Baseball is the shittiest sport in the world, and the people in charge of it have not made it better because they are too stupid. That's where we come in! This week, I simulated a baseball game with about 1,500 of you. We were on a quest to construct the greatest game of baseball ever played.
I gave y'all a form to fill out. First, you gave your name, or made one up entirely. Second, you had the option of selecting which sort of baseball individual you wanted to be:
- Person in stadium parking lot who is stealing shit out of cars
And third, you decided what, exactly, you would do. We had God-like powers, in other words. You could decide to hit a home run, hit a single, strike out, or whatever else. If you were a fielder, you could choose to catch the ball hit at you, or you could choose to commit an error. If you were a pitcher, you could throw a strike, give up a home run and everything in between.*
*Except beanballs. If I allowed for a "hit the batter" option, you would have done it a thousand times in a game, and it would have taken me a month to count it all up. I know y'all really well at this point.
All of us were on the same team: the "Away" team. The "Home" team was completely faceless and passive -- we made all the decisions. We could choose to play well, or we could choose to intentionally destroy ourselves. It was up to us.
Each of you (well, about 400 of you) were permitted to quantum-leap into the game for exactly one play. You were up, the player did what you wanted for exactly one pitch, and then it was the next person's turn. I didn't mess with the order or manipulate any of the results, I just processed the requests in the order I received them. One at a time, like this:
Of course, y'all were playing blind: while requesting your action, you had no knowledge of the score, the count, or anything else about the game situation. But if you ask me, that shouldn't matter. This was an entire game of baseball made up 100 percent of things you wanted. As such, it was the perfect baseball game.
I accepted the historically significant privilege of piecing the game together, action-by-action, until it was complete. I feel that I have identified six key tenets of the ideal baseball game:
1. The ideal baseball game is very high-scoring
We won, 121-27. Within eight innings at the plate, we had managed 126 hits. Ninety-four of those hits were home runs. One particularly bloody sequence in the bottom of the seventh played out like this:
While it's true that such a long, drawn-out game was a real bear for me to calculate, I only feel grateful that the score wasn't worse. Y'all could have hit the home run button over and over and over until we'd scored a thousand runs. Thank you for not doing that.
2. The ideal baseball game has a whole lot of foul bunts
Bunts are what baseball is all about. After all, bunting is the act of holding a baseball bat, and baseball bats are very closely associated with the sport of baseball!
We love bunting so much that we bunted it foul 45 times in this game. Remember, that doesn't mean that we wanted to bunt and it just went foul. It means we looked at the button that said BUNT IT FOUL and we pushed it because we specifically wanted to bunt it foul. We love it. Just can't get enough of that good bunting shit.
I want y'all to know that the way in which you ended the sixth inning is very special to me. With two out and nobody on, Andy bunted the ball foul for strike one. Max stepped up next and bunted it foul for strike two. Cat Party bunted foul a third time to end the inning.
You could have done whatever you wanted, and you chose to bunt yourself to death. God bless you all.
3. The ideal baseball game is 19 hours long
Baseball just doesn't engage young people the way it used to, and chief among the reasons is that the games last only three hours. They're cut tragically short, and they move with such blinding speed that no casual observer can hope for any understanding of what is going on.
Thanks to the way y'all elected to play, the two teams combined for 166 hits in this game. Based on a small arbitrarily-chosen sample, it looks like a baseball game lasts about 6.9 real-time minutes per hit. That means this game, if played in real life at a realistic pace, would last about 19 hours.
As a baseball fan, this ought to be perfectly manageable. It will allow five extra hours per day to do other things baseball fans do, such as:
- Talking about hot dogs
- Talking about bacon
- Taking hot dog and bacon quizzes online
- Doing the joke where you ask whether a hot dog is a sandwich
- Doing that same joke eleven billion trillion times because you were built in a factory
- Simpsons quotes
- Knowing who Dan Kolb is
4. The ideal baseball game finishes with a fielding percentage of .700 and a lot of crying
Whenever one of you pitchers selected, "pitch ball that gets hit to one of your fielders," it was then a fielder's turn to play. The fielder could then choose to make an out, or record one or more errors. Strangely, our fielders elected to actually do their jobs most of the time.
More often than not, they did so while sobbing. I made sure to ask all 190 of our fielders whether they were crying while making the play. 103 of them -- that's 54 percent -- said that yes, they were crying.
Do you think any baseball player has ever cried while actually in the middle of playing? Like, what if Randy Johnson, in his prime, pitched an entire game while openly crying with big, heaving sobs? Just wailing? It would scare the shit out of you.
5. The ideal baseball game should emphasize crowd participation
If you signed up as "the crowd," your job was to come up with cheers throughout the game. I just randomly assigned one of these cheers to a play in the order I received them. Here were some key plays from the game, and the cheers that accompanied them.
BLOOD ALONE MOVES THE WHEELS OF HISTORY
-- In response to Turd Ferguson bunting foul with no one on-base.
HEY HEY PITCH THAT BASE CATCH THAT BAT WHO CARES
-- In response to Blobby giving up a home run.
WE'RE NUMBER ONE
-- In response to Batting Man bunting foul with no one on-base.
-- In response to Anal Feisty Man bunting foul with two strikes and no one on-base.
6. The ideal baseball game should provide an opportunity for people to hang out in the parking lot and steal shit out of cars
Car burglary is such an easy crime to get away with that I'm surprised more folks don't get into it. You might walk away with more stuff than you had before -- especially if the car isn't yours to begin with!
To those of you who decided to get in on the ground floor of something big rather than playing weirdass big-sock grown-up musical chairs, I asked what you stole and why you stole it:
-- Doug, explaining why he stole an iPod.
-- Nice Guy, explaining why he stole baby strollers.
I am the Seinfeld i have to be the Seinfelt
-- Ray Romano, explaining why he stole Jerry Seinfeld's gym bag.
I must learn what the spin doctors sound like
-- Jacob, explaining why he stole Spin Doctors CDs.
I like tapes
-- Marlon Byrd, explaining why he stole tapes.
So what do you think of the big game? Do not leave comments. I regard them as acts of vandalism.
Pretty Good: Jon Bois has a pretty good story about baseball