BaseballIsBetter2Over the past month we have highlighted various reasons and stories as to why MLB The Show and their 2014 campaign of #BaseballIsBetter rings so true to the fans throughout the country. Every fan has their own reasons as to why baseball is special to them, or to why it may be the best sport out there. Dear friend of the website, Michael Grace, who you can find over at Low Outside Curve, sent us over his thoughts on to why he sees baseball as the pinnacle of professional sports… 

Time is running out. With only a few minutes to play, your team is down twelve points. Worse yet, you do not even have possession of the ball. All the opposition must do is get a first down, then take a knee and run out the clock. There is no need for them to fear your potent offense. There is no forced temptation of fate. The game is over and there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening. Baseball disagrees. Baseball also allows for comebacks that would be otherwise impossible in other sports. Baseball is better, because it’s never over, until it’s over.

August fifth, 2001. The Seattle Mariners were in the middle of an American League record 116-win season. The Cleveland Indians, though having a great season of their own, were the clear underdogs coming into that night. As the game began, Seattle quickly took control. They scored four runs in the second inning. Then eight runs in the third. By the time Cleveland got on the board in the fourth, the Indians were already down by double digits. The score was 14-2 heading to the seventh inning. Both teams began to pull their starters. The game was all but over, so why should they risk injury? The home half of the seventh inning saw Cleveland tack on three runs. Their next time at bat, they added four more to make the score 14-9. Though they had chipped away at the twelve-run deficit, the outcome still looked grim heading to the final frame.

Two of the first three batters went down in quick fashion. Jim Thome hit a pop fly to right. Russell Branyan struck out. Up five runs, the Mariners were in cruise control mode. All they needed was one out. Marty Cordova hit a double. Wil Cordero walked. Einar Diaz smacked a single to left field, driving in Cordova and Ed Taubensee, who led off the inning with a single. Then Kenny Lofton cracked a ground ball single to load the bases. The faithful who had stayed past midnight felt something special brewing before their eyes.

Into the batter’s box steps Omar Vizquel. Down to his last strike, the thirty-four year old veteran knocks a laser beam into right. The frighteningly accurate and powerful Ichiro Suzuki would normally be patrolling right field. He was pulled for Josh Gipson in the sixth inning. Vizquel’s hit goes for a bases-clearing triple. The game was tied.

The Indians would go on to win the game in eleven innings by a score of 15-14. Down to their last out, down five runs, Cleveland was still given a chance. Seattle was forced to tempt fate. Baseball doesn’t have a clock to help a team finish off its opponent. There are no kneel downs or maneuvers to end the game. Baseball is better because there is always a chance. Baseball is better because the game is never truly over until you allow it to be over. – Michael Grace


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