Why Working The Count Doesn't Work For Me The latest threat to baseball is measured in time -- lots of it. Players just aren't swinging away, as they try to force starting pitchers to work hard -- and leave the game. But the big losers are the fans.
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Why Working The Count Doesn't Work For Me

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Why Working The Count Doesn't Work For Me

Why Working The Count Doesn't Work For Me

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Sports commentator and MORNING EDITION poet laureate Frank Deford suggests that next time you're at a baseball game, you may want to keep tabs on the pace of play.

FRANK DEFORD: It was 100 years ago when Franklin P. Adams wrote what is, after "Casey at the Bat," sports' most famous poem. It appeared in the New York Evening Mail, entitled "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," as Adams lamented how three players on the Chicago Cubs kept thwarting his beloved hometown team. It went, of course, like this...

INSKEEP: Tinker to Evers to Chance. Trio of bear cubs, fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, making a giant hit into a double, words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: Tinker to Evers to Chance.

INSKEEP: And so, a century on from Tinker to Evers to Chance, we have, this year, "Baseball's Sadder Lexicon."

H: Working the count. Hopelessly boring, slower than curds, working the count. Strategically destroying the grace of the game, turning each at-bat into a pain, words that are heavy with nothing but shame: working the count.

INSKEEP: If you need to catch up on sports, Frank helps you connect to it. He joins us from WSHU in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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