Why Baseball is Better Than Soccer, Part One Million

July 7, 2010 – 3:01 pm by Hickey

The World Cup is great. Really is. But it’s still got nothing on baseball.

Yesterday, when the Netherlands scored to make it 3-1 in the second half, the commentators conceded that it was all but over and the Dutch were headed to the final. And this was with a good 20 minutes still remaining to play. Kind of takes the thrill out of things. (I will concede that one advantage that the World Cup does have over American sports is the quality of the commentary. We need more British dudes in the booth and less Dick Stockton and Kevin Harlan).

Just a few hours later on the other side of the globe, the Colorado Rockies faced a far greater hole than Uruguay could ever imagine, heading into the bottom of the ninth with a 9-3 deficit against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was as done as a game could possibly be. But because of the beauty of baseball, it wasn’t.

The Cardinals still had to get those last three outs. There was no way to play keep-away. No way to flop around and feign injury. You still have to get the ball over home plate. And they did that — only to have the Rockies continue to hit it. And with Seth Smith’s walk-off three-run homer — the same Seth Smith who made the first out of the inning — Colorado had a miracle 12-9 win. It was the first time a team scored nine runs in the bottom of the ninth since 1901

“Baseball’s crazy, even stupid sometimes,” he told the media afterward.

Yes it is. And that’s why it will always be the best sport out there.

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  1. 54 Responses to “Why Baseball is Better Than Soccer, Part One Million”

  2. The stupid Rockies are doing that “make a crazy run during the second half of the season and go to the playoffs thing” again, aren’t they? Ugh.

    By Red on Jul 7, 2010

  3. You are on the money, brother. God bless America

    By Steve Trevor on Jul 7, 2010

  4. here, here!!

    By Anonymous on Jul 7, 2010

  5. or is it, hear, hear?!

    By Anonymous on Jul 7, 2010

  6. I don’t know what you mean by better. Baseball players certainly aren’t the athletic Soccer players are. Nor are baseball players the true sportsman soccer players are. Just watch the sport. Don’t focus on “points” but athletic skill. You don’t see soccer players sitting or standing around during a game. You see soccer players eating seeds and drinking Gatorade. Their busy with their sport which certainly takes more skill then baseball. Sure throwing a 98 mile an hour fast ball isn’t easy, nor it hitting a ball 400 feet. But how often so you see a score in soccer? Not often because it’s extremely difficult. The younger generation is smarter and value these things. Us old folks just don’t get it.

    By Tom on Jul 8, 2010

  7. The simple reason you’re wrong is that most of the fans in the stadium and watching on TV had left by the time the Rockies pulled off their comeback. And if you actually watched all of the Netherlands game, Uruguay came back and almost tied it in the end, it was some very thrilling stuff. Your whole argument is based on what a commentator says, and then you go and claim that baseball commentators are terrible. Well, soccer commentators are as well. There are plenty of amazing comebacks in soccer. And in soccer, the fans usually still cheer win or lose, and almost always stay till the end.

    By Philip on Jul 8, 2010

  8. Both sports SHOULD BE RESPECTED for what they bring to the fan — entertainment. BOTH have a need for physically fit ATHLETES and are fun to watch PROVIDING THAT YOU HAVE THE ABILITY to THINK!!! You see, most of those who don’t appreciate Soccer DO NOT have the ability to watch the WHOLE GAME being played — everyone has a job/requirement to do something AT ALL TIMES, just as Baseball does. Strategy is VITAL in BOTH sports, but again THINKING IS NEEDED — both for the athletes AND the fans. I, for one, am a seasoned Soccer player AND a Baseball fan, and become furious at the phony attempts to “look hurt” when someone touches another soccer player AND when a Baseball player missed a fly ball and then feigns “injury” in order to cover up their error. Otherwise, “PLAY ON”, and learn to enjoy BOTH sports.

    By King David on Jul 8, 2010

  9. Soccer’s has four big problems. First of all is offsides, which is the worst rule in sports. Any sport that encourages a player to think “This guy is a better athlete than me, I better stop running so they can’t pass it to him,” is a garbage rule. Offsides needs to modified to discourage cheery picking and encourage aggressive play.
    Second, the flopping that players do on the field to encourage fouls to be called is ridiculous. It is amazing how the appearance of a yellow card or the ball being put back in play instantly cures an injured soccer player. Their needs to be stiff fines in FIFA for this that discourages flopping.
    Third, the officiating is shameful and completely lacks consistency. You could probably ask David Villa what is a non-foul tackle, a four or a yellow card and he couldn’t tell you. Also, there is no reason not to have goal line technology so goals aren’t missed.
    Forth, they should not encourage ties in tournaments. They should count as zero points, not 1. Only a socialist sport would give points for ties. If soccer made those changes it would be a lot more enjoy able sport to watch.

