My two favorite sports when I was growing up were Baseball and Soccer. Today, I went the extra mile. I simultaneously watched the Braves game and the World Cup Final.  After both were over, I realized I was happier while concentrating on a game that the Braves were losing than watching the Championship game.

Similar to past lists why Baseball is better than Football, I composed a list why the MLB is better than FIFA.

1. MLB Umpires are better than FIFA Refs.

CB Buckner’s strike zone is more consistent than what constituted a foul in the World Cup Final.  Even with bad umpires, they will call a strike if its in the middle of the strike zone. FIFA Refs seem so busy looking at dives and minor physical interactions that they miss a lot blatant fouls around them.

2. MLB Managers have more stones than FIFA coaches.

MLB Managers are not afraid to be removed from a game when it comes to protecting their players, it’s actually expected for a manager to stick up for his guys. FIFA coaches seem to stay out of the way no matter what happens. I understand that FIFA has rules and such, but as a coach, your guys are more important than the rule book.

3. Baseball is an equal oportunity game.

I’m not speaking in the politically correct sense.  I mean that both teams have an equal amount of opportunities score. Also, in Baseball you will not play a man down simply because one guy screwed up.  Each team will field nine people. Unless for some reason, they choose not to.  The Yankees are not going to win the World Series because the other team had to play without a Left Fielder.

4. ‘It’s not over till it’s over.’

Baseball games do not end in ties (unless the Commissioner makes a bone head decision). You play until an inning past the eighth ends with one team having a higher score than the other.  There is no limited over time, nor is their a home run derby to decide the winner.  You play the game till it’s finished.

5. The other team doesn’t score for you.

Of course, with every sport there is a way to score on the opposing teams mistakes.  Still, in baseball you have to physically do the work to get to home plate.  You do not sit idly by while an opposing player tags home by mistake.

6. MLB players are professional athletes.  FIFA players are amateur athletes

This is not a knock against the physical demands of Soccer.  I’ll be the first to admit that it’s the most demanding physically with the exception of Aussie rules football.  It’s not physical ability that separates a professional from an amateur.

My point is that Professional players, when they fall down, dust themselves off and get back in the game.  A amateur will lay on the ground crying and wailing like a two-year-old at a Wal-mart toy section.

On a side note, I know there are exceptions in both cases, it’s just that taking a dive is not a norm in MLB.

7. Sportsmanship is a hallowed thing on the field for MLB.

Don’t believe me on this? MLB is more aggressive against PED’s, gambling, and unfair conduct than any other sport organization I can think of.  If you still don’t believe me, just look at Pete Rose and Carlos Zambrono.

Both teams in the World Cup Final should be ashamed of their play.  Baseball players do not push and shove when the umpire has his back turned.  You don’t see a first baseman grabbing onto a base runner.  Most of the time, you see the first baseman give the opposing a player a ‘good game’ after he gets a single.  

In conclusion

While I still like soccer, I’m less likely to watch FIFA events.  I hope that no kid was watching the World Cup Final and decides to emulate the players in that game. That’s probably the biggest tragedy of all.

Remember, if a team wins the World Series they did it through team work and physical effort, regardless of how they put the team together.  Any team that wins the World Cup did it by crying, whining, and were the best at not being caught by the ref.

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