Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Baseball

06/05/2003
Harry Caray and Steve Stone
The Iron Man and The Iron Horse
The Mighty Casey has struck out
One of the Great Logos of All Time
Yankee Stadium's Monument Park
Well dressed as usual
Also Known as:

Why Baseball Is Better Than Football


Sarah, my fellow Nutcanner, recently wrote an article declaring football as a better sport than baseball. While I certainly do like football (probably more than she likes baseball), it doesn't even come close to achieving the greatness that baseball exudes.

There are many reasons baseball is better than football, and here are some of them:

  1. The 162 game schedule - Sure it may seem like a lot of games, but every year there are tight races, and every game counts. Last year the Packers won their division by 6 games in a 16 game season, the Twins won theirs by 13.5 games in a 162 game season. Using Sarah's 1 NFL game = 11 MLB games comparison, every 2002 baseball division was closer from first to last places than the NFC Central was from just first to second place. The difference in baseball's divisional races between first and second place ranged from 2.5 to 19 games. In football terms that's like 0 to 2 games, which is about a standard football divisional race.

    Baseball's long schedule is also important to society. The majority of the games are played during the summer when the kids are out of school, your favorite TV shows are in reruns and the next best sports option is the {cringe} WNBA. We need baseball to help us through the summer.

    If baseball only played 16 games a year the stadiums would sell out like football, but they don't, they play 162 games and that is an important part of my next subject.

  2. Fan and Family Friendliness - More games means more fans get to go to the ballpark for less money. If you want to take your family to a football game, first you have to hope you can even get a hold of tickets for you, your spouse, and the kids. Then you'll probably have to pay an arm and a leg for them (that's before parking, food, souvenirs, etc.). Of course, most games are played on Sunday, so your kids will probably have to miss Church/Sunday School, and you'll have to navigate them through a bunch of already drunk fans just to get in the stadium and to your seats. Monday is the next day, and that means school. The kids probably don't have their homework done so you can count on them staying up late to finish that before they go to bed. Doesn't sound to family friendly to me.

    With Baseball on the other hand, you get your choice of 81 home games to go to. Tickets are more affordable; usually easier to get and most of the games take place when there is no school to worry about. While there are some drunk and rowdy fans at baseball games I would say that there are far fewer than your average football game. Wow, a baseball game sure makes the perfect family outing.

    Oh, and another thing. If you catch a baseball in the stands you get to keep it, and players routinely toss balls into the seats for fans. The NFL on the other hand, penalizes players who do the same.

  3. The Playing Of The Game - People have suggested that Baseball is boring, and that Football is a much more exciting game. I beg to differ. Unlike Football, Basketball, and Hockey, Baseball has no clock and no time limit. While it's true that this can cause delays and slow points they are no worse than in Football. In Football most of the time ticks off the clock when the players are in the huddle, lining up, or just standing around. You only get a play about once every 40 seconds. When they do get a play off about a quarter of the time a flag is thrown and they have to do the play over again. Then you have the winning team stalling and running down the clock for most of the 4th quarter until they can take a few knees at the end and close out the game, real exciting there. In Baseball, it ain't over 'til it's over. Until you get the final out, there is still a chance that something can happen and the game can be turned upside down. You cant run out the clock or take a knee in Baseball.

    To me, one of the reasons I love baseball the most is the strategy involved in the game. There are scores of decisions (big and small alike) that are made by players, managers and coaches throughout the game that can have an impact on the result. What pitch should I call? Should I bring in the lefty to face Barry Bonds or just walk him and face the next guy? Bunt the runners over or let the batter hit away? Steal a base or call for the hit and run? Wave the man home or hold him at third? These are just a few of the questions that are asked and answered every game. The more you watch, the better you get at anticipating the answers and what will happen next. You feel good when you are right and second-guess the manager when you are wrong. Sure all sports have decisions and strategy involved, but in my opinion, none are quite as complex and involved as in Baseball.

  4. The History - The game of Baseball is over 150 years old. It has a rich and deep history that you could explore for ages. In any sport it is a big deal when records or milestones are being chased or broken. The records in baseball, though, seem to be "bigger" than the rest. Remember the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's chase to break the single season home run record in 1998? How about Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played streak? Those are moments that enthralled the country. Then you have Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak, and Hank Aaron's 755 career homeruns. They are quite possibly two of the most highly regarded records in all of sports.