    But it should be noted that the only reason to watch baseball is if you are not Irish and need an excuse to drink during the day. As you pointed out, an exciting baseball game has not occurred since 1901 we are due for another boring century of baseball.

    Nine weeks until real football season.

    By Easy on Jul 8, 2010

  10. What a stupid article by Hick Flick! Baseball is a joke in comparison to soccer.

    By Steve on Jul 8, 2010

  11. Baseball is great in small doses; soccer is a lifetime love and vocation that entraps you with athleticism; skill; cunning, and all out hard work. Different sports for different people, but billions of people can’t be wrong!

    By SOCCER GURU on Jul 8, 2010

  12. To expand on King David’s comments: Many of his problems with soccer lies in the fact it’s a low-scoring game. Thus, every referee call is magnified to a greater intensity since one goal could easily decide a match. Players “lobby” for calls by diving and missed offside calls are huge because often close breakaway goals are either allowed or disallowed. These are some factors which make the referee way too powerful in soccer. If I wanted to fix a major sport, soccer would be it as I would only need to influence the referee and there’s very little accountability afterwards. Finally, abolish the offsides rule altogether. So what if there’s cherry-picking? The team deciding to do that has one less defender – their choice. By definition, one person cannot watch the line and the second the ball is kicked at the same time – which is exactly what a proper offsides call needs.

    By Soccer is Flawed on Jul 8, 2010

  13. Sorry, I meant Easy’s comments in my post above. The other reality is that soccer is popular worldwide because of ECONOMICS. Twenty-two kids can play with one ball (even a string one will do). Basketball is next popular because 10 can play with one ball. Other reports require spending money on equipment, gear, ice time, etc. Thus, in most of the world, particularly the poorer masses, soccer becomes the sport of choice.

    By Soccer is Flawed on Jul 8, 2010

  14. In any baseball game where a team posts a “miracle” comeback you don’t need to look any further than the dunce of the day on the pitching mound. Yeah, there are good hitters out there, but there are only a handful today that could single-handedly alter the outcome of a game. The math is simple, roughly slightly more than 25% of the time a major league baseball player gets a hit. That means in a typical baseball game an eight-man roster (no pitchers figured in here) should have a minimum of 24 at bats and should have about 6 hits. There were 31 hits in the Rockies-Cardinals game. Yes there were way more at bats and all that, but the reason the comeback occurred at all was because the pitching was below average, pathetic actually. How many comeback wins in baseball are the result of the superstar hitter coming through with the game winning hit? Not as often as you think. We’re only aware of them because they are so rare they get full-blown media coverage when it does happen. Check it out, do the math, I’m right.

    If this is what you want to celebrate and cheer for go ahead. It’s typical and easy for American sports fans to think their team had a great comeback in the late innings. The fact is American sports fans cheer harder for the scapegoat on the other team than they cheer for their own players (NY Yankees fans for example, the “best” fans in sports, yeah right!).

    Soccer has two elements that make it the best sport in the world. First of all it takes all 11 players working their tails off the entire game. You don’t have the rest of the team standing around watching a one-on-one duel between a hitter and pitcher, you don’t have tail back or wide receiver running a dummy route designed to lure the dummy defender into not watching where the ball is actually going. How many times do you hear a sportswriter exclaim what a great team effort that was in the inning when every out was a flyball to the outfield (basically a more than competent pitcher keeping a group of average hitters on their heels, with four out of the 18 players in the game involved in all the action (pitcher, catcher, hitter, random outfielder). Second, and most important; Soccer is played with feet, not hands. There’s a simple reason most American fans that claim they don’t like soccer because it’s boring, or they don’t understand the rules, or whatever; they either never tried to play the game or if they did the sucked at it. It’s not an easy game to play, period. Goals are damn hard to come by, and during the course of play and the flow of the game (yep, the games actually have a tempo and pace to them that’s constant, no timeouts, shift changes, huddles, or any commercial breaks), you can tell when a team is handling the opponent. The Dutch we in control of the game, only a serious lapse by them would have led to a Uruguay win.

    By slowpitch on Jul 8, 2010

  15. This article is bogus. It seems like you’re making your assumption based on what an announcer said. Sure, soccer is a low scoring game (with low shot totals), which makes every possible shot on goal that more important. Why do you see soccer players quenching the hair on their heads after they totally miss the net with a wide open shot? Because they know they have to capitalize and might not get another chance. The margin for error is very small in soccer. Only true sports fans realize and can appreciate this. One other thing soccer has over baseball (and most other sports for that matter) are extremely PASSIONATE fans. They take great pride in their team and show it all the time. And…soccer isn’t loaded with juiced-up cheaters like in baseball (at least not that we know of yet).

