In a given year, I might watch 15-20 complete baseball games. About 75% of these games have to be in the Little League World Series. The US Regional Semifinals are on ESPN today, and I have to say, I’m psyched.
To properly explain why I love the LLWS, let’s review everything that is wrong with Major League Baseball:
1) The Games are Slow: I did a quick Google search to try and determine the average time between plays, couldn’t find anything concrete on the first page. However, between the batter stepping out of the box multiple times, pitchers constantly trying to pick off players at first, and generally just standing around doing nothing, I’m willing to bet that time could be greatly reduced. In the LLWS, the pitchers pitch and the batters bat and the games move along at a quick pace.
2) The Games are Long: This complaint goes hand-in-hand with point #1; 9 innings might be the perfect amount were the players actually forced to speed up the whole process. Instead 9 innings seems to drag on into eternity, and God forbid the game goes extra innings. Have you ever seen fans at the stadium after 12 innings of baseball? They look torn between leaving the park and killing themselves. Little League Baseball is a mercifully short 6 innings. And they have a mercy rule.
3) The Season is too Long: The MLB regular season is 162 games, followed by a 5 game LDS, a 7 game LCS, and the 7 game World Series. Some have argued that the post season in the MLB is far too short, and I’m somewhat inclined to agree. That said, baseball from April to August is by in large extremely boring. The song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” says it the best, “If we don’t win it’s a shame.” In my sport of choice, I don’t want to watch my team lose and think, “Oh well, what a shame.” I want to be completely devastated after a loss and swearing revenge on the team, their city and state of origin, and all of their fans for years and decades to come. The LLWS is short and sweet, with nearly every game counting for something.
Some may argue that I just like the LLWS because I like watching 12-year-old boys cry. Well, that might be partially true, but mostly I just enjoy a good baseball game and Major League Baseball really drops the ball on that one.