    What would a section about history be with out the Hall of Fame? When you hear the words "Hall of Fame" the majority of you probably think right away of Baseball, and right you should. In no other sport is there a more highly esteemed institution than the Baseball Hall of Fame. To be enshrined you have to be voted in by the Baseball Writers of America (no easy task as many players will tell you) or by the veterans committee after 15 years on the writers' ballot. If no one is deemed worthy in a given year, then no one is selected. These tough selection rules cause countless, passionate debates about who is worthy of the Hall and who is not, and makes the annual Baseball Hall of Fame selections an aura that is not present in the other sports. Football, by the way, mandates that at least 4 players are chosen each year, a real elite institution there.

  5. The Officiating - First off the umpires in baseball wear nice clothes while officiating, you can't overlook style. Secondly, the umpires get enthused about their calls. It's fun to watch an umpire make an emphatic call at the bases, or better yet when he's ringing up your star pitcher's latest strikeout victim. There have also been many great arguments involving players and coaches and the umps. These, of course usually end up with the umpire throwing the arguer out of the ball game. You just don't get that kind of fun anywhere else.

    With any discussion of officiating the topic of instant replay will usually come up. It may seem like a good idea for use in baseball, but I personally don't think so. Football uses instant replay and it stops the game for like 20 minutes while the refs talk to one coach, then the other coach, then each other, then look at the tape, then each other again, and then finally make a decision. Even after all of that, they still don't even get the call right half the time. In Baseball the umpires get most of the calls right and the bad calls usually even out in the end, all the while keeping an important human element in the game.

    Finally, Baseball doesn't need rules for excessive celebration or taunting, because it really isn't a problem like it is in Football. Sure, a few times a player may stand and admire his homerun shot, or take a bit too much time rounding the bases. It doesn't happen a lot though because if you showboat a bit in Baseball you or one of your teammates will get plunked. Everyone knows it, everyone accepts it, and it works.

  6. Broadcasting Legends - For generations of fans the names: Herb Carneal, Harry Caray, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker, Jack Buck, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell, Marty Brennaman, Curt Gowdy, Steve Stone and others, mean many summer days relaxing in front of the television or on the porch with the radio and listening to a master call a ballgame.

  7. The New York Yankees - Yes, they win a lot. Yes, they'll outspend everyone else to do so (at least during the Steinbrenner era). Yes, a lot of what's wrong with sports is present in the Yankees. That's why everybody hates them, and you know what. That's why Baseball is better for having them. With the salary cap in Football your team is good for a few years and then they suck for a few years. There are no more dynasties, and there are no more teams to hate. Remember back in the 90's when you used to despise the Dallas Cowboys. So do I, but now I just feel sorry for them they are so bad. Where's the fun in that. With the Yankees there may be a few down years here and there, but I know they will always be there to hate. When teams like the Twins, Angels and A's succeed, as they have recently, their fans feel even better because they know they beat the system and their David beat the Yankee's Goliath.

    The Yankees also have the most storied and deep history of any team, in any sport. No matter how much you despise them in the present, you have to respect their past. From Ruth to Gehrig to DiMaggio to Mantle to Munson to Winfield to Mattingly to Jeter, the Yankees have had some of the greatest players to ever play the game on their rosters, and there's nothing wrong with appreciating that.

  8. The Rest - Here are a few of the many more reasons why I love Baseball and why it is better than Football:


  • Wrigley Field
  • "Casey At The Bat"
  • Coaches and Managers wear uniforms
  • Most of the players play both offense and defense
  • The old Minnesota Twins logo
  • James Earl Jones/Terence Mann's "People will come, Ray" speech in Field of Dreams
  • A knee buckling curveball
  • Baseball is John Madden free
  • The softball episode of The Simpsons
  • Baseball Tonight and "Web Gems"
  • Better movies and songs about Baseball, than Football
  • Van Lingle Mungo and "Van Lingle Mungo"
  • "Talkin' Baseball"


A Final Thought On Baseball vs. Football - Basically it all comes down to this: Football is like going out to a nice restaurant. You can only go a few times a year and your mostly paying for the flashy presentation. Baseball is like mac and cheese. It's affordable, it tastes good, it's comforting and you can practically eat it every day. That's why I love mac and cheese, and that's why I love Baseball.

Jeremy's response to this article.