    By knr88 on Jul 8, 2010

  16. I guess if you are trying to get knee jerk reactions from people by stating that “baseball is better than soccer”…you will always get those knee jerk reactions; otherwise you give away the fact that you do not know either of those sports very well…you compare a World Cup tournament to a “game”…I have to imagine that you have no idea how the teams got to the World Cup or how long it might have taken them to be there…and I know you do not care….so not knowing anything, find out first of all what is “important” to you, what is your “measure” of best, or great…the irony of it all, is that Pele was the Michael Jordan of soccer and Michael was the Pele of BB…just that equal, but unless you get to really know both games, you will never really understand what that means!!!!

    By montesde on Jul 8, 2010

  17. So far my favorite comment is “What a stupid article! Baseball is a joke in comparison to soccer,” which is then backed by… oh, no evidence. My bad.

    The rest of you make pretty good points. I’m not saying that baseball players are better athletes than soccer players or anything of that nature. For the most part, I do respect the hell out of soccer, though I agree with all of Easy’s points on the sport. Perhaps the best part of soccer is that its low-scoring nature makes it more conducive to a miracle upset. And really I was just using soccer as a prime example because there was a game played on the same day that worked perfectly for such a comparison. In my opinion, baseball is better than ANY game in which the parameters are measured by time. I just love that you have to get 27 outs — not play all 60 or 90 or however many minutes remain. Teams try to milk the clock in every sport. Believe me, I love football as much as anything, but is there anything lamer than kneeling on the ball in the final minute if you’re winning? Sure, it was more a collapse by the Cardinals than anything, but other sports allow you to put yourself in a position for such a collapse to be all but impossible. Not baseball. You still have to get the man out. There’s always hope in baseball to see something you’ve never seen before.

    By Hick Flick on Jul 8, 2010

  18. I was not making my assumption based on what the announcer said. It was 3-1 and the game really was all but over, even though Uruguay made it more interesting than anyone was counting on at the end. I just think it sucks that you can pretty much count on a game being over when it’s only a two-score deficit. There’s no other sport where two scores with a quarter of the game left to play seem so impossible to come by. To me that’s unfortunate.

    I do agree other sports need more fans like soccer, though. Not enough stadiums are lit on fire in the US.

    By Hick Flick on Jul 8, 2010

  19. baseball sucks

    By j on Jul 8, 2010

  20. Its hilarious to hear soccer fans build up their sport. Usually the main points are its a “world” sport and “all 11 men play all game long”. First point, it IS a world game, simply because it is the simplist game to play. Even dirt poor countries can get a few dozen people together and kick around a ball or ball like object. The other point is rather stupid beccause there ARE soccer players who spend alot of their time standing around. Defenders and goalies are just standing there whent the play is on the other end of the field. Football deliberately uses misdirection in order to get someone open. Sometimes a block on the line will open a WR up 30 yards downfield. Same applies to soccer. The lack of scoring in soccer has NOTHING to do with skill as much as the game is designed that way. Offsides is a good example. That rule should have been thrown out decades ago. All it does is bring higher skilled players down to the lower skilled levels. It doesnt improve “sport”. As to the fact that soccer players on the sidelines are more INTO their sport because they are chewing seeds and drinking Gatoraide while baseball players are sitting on a bench….pathetic.

    By S321 on Jul 8, 2010

  21. It’s completely false that the game was all but over. Momentum can change very quickly in Soccer, it only takes a few seconds for a score, you don’t need to “get 60 yards, get 3 first downs, etc..” I’ve seen big games change completely with 2 minutes left (one big example: ManU scored 2 goals in the last minute to beat Bayern in the Champions league final back in 1999). It happens all the time, and it was close to happening to the Netherlands, you obviosly did not see the final 5 minutes of that game.

    By AlexR on Jul 8, 2010

  22. Hey, some of us like baseball, some soccer, some rugby and some football. So what. Just enjoy the game(s) you like and let others enjoy theirs

    By MJ Canary on Jul 8, 2010

  23. What a great game baseball is, a bunch of fat boys scratching their balls.

    By wayne on Jul 8, 2010

  24. are you kidding me? soccer is so mumch better than baseball. only basketball is better.

    By mijo on Jul 8, 2010

  25. why would anybody ask this question? soccer or whatever u wanna call it is the most borin’ game man created, the dumb-asses can’t even know how much time is left. gooooooooooaaaaaaaalllllllllll equals borin’. ’nuff said

    By joe bloom on Jul 8, 2010

  26. Is there a reason for soccer

    By Anonymous on Jul 8, 2010

  27. You’re right MIJO! Hell, even mowing my lawn is more exciting than soccer! I think after the ball hits their heads 1000 times, the players think it is a “fun” game! I wonder what they think of sex, if soccer is exciting?!

    By Bob on Jul 8, 2010

  28. actually SOCCER GURU, switch baseball and soccer around and you are absolutely correct.

