Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the case against uniformity

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

With the Yankees' Chien Ming Wang hurting himself while rounding the bases in an interleague game, the debate over baseball's designated hitter has once again reared its head.

I'm not going to take a side here other than by stating that I think it's great that, within one professional league, there are two sets of rules. The game is completely different in the National League than it is from the American League. And, the fact that when the two Leagues meet in the World Series and the allowance of a DH is wholly dependent on what stadium the game is being contested in is incredible.

Baseball is really the only sport where a lack of uniformity is the norm, not the rule. Yes, FIFA does not have a set size for soccer pitches--only maximum and minimum field sizes--but these rules do not make as big of a difference as in baseball. In a sport where no two parks are exactly the same (or even remotely similar), games in different stadiums always call for different strategies. The huge behomoth football stadiums that teams occupy have huge swaths of foul-ball territory, thus almost ruling out a high scoring games. And, in domes and in parks at high altititudes (Coors Park in Denver), games clocking over six runs are a nightly occurence. Yeah, golf courses differ in length and difficulty--but there aren't different rules for different golfers.

And, I mean, there's a flag-pole and a hill ON the home field of the Houston Astros. A hill. How insanely cool is that? It's almost like playing in the most well-groomed backyard baseball field in the world.


And, in case you haven't seen it, here's Shaq asking Kobe to "tell me how my a** tastes". I guess sometimes we hate people so much that we secretly want to be with them. Sometimes.