- Matthew Pehler misses Harry Caray
question_mark.gifPatrick D (Guest)
02/02/2004 @ 05:33:04 PM
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The baseball fan is an idiot simply becuase of the comment on stragety. You can't even begin to compare the amount of stargety that goes into a football game compared to a baseball game! Football coaches spend hours upon hours watching tape and tinkering with the smallest possible advantages. Steve Spurior recently resigned because he wouldn't spend enough time preparing for games. Coaches are at the stadium from 7 am to 2 am preparing for the game ahead.Football coaches can be compared to generals fighting a war. A baseball manger just sits on the bench and occasionally substitutes somebody.BASEBALL SUCKS! I HOPE THE MLB GOES BANKRUPT SOME DAY!
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question_mark.gifdylan (Guest)
04/06/2004 @ 10:17:15 PM
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your right bseball is a pussy sport i mean what kind of sport stops because of a little rain. football you play in any wheather and if its to cold then you have to suck it up.and plus its not a contact sport and contact sports are the ONLY real sports. mabye if they let the players fight i might consider watching it. o ya but baseball players are to pussy to fight it would be like watching two little 6th grade girls pull each others hair if they did.and when there is fights its one wimpy pithcher against a 72 year old coach.
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question_mark.gifAnon. Nut Can Fan (Guest)
04/23/2004 @ 06:21:06 PM
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FOOTBALLS GAY
FOOTBALLS GAY
FOOTBALLS GAY
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
04/27/2004 @ 09:40:45 PM
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You haven't ever seen a bench clearing brawl? Man, some of these can put hockey brawls to shame. 20 guys from both teams on the field, it can get intense.
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question_mark.gifBrian (Guest)
09/19/2004 @ 04:17:25 PM
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Your article was cool. Though I have to say that you under- estimate football a lot. Out of the 16 games played in the season, every single game has action packed in to it.(Like bone-crushing tackles to 90-yard runs) The intensity is high and the rivals are brutal. (Like the vikings and Packers). Tickets are harder to get,but when you have friends that can do pretty much anything, you're on your way to a vikings game. I love the old Twins sign too and i'm only a kid! And I think that dylan kid is like weird. But like all of them I am a football player and my coachsays I could be in the NFL, But in all I LOVE FOOTBALL AND NOTHIN' IS GONNA CHANGE IT=)
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question_mark.gifCarl (Guest)
01/31/2005 @ 01:36:01 PM
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I'm ressurecting a dead post! Did I spell that correctly? ok.

I think the only intelligent response (other than mine of course) was scott's.

I just gave up my ten year boycott of baseball. Its been a long time. Go Twins.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
10/11/2008 @ 02:46:07 PM
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Now this is an article that will stand the test of time. Good work even still, Matt.
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question_mark.gifRobert (Guest)
08/02/2010 @ 12:58:33 PM
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Baseball is a gay sport (man playing in tights)... ha ha ha.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/02/2010 @ 01:05:00 PM
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Robert Wrote - Today @ 12:58:33 PM
Baseball is a gay sport (man playing in tights)... ha ha ha.


If either the NFL or MLB is going to be accused of being a bunch of men in tights, I'm pretty sure that distinction would have to be for the where you can see the players' jockstraps when they bend over in the huddle.
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Scott edited this at 08/02/2010 1:53:03 pm
question_mark.gifMegan (Guest)
02/07/2011 @ 12:46:36 PM
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I thought I'd read this just to see the other side and maybe I'd be a little enlightened....but I was left feeling exactly the same way about baseball....boring! The most exciting thing to watch during baseball is how far the players can spit.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8895 Posts
02/07/2011 @ 01:13:03 PM
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Scott Wrote - 08/02/2010 @ 01:05:00 PM
Robert Wrote - 08/02/2010 @ 12:58:33 PM
Baseball is a gay sport (man playing in tights)... ha ha ha.


If either the NFL or MLB is going to be accused of being a bunch of men in tights, I'm pretty sure that distinction would have to be for the where you can see the players' jockstraps when they bend over in the huddle.


Half year old rebuttal, but totally. I mean, whatever your generous definition of things that would qualify as "tights," it has to at least be equally applicable to football. It's almost certainly much more applicable by any normal definition to football, if for no other reason than because it's not even true about baseball. (Other than for Derek Jeter, that is.)

Megan Wrote - Today @ 12:46:36 PM
I thought I'd read this just to see the other side and maybe I'd be a little enlightened....but I was left feeling exactly the same way about baseball....boring! The most exciting thing to watch during baseball is how far the players can spit.


It's almost certainly a sub conscious "doubling down" after everything in the football world decided to be ruled by "What wouldn't Jeremy want to happen here" over the last year and change, as well as the fact that I really enjoy being on the same "side" as my wife, Target Field, etc*, but I think I'm getting awfully close to baseball surpassing football in my eyes, if it hasn't already.

Edit: *Actually being able to watch more than 5 twins games a year probably helps as well.
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Jeremy screwed with this 4 times, last at 02/07/2011 3:23:18 pm
question_mark.gifAnon. Nut Can Fan (Guest)
07/15/2018 @ 05:48:16 PM
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Baseball is lame ahahahaha
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