    By jon on Jul 8, 2010

  29. Baseball is better than soccer because it ain’t soccer.

    By Marcus on Jul 8, 2010

  30. Yes, a 3-1 match in soccer in 70th minute, or 80th minute is basically a done deal.

    But a 14-0 game in football with 2 minutes remaining is basically a done deal.

    And by the same measuring stick, a 9-3 game in the bottom of the 9th in baseball is basically a done deal.

    All three of these would basically be miracle comebacks. If Uruguay came back to win, do you still post this article? This article is only posted because there was a miracle comeback in a single (out of 162, therefore all but insignificant) regular season baseball game, while a WORLD CUP team needed that miracle comeback in an extremely significant match, yet fell short.

    But sports are great and I enjoy the heck out of them both. But the premise of this article is flawed and stupid.

    By Anonymous on Jul 8, 2010

  31. its funny how all in favor for baseball have rednecks names (bob, jon, joe bloom) mijo is just stupid…..

    By anonymous on Jul 8, 2010

  32. How is the premise flawed and stupid? I’m saying that out of any sport, it’s most possible to see crazy comebacks like this in baseball. Only in soccer is coming back from a two-score deficit considered crazy. And the football equivalent to being down 3-1 in the 70th minute would be more like being down 21-7 with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter of a football game. Still a tough comeback to make, but you don’t hear people conceding that the game is totally over with. In this case the guys nearly ended up getting burned with their prediction, but history dictated that it was a very safe assessment.

    I don’t hate soccer. I just love baseball the most because its structure better lends itself to the previously unseen and unexpected. I believe soccer will always be the world’s game and baseball will always be the American game.

    And Bloom is generally a Jewish name. Don’t know a lot of redneck Jews.

    By Hick Flick on Jul 8, 2010

  33. Baseball is not better than Soccer.

    It is predictable that an american would make a ridiculous statement. Why do americans feel threatened when they see so much popularity and a following to something they know nothing about?? Undermining a sport the entire world has deemed the NUMBER ONE SPORT. It’s dogs pissing on the corner, marking their territory so others see its their turf.

    You feel left out, and decide to invent something you can call your own. And we now have baseball. Classic.

    No need to worry Mr. Flick. The world is not coming to your america to force soccer on you.

    Keep your baseball. For the rest of us, we have Soccer.

    Soccer is not a sport. Soccer is a religion, culture, country.

    We bleed Soccer, while you eat those salty peanuts in the stands.

    And that boys, is the voice of reason.

    God bless
    :)

    By voice of reason on Jul 9, 2010

  34. The reason you chose why baseball is better than soccer is really, really shitty. Every sport has it’s perks over the other. If I turned on a game that was 9-3, I would switch the channel and assume its over too. I would not catch the exciting comeback they made. However, I would watch till the end of a soccer match because I feel it’s more exciting.
    Personally I like soccer more than baseball, American football because it is more continuous and faster paced. Of coarse basketball has first place in my heart.

    Anyway if I had to choose a reason why baseball is better than soccer it might be the atmosphere of a live game. In the world cup, all you can hear is that annoying buzzing sound and crazy fans. I think team fans are great, but not fanatics. They go for the whole color scheme of their team/country and are probably really loud compared to fans of other sports.

    By Anonymous on Jul 9, 2010

  35. Soccer is just another version of football, basketball, hockey, and lacrosse. That is – the basic rules consist of a team attempting to get an object into a goal of sorts, with the clock governing the time of play. Neither is true of the great game of baseball in which the clock is irrelevent and the defense controls the ball. I’ve also heard the oft-repeated remark that a 1-0, 2-1, 2-0 baseball game is no better than a similar score in soccer. In terms of scoring, that would be true if it wasn’t for the fact that very few baseball games end up in such low scoring fashion. A 1-0 or 2-1 baseball game is very often followed by the next game in which the combined score can be at least 4 or more runs combined. Yes, it’s true that if every baseball game was 1-0 or 2-1, it would be a very boring game (like soccer), but the differences in scoring game to game in baseball are never predictable. It seems to me that there is a basic flaw in the design of the soccer game that there are so many ties. I emphasize the words – BASIC FLAW!

    By Dennis on Jul 9, 2010

  36. I LOVE baseball and I’m sure I’d love it even more if I could stay awake long enough to watch a game. What can be more exciting than watching juiced dudes scratch their naughty parts and gob incessantly all over the place. There’s gotta be a fetish website featuring these types of characters. I also like the tubby guys who lapse into cardiac arrest every time they have to lumber in the general direction of first base. I also like the baseball costume. Nothing beats wearing your “jammies” and dunce cap to work. What a stroke of inspiration by baseball’s founding fathers: to have the players wear pyjamas as they lull the fans to sleep. Insomnia is the scourge of modern society and baseball is the antidote. How can anyone dislike this game?

    By Soccerman on Jul 9, 2010

  37. reading the comments, the baseball-is-better-than-soccer group just does not get it and unfortunately never will.

