Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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UEFA Euros Tournament Predictions
Final Blog
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America’s Pastime

Americas Pastime
Photo by Maddy Brown

Throughout my life, the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has always stood out to me. The idea that people can have differing opinions on things without fear of punishment is what makes America the greatest country in the world. This idea even pertains to one of the greatest American sports of them all: baseball.

Baseball is deep-rooted in pageantry, tradition and unspoken rules that have been set in the American fabric for hundreds of years. Rules like not over-celebrating a home run, not flipping the bat after a hit, not running up the score on a blowout or not bunting to break up a no-hitter have all been time-tested after years and years of great players continuing to push the game. Old people eat these unspoken rules up, but they’re ultimately ruining the game.

Is baseball still America’s Pastime?

Absolutely not, but I know how to make it better.

For starters, can we let baseball players look like they’re having fun? Trust me, I understand the concept of acting “like you’ve been there before,” a phrase used to encourage keeping your composure after scoring and staying humble. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins is being paid on a contract valued at $350 million. He gets paid $350 million to play a children’s game. He, along with any other athlete who is making millions of dollars, are allowed to show emotion.

This mindset has been strongly accentuated by Washington Nationals Outfielder, Bryce Harper. In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Harper laments truly how stale baseball has become, citing the lack of player expression as a reason the game has been on a decline. “What are kids playing these days? Football, basketball,” said Harper. “Look at those players – Steph Curry, LeBron James. It’s exciting to see those players in those sports.”

This is where Bryce Harper’s argument starts to gain even more traction. Take basketball for example. I know that Lebron James is known for his chalk-tossing ritual, his son (who is hilariously named Lebron James Jr.), his legendary and mysterious hairline and making fun of Dirk Nowitzki (we know who won that battle). Now what I know about the Texas Rangers’ own Prince Fielder? He’s a pretty big guy, he had dreadlocks at one point and he’s susceptible to taking his shirt off, multiple times.

Those two players are considered some of the best players in their respective sport and I somehow know more about a player who plays 1,000 miles away than a player I can see in person most days of the week. Now this could be chalked up to Prince having lesser national exposure in the media, but I would like to think the lack of expression that players have in the MLB compared to the NBA is a factor. Let the young guys have fun and inspire kids trying to make it into the big leagues. Bryce Harper, you’re doing The Lord’s work.

Another solution I offer is one that has been proven to work already. Let’s take the MLB schedule… And slice it in half. Instead of a 162 game gauntlet, let’s reduce it to 81, putting it right in the same amount of games as the NBA and NHL. This not only gives the players more rest, but reduces injuries since key players aren’t forced to play almost every day. A bolder option is to cut the length of games from nine to seven innings, but I’m tipping enough of baseball’s sacred cows as it is.

And while I’m complaining, we have an important decision to make in November. One that may affect our country’s well being for years to come: the fate of the designated hitter. The designated hitter has been flawed since its inception 43 years ago. In theory, the designated hitter is supposed to bring more excitement into the game by not relying on the pitcher to bat towards the end of the batting lineup. However, having this rule only in the American League provides an unnecessary strategy to playing an interleague game. Either move the DH into both leagues, or keep pitchers hitting in both leagues.

I love the majesty and purity of baseball, but it’s the same majesty and purity that’s holding the sport back. Instead of watching a modern sport with colorful characters and intense action, we get to watch a slow paced game with monotonous player personalities. It’s not me baseball, it’s you.

About the Contributors
Grant Baker
Grant Baker, The Rider Editor-in-Chief
I'm Grant Baker and I write for this website. I love serving God, watching football and listening to 2000s southern hip hop. Maybe not all of those at the same time. I don't know. Okay you know how hard it is to write one of these things? Pretty hard.
Maddy Brown
Maddy Brown, Photo Editor
TAMU '20
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