not a baseball fan and probably never will be. But after last night's thriller, I just might be willing to give baseball an extra inning. There are many reasons why I never got hooked to "America's past time." The game is slow and methodical, and the MLB season is almost as long as the NHL, NFL, and NBA seasons combined ( 162 v. 180 games ). But my biggest reason is that the game is just not very fun to watch. I grew up in Houston and because my family couldn't afford cable TV, there were only a few channels to watch. And in summer afternoons, the choices were soaps, PBS teaching me how to paint/cook, Springer, or Astros baseball games. Astros would always be my last choice. Why? Because the game just wasn't very accessible to a Chinese 10 year old. ERA, RBI, BB, Slug%, WHIP, HUH? It was stuff that the dictionary wouldn't even tell me its meaning (no internet back then). There was just no excitement in watching baseball and if there's no excitement watching, there was probably no excitement playing.

Fast forward to last night. After getting mocked by a friend recently for never watching a full baseball game in my life, I set out yesterday to give baseball one more at bat and cross something off my bucket list. Needless to say, I got to witness one of the greatest sports game of all-time. And as I sat there with my heart pounding til the last out (or rather HR), I started to notice the little things that made this particular game great. Take away all the drama on the field, the players, fans, etc, and you see that FOX's sports broadcast production is amazing. The announcers rarely speak and when they do, it's one-liners: Strike three! Single to the right! Foul ball! The camera work and timing is impeccable. Whenever there's downtime, the camera cuts to managers' eyes, pitchers' fearless faces, batters' determined stances, and fans holding their breath. It's like watching a western showdown, and at any second, shots will be fired. Only thing missing is a tumbleweed between the mound and home plate. And last night, shots were fired, and sports fans got to witness something truly great. Thanks baseball.


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