Do you have to defend your love of baseball? How do you do it?
I live in a football state (Go VOLS! Go TITANS! That's all I have to say about that... don't ask me any questions about football). But I am also very verbal about my love for baseball. I warn people about that right off the bat. My 'about me' on facebook warns my friends that 'baseball is fluently spoken here'. I have posted 98 links on my page and I know less than 15 of those links are not baseball-related.
Most of the time I don't get comments on my comments because I don't have that many friends that are baseball fans. But every once in a while I have to defend myself. I have a friend and a cousin who are Stankee fans and so I have to defend my hatred of the Stankees. But I also have friends who hate baseball and try to convert me into a hater of baseball. And I tell them every time... it ain't gonna happen.
My defense today was against a guy who felt that baseball wasn't really a sport because you don't have to have natural talent to play it, like in soccer. He also argued that you can easily do baseball after or while playing another sport, citing Deion Saunders and Bo Jackson. He argued that all baseball players use steroid and are fat and out of shape, citing Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. He made the comment that all baseball players do all game long is watch the ball. He felt that being generally good athletically, you can automatically be a baseball player.
My responses to him was explaining that the transition between football and baseball is "easy" because they both rely on the same basic muscle groups, as opposed to the muscle groups used in soccer. I explained that natural talent is required. Good basestealing and good base running are mostly instinctual but if you have enough natural ability, some of it can be learned. I argued that steroids was popular in the 80s and 90s but most of the players today don't use it and I named a couple players: David Wright, Joe Mauer, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and Chris Davis... players out there in phenomenal shape, solid muscle, no steroids.
I knew I was in trouble when he said he didn't know who Joe Mauer was when I mentioned him earlier in our conversation. He also alluded to hitting not being that hard to do. All you need is a "good eye". I told him to check out 'Shaq Versus' when he went up against Albert Pujols. And imagine "hitting a tiny ball spinning towards you at 100 mph with a stick when you dont know where its gonna end up..."
I don't mean to smack-talk my friend. I apologize if that is how this is coming across. This isn't really about him. He is entitled to his opinion, even though it's wrong :), but what is your take? How do you guys defend baseball, whether they know the game or not.
I'm asking you guys because I know you don't hesitate to share your opinions, so help me out!