Some Chicks Can Take or Leave the Long Ball

Amidst the concern over the Cardinals’ lack of offense, there is an additional hue and cry over a power drought as well.  The concern over the offense in general is understandable.  The games have been frustrating to say the least, especially because Cardinal fans are used to much more offense than they are seeing.   For me personally, I still have the confidence that the offense will return.  This team is just too good for this to go on much longer.

As for the cries of “where’s the power?”, I say “meh”.  Home runs are nice, but runs however you can get them are nicer.  The home run is not the only source of runs in baseball, but to hear some people talk, it should be.  I have noticed an increased obsession with the home run over the last two decades.  Perhaps it is a consequence of the Steroid Era, when the pharmaceutically-enhanced hit the long ball at record rates.  Many fans today grew up on that time and have come to expect the home run as the most exciting play in baseball.  Having entered my fifth decade of baseball watching, I can categorically opine that it is not.  Great pitching is better.  Speed is better.  The most exciting time of baseball for me was the 80s, the decade of Whitey Ball.

Now, I am not expecting a return to Whitey Ball.   I don’t think I will ever see that brand of baseball again.  However, a brand of baseball that over emphasizes the long ball would not make me happy in the least.  There is a reason I do not watch the Home Run Derby during the All Star Break.  It’s boring.

Station to station, swing for the fences type of baseball is a staple of the American League.  I hate the American League.  The designated hitter is the dumbest invention that mankind ever conceived.  I could write a treatise about how dumb it is and how much I hate it.  I won’t do that.  I can’t even imagine how I will be able stand to watch baseball if the DH ever comes to the NL.  My hatred is not of the traditionalist variety that many modern fans enjoy mocking.  My hatred is that the DH will take the magic out of baseball for me.  The magic of the unexpected.  My baseball will become the hated American League variety, where hitting is an assembly line of robotic, glassy eyed, home run obsessed mannequins.

Come on, who is not entertained watching Bartolo Colon try to hit?

No, the long ball is far from my favorite baseball play.  I like strikeouts.  I like stolen bases.  I like squeeze plays and triples from speed demons like Peter Bourjos.  I like good defensive plays.  The home run is more exciting when it is not expected, when it doesn’t happen a lot.   The maxim that you can have too much of a good thing couldn’t be more true when it comes to hitting home runs.  They may be the quickest way to score runs, but they are not the most exciting, not for me anyway.  Home runs are like a 5 second orgasm–over with quickly and then you just want to sleep.  Everything else is the foreplay, the good stuff.

So when I hear the constant griping and complaining from fans and the media about a power outage, I just want to scream, “Get a life!”.  I may not always agree with Mike Matheny, but he is unequivocally correct when he says trying to hit home runs will assure you hit nothing.  Putting pressure on Cardinal hitters to hit home runs is the worst thing you could possibly do.  I have just one thing to say to the writers at the Post Dispatch about their power outage whining.  Shut the hell up.

This chick doesn’t dig the long ball.  This chick digs baseball in all of it’s permutations and unexpected twists and turns.  This chick digs everything about baseball, and the long ball is just one small part of the greatness that is baseball.


Thank you for reading.



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1 Comment

  1. In the olden days when some parks had really enormous outfields, and oddly shaped outfields, it was very exciting when somebody drove one between the fielders all the way to the wall. A lot of that is gone with the smaller more uniform outfields. The play associated with a gapper is really pretty predictable these days.



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