    Just imagine, after Germany’s LOSS to Spain, huge celebrations took place in cities around Germany, including 300,000 in Berlin. Even though the team had just lost, they celebrated the fact that the team had reached the semifinals — a fabulous accomplishment considering the fact that 7 players on the team were new to international competition and they had to play the entire tournament without their playmaker and captain, Michael Ballack, who was injured in the final Chelsea match.

    Now the country is looking forward to tomorrow’s game for 3rd place. Here in the US it seems nobody ever is interested in losers playing each other, but believe me, this game will get huge ratings around the world — unthinkable for any sports in the US.

    By jrocean on Jul 9, 2010

  38. jrocean:You can’t compare the fervour – akin to a religious delirium- which soccer inspires, to the somnolence provoked by a pseudo sport like baseball. Some people thrive on thrill, others on naps. To each his own. Live and let live!

    By Soccerman on Jul 9, 2010

  39. From the fans perspective Soccer has very little strategy for the fan to anticipate. Does the Broadcaster ever say “that the same play they did successfully in the game against XYZ”. No fan has any idea what a team can do, other than move a defensive guy to offense or offense to defense. You can be an idiot and watch soccer. I’m sure there is a lot of strategy between the players and coach but the fan is not included. In Baseball everything…..every pitch is based on mathematical percentages. Its closer to chess than any other game. When you watch a baseball game with knowledge of the players numbers before each pitch you can ask what are the odds now of this to happen? If that’s what the odds are then perhaps the other team should do this instead. Lets see if I’m right….here’s the pitch!

    By The Real Deal on Jul 9, 2010

  40. Real Dude, all I can say is: GET REAL! I guess that’s why discussions about tactics used in a soccer game go on FOREVER… because there’s nothing to say? Right? Not! The thing is that baseball’s so static that there’s painfully little else to do but mull over the stats and hope someone actually does something, like move his bloated ass. Soccer, by contrast, is in constant flux and shit happens in fractions of a second. It’s like a pitched battle: there are all sorts of plans before the fight, but when the fight begins in earnest, lines of communication fail, people end up in the wrong place and all sorts of unpredictable things happen. Get it? Or do I need to get you to a game to enlighten you? And I mean to a live game. Because soccer isn’t a made-for-TV product like all your American sports. When you watch a soccer game on TV you miss most of what happens “off the ball,” which sets the stage for the ball carrier to make his move. Apart from the fact that Americans can’t accept soccer’s clear, inheret superiority to all sports, especially the ones they invented, it may well be that they are reticent to embrace soccer also because too much is happening on the field at any one time for their feeble brains to digest. Just a thought.

    By Soccerman on Jul 9, 2010

  41. Baseball vs. Soccer:

    *Time limit – this is good for baseball in that it allows for unlimited strategy and doesn’t reward merely hurriedly making efforts to meet the demands of clocks. A swing is as good as a player wants to make, pitchers can choose the perfect pitch, and fielders can move to a correct location based on the batter. Soccer fans can argue that its hard to plan for a baseball game as you never know if it will be 2 hours or 4? Also, the unlimited clock in baseball allows for delay tactics which cannot be appreciate by fans, however the teams feel it is helpful to have flexibility. In reality, in soccer, they add extra time should there be delays that are reasonable, so in some ways, it is also unlimited. Having an exact clock is good for fans to know when they will be leaving and gives a massive sense of urgency. Baseball has this urgency, but its different as there is no clock when the count is full, but a massive tension nonetheless.

    Advantage: Neither. If you like to be on a schedule, soccer is better. If you like variety in outcomes and don’t mind a flexible schedule, baseball is for you.

    *Statistics – for those of us who love to track statistics, baseball is a panacea. Everything done is measured, tracked and available. Soccer has very few stats. If there were more, then I think people would be more into it in the US. If the commentators would discuss the various strategies at work during a soccer game, it would be helpful. We generally just hear “here’s the counter now”…but there’s more to it than that.
    *Incremental Scoring – you can see hits which are sort of like 1/4 runs, and then usually there are 3-5 runs scored per team. Contrast this with soccer where there are 0-3 goals scored per team. Baseball has less extremes and there are still things to track even if a team is getting clobbered. “At least x is getting a lot of walks”. In soccer, there are no “micro” ways to observe how a given team is doing until you look at shots on goal, goals, or assists. How about they show “takeaways” or header passes completed, etc? Americans would like that more.

    Advantage: Big time for baseball! Soccer doesn’t even register.

    *Number of Games: Baseball has tooooo many! There is no way a fan could possibly go to all the home games and then watch the other half on TV. If you did, that would be your full time job. Soccer, on the other hand, every game can be viewed, as there are not very many since the players are devastated physically from the toll of the game. On the other hand, a fluke outcome in a baseball game will be easily washed out statistically since there are so many of them. This is another reason baseball has a playoff series. Flukes generally don’t last 4 games, which is how many you need to win the title. In soccer, we saw a handball be the difference between going and not going to the World Cup. Also, one game decides the championship which inevitably gives one team an advantage based on the immediate health of the players, etc. The concept of the series is excellent and I recommend for soccer’s finale. This will wash out the poor refereeing.

