Are you sitting down? Are you in a place safe? Good, because reading this post may cause dizziness, vertigo or other symptoms, and will place you at risk of falling and injuring your head. Should that happen, you might never get the chance to witness the Great Reimagining of baseball as we know it.
And it will happen. It simply has to happen. What I am proposing is too good not to happen. Consider me Commissioner Rob Manfred’s Millionaire Matchmaker. Only, in this case, I am his Billionaire Matchmaker; officiant of a game-changing union between technology and sports to bring our (ex?) national pastime into the digital age.
Apologies to the good folks at Major League Baseball Advanced Media, your contributions have been noted, but it’s time for a new formula. It’s time for the most groundbreaking algorithmic advance since, well … ever.
FACEBOOK LIVE/YOUTUBE LIVE/INSTAGRAM LIVE + BASEBALL HELMET = HOLY SHIT!!!
Just to be clear, I am no mathematician, but I’ve run the numbers on this quite a few times and it checks
out. So, let’s make this quick so you have enough time to clean the mess you will inevitably leave in your pants. (In layman’s terms, you are about to shit your pants.)
Imagine, if you will, the following:
Los Angeles Dodgers v. San Francisco Giants — June 11, 2017, AT&T Park
It’s the bottom of the seventh inning, the Giants are down 3–1.
It’s a clear day in San Francisco; warm, 79 degrees. Perfect baseball weather in front of another sold out crowd. That the Giants are playing against the hated Dodgers makes this beautiful, late-Spring Saturday even better.
Shadows creep across the infield, but the scoreboard still basks in the sun — boats anchored in the cove, freighters and the city of Oakland visible in the distance.
As the coastal breeze finally picks up, a few fans put on sweatshirts to fight off the slight nip in the air.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has pitched a phenomenal game. Aside from a walk in the third and a solo shot by Brandon Belt in the fifth, he’s been spectacular. 11 strikeouts in total, he whiffed the side in the first two innings. The home crowd is restless, but he seems to be tiring out. San Francisco either gets him now, or this one is going to be an “L”.
Joe Panic starts off the bottom of the inning with opposite field single and Matt Duffy gets a favorable call on a full-count, inside fastball for a walk. The Giants are in business.
Up comes the former National League MVP, Buster Posey. Catcher. Part-time first baseman. Toyota driver — if you believe the local commercial spots.
Then tension is palpable at the ballpark, but this is where EVERYTHING changes.
You see, Posey has a little device in his helmet. A camera.
And you just received a notification on your smartphone: “Buster Posey is live on Facebook/YouTube/Instagram/Etc!”
You click the link and find yourself immediately transported. Not only to San Francisco, California. Not only to Pac Bell (damnit, AT&T Park). Not only to the field, but to the batter’s box.
Did you hear me?
THE BATTER’S BOX!!!!
You see what Posey sees.
Let me say that again to make sure you are listening.
YOU. SEE. WHAT. POSEY. SEES!
Posey looks down the 3rd baseline to Roberto Kelly for the signs.
You see the signs. You don’t know what all that hand slapping, ear tugging, crotch grabbing means, but you see it.
Swing away, Kelly signals to Posey, who pans around to see a sweeping view of the field as he steps in to the box.
You see his feet as he looks down and digs into the box.
He looks at Kershaw.
You look at Kershaw.
Kershaw shakes off a few of his battery mate’s signs before finally giving the the nod.
Here it comes.
Are you ready?
Kershaw begins his windup and delivers a breaking ball that looked like it fell off a damn kitchen table.
Holy. Shit. A Clayton Kershaw curveball! From Buster Posey’s point of view!
Posey calls time and looks at the umpire and then the crowd before adjusting his batting gloves.
You look at the umpire and the crowd, too.
Kershaw winds up and delivers again.
It all happens so fast, you barely process the white blur heading your way, but you hear it. It’s loud. CRACK! And there it goes, the ball climbing higher and higher as it screams toward left-center field.
Posey is watching it.
You are watching it.
He knows it’s gone.
You know it’s gone.
Posey jogs around the diamond and when he touches home, the Giants are up 4–3. Kershaw is done for the night.
You did it!
Er, Um. Posey did it!
Live Streaming + Baseball = The Social Media Separation the MLB Needs For The Future Of Their Sport.