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Opinion: 5 reasons why you should love baseball

"A lot of people don’t like baseball. Those people are wrong and have difficulty experiencing joy. Generally speaking, of course."
V.I.A. Vancouver Canadians columnist and comedian Ryan Beil loves baseball and he wants you to love it, too. Not sure? He's got some reasons why it should be your favourite sport.

No series preview this week as Spokane rolls back into town and we’ve already talked about those rascals! Instead, I wanted to ruminate a bit on baseball itself.

A lot of people don’t like baseball. Those people are wrong and have difficulty experiencing joy. Generally speaking, of course. 

Baseball is my favourite sport. It’s one of the great loves of my life. Right up there with “crepes on a Sunday morning” and “accumulating debt through credit card usage.” It’s one of my passions. And I want everyone I meet to love it, too.

In case you didn’t know, another glorious and sacred season of baseball is upon us and it’s actually being played at Nat Bailey Stadium. The 2020 season was cancelled and 2021 had to be played in Hillsboro, Oregon for pandemic-related reasons. 

But baseball is back at our beautiful bandbox of a ballpark nestled between Ontario Street and Midlothian Avenue. 

If you’re on the fence about the sport and are unsure if it’s for you, I am happy to provide a little list of some of my favourite things about baseball to hopefully push you off that fence. But in a nice way, that won’t injure you.

1. No clock

Sports with clocks counting down (or up) fill me with existential dread. They make me anxious. A baseball game, in theory, could last forever. There’s no buzzer to tell you when it’s over. The game itself will decide when it’s done. 

2. Pockets

Ballplayers carry around so much stuff in their pockets. I find it fascinating. Whether it’s sunflower seeds, laminated pieces of paper or those weird oven mitts they put on when they run the bases, they really utilize those pockets, man. I can’t think of another sport where it would be feasible to play with a cell phone on your person. 

3. Getting mad at umpires

Do you hate authority? Do you love finding a common enemy? Then look no further than the ominous and tyrannical baseball umpire. Whether they’re blowing a call or barking out your favourite player, getting upset with/at them can be exhilarating and maybe even a little cathartic. But please remember: They are human and mistakes happen, so don’t cut too deep.

4. Seventh inning stretch / "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"

A compulsory bit of calisthenics that comes with its own cute little theme song? Say no more and sign me up!

5. Celebrating failure

Baseball is a sport where if you get a hit 3 out of every 10 at-bats, you are considered an excellent hitter. Elite, even. It’s a game of constant failure and adjustments. In a world that pushes perfection, this gives me comfort. 

What are some of your favourite things about baseball? Drop me a line and let me know. See you at the Nat!

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