    Advantage: Soccer. If baseball would cut its season to even 80 games over a shorter timeframe, it would be superior with the series instead of golden game.

    *Officiating – Baseball is far worse and has a worse track record than soccer on this. Every single moment of a baseball game is dictated by the eyes of the home plate umpire. In soccer, every play is decided by the ball being in the net. Soccer could be fixed with one stroke – a ball sensor in goal. Baseball would be have to be repaired by hundreds of sensors, cameras, etc, just to know it was proceeding correctly.

    Advantage: Baseball. There are more refs, more specialized per player on field, and the plays are more simple to decide.

    *Heritage – Baseball has been ingrained as the American sport, and is quickly being removed by gridiron football as the #1 sport. The fact remains that most American children not only grew up playing baseball or softball, but grew up going to games, talking to their dads and grandpas about famous old games, etc. In general this family interfacing is not occurring between generations and in youth for soccer, however is changing very slowly. At some point and with more successes at the world level for our team, soccer could get in that discussion. Americans are proud of our Olympians and will root for our citizens regardless of the sport.

    Advantage: Baseball, but soccer is creeping up.

    *Uniforms – baseball uniforms are clean, classic and don’t have weird ads for telephone companies on them. They don’t wear orange in general, and they don’t have frosted hair which can often be nasty an unkempt when you are running around for 90 minutes. Baseball players have time to tuck their shirts in. They can clean up in the dug out. Soccer players are like boxers, if they are bleeding or gashed they keep rolling. This adds to the heroism factor for soccer, but makes it look rough and unpolished, not mention possibly dangerous.

    Advantage: Baseball. however they need to update unis even more with more lightweight material. Have you tried to wear a replica jersey at a game?? hot city!

    *Penalties – like its cousin basketball trying to determine whose fault was whose is impossible in soccer. In Europe, they think this is fun because it leads to an endless discussion. Americans like specific outcomes and answers. We like to think we have it down to a reasonable level in American Football, however difficult it is. But in soccer, it is absolutely unclear, and we see penalties called on the wrong players, and its very unclear when a yellow card is appropriate or red card. This can result in one team having less players in soccer, so the thing that is one of its worst weaknesses is also one of its most crucial things to get right.

    Advantage: Baseball. The penalties are more clear and faking is nonexistent. fights are tolerated and everyone admits when they mean to make a statement. There’s more drama that is obvious to fans.

    *Fans: Soccer has less games, scheduled at better times, so there are more fans in the stands. More fans usually means better fans. Baseball has too many games to make a single one count for anything. There is no series, so each game in the playoffs is key! Fans cheer the whole game, they’ve got great songs, and they drink like bananas. Come on baseball fans!!!! I got kicked out of a baseball game for doing what I normally do in a soccer game.

    Advantage: Soccer.

    *Financial: Soccer and baseball are similar in that they both have no cap limit. Superstars are signed from all over the world as free agents.

    Advantage: Neither.

    *League competition: Soccer has a unique promotion and demotion system. This makes every minor league team potentially a juggernaut given money, support and talent. Baseball, you are given a position in a division and are there even if you jettison all yours stars and are a defacto minor league team (hello Kansas city!)

    Advantage: Soccer in a no brainer.

    *Coolness Factor: Hipsters are flocking to soccer as it has that Euro flare that they seem to think makes them cool. Its the same reason people buy BMWs and like Oasis. For all the patriotic talk, we wish we had brands that would could idolize. Silly girls don’t dream of being the Princess of Atlanta. They grow up wanting to be the Princess of England. Baseball is smalltown South and Chevy trucks.

    Advantage: Soccer. Baseball is FAR from being cool.

    TV: Baseball has endless commercials in between innnings and soccer has no commercials! So soccer kills baseball right? Not totally. Ads are needed to fuel expensive players, stadiums, etc, without squeezing fans (well some are still squeezed). Baseball is more available and every game is shown somewhere everywhere. You don’t have time to get a beer or take a whiz if you’re watching soccer until half time. Soccer has annoying signs on the screen all the time, but…

    Advantage: Soccer. its like watching something live with tivo blocking all commercials.

    *Skill – Baseball requires amazing muscle reflexes, endurance, and dexterity. Soccer needs these as well, but adds conditioning. That doesn’t necessarily mean it adds to the enjoyment of the sport, but you can argue the players are more pleasant to watch since they don’t have a giant beer belly. I’ve never seen an out of shape player on the field in soccer.

