The latest article by Rick Reilly really just proves one thing: he doesn’t like baseball.  Not that he doesn’t like how it’s played, no that he doesn’t like the players…he hates baseball.  You can read the trash by clicking here (if only to know to avoid his trash in the future).

Look, I don’t hold it against anyone if you don’t like baseball.  I don’t, really.  It’s not a sport for everyone.  Nothing out there is for everyone.

Why do I love baseball?  Because it is leisurely.  It’s a sport that’s made for laying in the backyard with a cool drink, listening on the radio, and enjoying the day because it’s summer.  It’s a sport where I can go with a friend, and joke around the entire game and still watch and enjoy it.  It’s a sport where I can get out of my seat, and walk around the stadium and enjoy the entire place, instead of being pretty much locked in, lest I miss something or can’t see something.  And the exciting stuff can sneak up on you, have a slow build into the really great moments where the excitement will bring down the house, like we’ve been able to see in San Francisco often.

It’s a pasttime, people.  It’s never claimed to be anything else.

The problem is, it’s Rick Reilly.  This guy is a Skip Bayless-level asshole who gets rewarded with it by peer-awards.  And now, he makes his living bashing this sport because…duh, sportswriter.

I’ve got a new rule for you, Rick.  GTFO.  If you don’t like it, just leave.  Go.  Go watch your precious football, or hunt for some new hell sports for you to hate.  But leave people who actually love the game alone.  You aren’t a fan.  You’re an egotist who has a job in the sport, and you’re an asshole.  You know why Bonds didn’t like you?  Because he didn’t like people who didn’t have common courtesy.  Bonds was no angel, but he never treated me with anything but common respect because I did the same for him the few times I was a nobody around the Giants.

So piss off, already.  If you’re going to be a miserable journalist, go do what all miserable journalists do: write about politics.  Leave sports to us.

Look, I’m not going to call last Sunday’s game a masterpiece, but it was anything but boring.  It was a tight game, there was a blown save in the ninth, then an amazing get-out-of-it by Casilla.  And the Giants won with two out in the bottom of the ninth, even if it was on an error.  It wasn’t a clean game, but it wasn’t boring, either.

Every sport has annoying stoppages and slow parts.  The NFL stops after every damn play to reset, and has random TV timeouts that are annoying as hell if you’re live at a game.  I can barely stand to go to live football games anymore, and being a season-ticket holder for football with my family when I was a kid was how I got into sports.  Baseketball turns every final minute of a close game into a ten-minute long free-throw contest.  Hockey stops whenever the goalie decides not to pass the puck.  And soccer has those 80 minutes with guys just kicking the ball back and forth and chasing it down, even in the Euro leagues.

And you know what?  I like those sports.  I’ll watch them, enjoy them.  I might complain about the bad bits, but you’ll always know I’m a fan.

ESPN doesn’t have to hire people who are homer-istic cheerleaders.  But they should at least have the standard of people who love and understand the game they write about.  Because if you don’t do that, you have no credibility with the people who do.