Baseball Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

I am a fan of all sports. I love football, baseball, basketball, tennis; you name it. If there’s competition involved then I’m there. I know this is a Braves blog and you guys look forward to hearing all of the latest news on Atlanta Braves baseball. With the holiday weekend behind us I decided to switch things up for today.

One of the reasons why baseball is my favorite amongst all professional sports is the length of the season. Yes, I’m saying that the length of the season makes baseball such a great game. Now to most people that would seem absolutely insane. I hear a lot of “How can anyone watch baseball, the season is too long”. I get that a lot and I’m sure all of you have heard that one quite a few times yourself. Clearly those people are not die hard baseball fans like me and you.

There is something magical about the 162 game season. I feel that it takes patience to be a baseball fan. 162 games is a lot of games and those games move and at a slow to steady pace. Each move is carefully decided by the players and coaches. Every pitch could be critical. Hundreds of pitches are thrown in each game alone. The amount of decisions is astonishing when you really stop to think about it.

Football is the favorite sport of many. I’ll admit that I look forward to football season just like anyone else. I enjoy watching games on Sunday afternoons even though my Dolphins don’t usually give me a ton to cheer about but that’s besides that point. Football is a great game. It’s very fast paced and the season appears to fly by because games are only played once a week for each team and the season lasts for only 16 weeks. But to me this just feeds into the instant gratification aspect that this country and so many others are obsessed with. I want it and I want it now. People don’t want to wait for anything. It’s much easier to follow a season of 16 games rather then following one that lasts for 162 games.

Baseball is a marathon and the NFL is a sprint. If you lose 3 games in a row during an NFL season then you need to hit the panic button. If you lose 4 or 5 then you’re basically finished and you can look forward to next year. See to me that’s not as much fun. I hate the suffering I feel inside when my team loses back to back games or god forbid our team loses 3 or 4 in a row.

Think about the comparison. If the Braves lost back to back games it wouldn’t even matter. Sure we hate to see our Bravos lose but hey if it’s only 2 or 3 in a row then we’ll be fine. Granted certain games are more crucial then others but when there’s 162 of them you can’t freak out about back to back loses. Baseball is a sport where fans can settle in and enjoy the ride. There’s ups and there’s downs just like any other thing in life.

Baseball is the sport that best represents our lives. Think about it. How many of us have had perfect lives? Not many, if any. You have your good times and your bad times. Hopefully you have more good then bad just like baseball teams. A great team will win 100 games in a season. Well what about the 62 times that they failed? A great hitter will get a hit 3 out of every 10 at bats. That means a good player will fail 7 out of 10 times.

The baseball season is full of memories. Remember when the Orioles started out the season so strong? People were saying they might be able to compete in the A.L East after all. Now they find themselves in the seller of the division with no chance of making the playoffs. Remember when the Mariners were just 1.0 game out of first place in the A.L West? Then they went on that horrible losing streak and played themselves right out of contention. Or how about the Pittsburgh Pirates? They actually got a taste of first place for a little bit of time but would eventually fall by the way side.

So much happens over the course of 162 games. It’s such a great journey that starts every spring and allows us to enjoy our favorite sport almost every single night. We don’t have to wait until Sunday to watch a baseball game. There’s games on EVERY single night of the week. Baseball fans can appreciate the marathon mentality.

I don’t even believe in Cinderellas when it comes to Major League Baseball. Nope, not in the least. If you make the playoffs after a 162 game season then you are not a Cinderella. There are under dogs in the playoffs for sure. But only in a head to head match up sense. In the big picture if the D-Backs make the post season then they are not some fluke like a March Madness team. The Giants, Rockies, Dodgers and Padres will have had 162 games to make a statement. If the D-Backs out last the Giants over that long of a period then they are just BETTER.

Baseball represents patience. Baseball is the marathon of sports just like life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon as well. We can’t freak out every time something bad happens to us. We have to realize that’s just a single loss in the game of life. There’s always time to make a comeback and we live our lives every single day, not just on Sundays. Baseball is inspirational in a lot of ways.

So as we keep this in mind, lets enjoy the last 2 months of the baseball season.

By: Bob McVinua

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