    Advantage: Soccer. TV hosts need to eccentuate great plays so we are aware of how amazing an move is in soccer. In baseball, the show great catches in slow mo and use pens to draw circles to show foot position, etc. Come on, let’s enter the 21st century soccer!

    *Bloodthirsiness: Soccer has massive collisions, heads hitting each other, bodies slamming, broken bones, and tons of blood. Really the only time baseball gets this way is the play at the plate. That rarely is a 1 on 1 grudge match between the running and catcher, but when it happens, its awesome. Much like soccer fans argue about scoring, baseball fans can argue that even though it doesn’t happen our violence is spectacular!

    Advantage: Soccer. If you like violence, soccer has got it! Baseball, only in fits.

    FINAL SCORE: Baseball 5, Soccer 7. If soccer implements better on screen commentary, more years of younger fans talking it up with their (now) older generation X grandpas, and more international travel, Soccer will overtake baseball probably by the year 2030 as the #2 sport. Additionally, it will pigeontail with football, in the concept of being a similiar field, similar positions, etc. We had record immigration between 1990 and 2000 and this will continue. The majority are soccer-loving (and baseball loving as a second place) hispanics. Like it or not baseball fans, soccer will be what is cool in 2030. Baseball will more like hockey as a regional sport in the south and midwest and far northeast, where demographics and history support it better.

    By Richard on Jul 9, 2010

  42. Oops, should be baseball 6, soccer 7. I gave baseball a “run” for “statistics”.

    By Richard on Jul 9, 2010

  43. @Soccerman – “I LOVE baseball and I’m sure I’d love it even more if I could stay awake long enough to watch a game.”

    Every moment of a baseball game counts. Every pitch. You need a better seat. Every full count, etc. The game can go from 0-0 to 0-1 with one pitch and one home run. Ever see a full back in soccer all of a sudden kick the ball all the way down the field for goal?

    “What can be more exciting than watching juiced dudes scratch their naughty parts and gob incessantly all over the place.”

    No one is juiced anymore. There are constant tests to make sure. If you’re complaining about baseball in the 90′s, you may have a point. Naughty parts? I see soccer players spitting, rubbing their crotches and picking their noses just as much. When you exercise, you irritate those parts. Duh.

    “There’s gotta be a fetish website featuring these types of characters. I also like the tubby guys who lapse into cardiac arrest every time they have to lumber in the general direction of first base.”

    I think this is perhaps reflection on your part. I would say 99% of baseball players are not fat. Also, baseball allows for players of any size to play, short, tall, fat, thin. How about soccer? Do you think only super fit cyborg supermodels should play soccer? Do you watch sports that remind you most of watching a fashion show?

    “I also like the baseball costume. Nothing beats wearing your “jammies” and dunce cap to work.”

    The hat protects the eyes from the sun as the ball is frequently coming from out of the sky about 100 feet. The uniform is needed because sliding on dirt occurs. Since there are so many games occurring, they could never keep grass alive in the active playing areas. It hurts! In soccer you see guys sliding on knees after a goal – because there are fewer games and the grass is not dead.

    “What a stroke of inspiration by baseball’s founding fathers: to have the players wear pyjamas as they lull the fans to sleep.”

    In between plays or innings you check on other games, watch highlights. When you’re watching soccer you are like in a casino – nothing else exists.

    “Insomnia is the scourge of modern society and baseball is the antidote. How can anyone dislike this game?”

    Is your favorite sport “competitive roller coaster riding?” how much excitement constantly do you need?

    By Richard on Jul 9, 2010

  44. @anonymous: “its funny how all in favor for baseball have rednecks names (bob, jon, joe bloom) mijo is just stupid…..”

    Well baseball is the #1 sport in Japan, so I really doubt you’re getting a good representation of the fanbase.

    By Richard on Jul 9, 2010

  45. @Dennis: “Soccer is just another version of football, basketball, hockey, and lacrosse. That is – the basic rules consist of a team attempting to get an object into a goal of sorts, with the clock governing the time of play. Neither is true of the great game of baseball in which the clock is irrelevent and the defense controls the ball. I’ve also heard the oft-repeated remark that a 1-0, 2-1, 2-0 baseball game is no better than a similar score in soccer. In terms of scoring, that would be true if it wasn’t for the fact that very few baseball games end up in such low scoring fashion. A 1-0 or 2-1 baseball game is very often followed by the next game in which the combined score can be at least 4 or more runs combined. Yes, it’s true that if every baseball game was 1-0 or 2-1, it would be a very boring game (like soccer), but the differences in scoring game to game in baseball are never predictable. It seems to me that there is a basic flaw in the design of the soccer game that there are so many ties. I emphasize the words – BASIC FLAW!”

    YES! I agree completely. In addition, there is only one way to score in soccer. In baseball you can steal home, you can walk home, you can get batted in, you can hit a home run, you can get balked in.

    By Richard on Jul 9, 2010

  46. @voice of reason:

    “Baseball is not better than Soccer.

    It is predictable that an american would make a ridiculous statement. Why do americans feel threatened when they see so much popularity and a following to something they know nothing about?? Undermining a sport the entire world has deemed the NUMBER ONE SPORT. It’s dogs pissing on the corner, marking their territory so others see its their turf.

    You feel left out, and decide to invent something you can call your own. And we now have baseball. Classic.

    No need to worry Mr. Flick. The world is not coming to your america to force soccer on you.

    Keep your baseball. For the rest of us, we have Soccer.

    Soccer is not a sport. Soccer is a religion, culture, country.

    We bleed Soccer, while you eat those salty peanuts in the stands.

    And that boys, is the voice of reason.

    God bless
    :)”

    Americans are not threatened – by anything. We have no need to be. You sound like you’re from France which has had its ass handed to it about 10 times in the last 100 years by various countries including Prussia (Germany) about 4 times. We have never been conquered.

    We have plenty of fans here of soccer. I guess you are sterotyping us because you feel superior being from Europe. Why do you feel feel threatened – by Turkey, by Russian natural oil, by Chinese manufacturing taking away your high pay union jobs?

    Much like Ireland, we have chosen to embrace our nationally created sports instead of join the world bandwagon. If you want to feel part of the crowd, then soccer is for you. If you want to be a part of something unique, then I recommend you follow a sport that originated in your culture – perhaps your country has not created any sports? oh I’m sorry.

    You say soccer is your religion, culture, country – you are talking about a bouncing little ball, being kicked at by 22 players cheered on my high or drunk annoying fans blowing ridiculous horns the whole game? That’s your religion, culture and country?

    And actually peanuts taste great – have you ever eaten a roasted peanut? I’ve tried escargot, and they’re both good.

    If you’ve seen Ricky Bobby, you’re doing a great impression of that French race car driver who Ricky made him: “spill my macchiato”.

    By Richard on Jul 9, 2010

  47. Richard — I commend and thank you for taking even more time on this post than I did. Even though I hope your prediction about soccer someday overtaking baseball in American popularity is wrong, your analysis is thorough and well done. It’s possible to appreciate both sports, but baseball will always be my love.

    Also, there’s a reason that I called this “Why Baseball is Better Than Soccer, Part One Million.” There are innumerable other things that I like better, this was just the most recent and relevant example. It’s not the entire reason for my preference.

    By Hick Flick on Jul 9, 2010

  48. I would like to look at the differences between the two sports in a bit of a different way. Answer this question: If you took a soccer player and a baseball player and you trained each one to play the others’ sport which one would have a better chance of being at least serviceable in the others’ sport. Baseball would definitely be the harder sport to pick up for the soccer player. Baseball needs various specialized skills that would be extremely difficult for a soccer player to learn. If you take the side of soccer you will argue that baseball players are fat and lazy and don’t have the endurance to play soccer. My point is that’s not a skill. Endurance can be trained for. I think you can train a well conditioned baseball player and stick him on a soccer pitch and could be play reasonably well . I don’t think you can teach a soccer player the specialized skills that are needed in baseball that easily. Hitting, Pitching, Fielding, Base Running . Again , just another way to look at the two sports.

    By Izzy on Jul 15, 2010

  49. hold on actually soccer takes a lot of hard work because you just don’t stand there and wait. soccer is more difficult beacause its hard to keep the ball unlike baseball.

    in my opinion I like soccer better. I play soccer and it takes hard work. and those of you who think baseball is hard try playing soccer. the first time I played baseball it was a piece of cake.

    By soccer lover on Sep 4, 2010

  50. ok one thing is that soccer is more athletic, more fun than just swinging a bat an in soccer you can take someone out or drop kick them when the referee isnt looking…………an soccer isnt just running around an kicking the ball its take dedication, speed, skill, an talking in the game to the other players on your team like saying man on or something an u cant say that baseball is better cause soccer is number 1 in the world an that when ever you are losing 3 to 1 you can come back..its happen to my team a whole lot…an soccer is aslo consider to be the most athletic sport…you see more kids playing it when they start playing sports….so what bout you go an get actual info. before saying baseball is better….

    By dalton on Feb 18, 2011

  51. I think soccer is way better than baseball and that anyone who thinks differently are delusional. Its so obvious that soccer is more fast moving and exciting, whereas in baseball all you do is try to hit stuff and then run but nobody ever hits anything so its just so boring.

    By Jordan Herbst on Mar 27, 2011

  52. Except Sarah Gordon

    By Jordan Herbst on Mar 27, 2011

  53. I played baseball as a kid and I can’t even count how many times I fell asleep at practice plus all the crappy pep talks that the coach would give us.

    By Jordan Herbst on Mar 27, 2011

  54. But there were some good times when I played baseball…….. The pizza party’s

    By Jordan Herbst on Mar 27, 2011

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