Do home runs make baseball boring?

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Are home runs anticlimactic and boring, or are they everything that is awesome about baseball?  That’s the question posed by Linda Holmes at NPR:

Arguments in favor: a towering home run is an awfully impressive achievement, it sounds great and looks awesome (if you’ve never heard a really big hit in person, it’s weird how loud it is), and that it’s a display of raw power that baseball doesn’t otherwise necessarily offer … Arguments against: It’s boring. Nothing really happens. The ball isn’t even in play. No sport should expect people to get overly excited about anything with “trotting” in it, unless it’s dressage.

Holy false dichotomy, Batman!

How about this: home runs are exciting if there aren’t too many of them. Bunts and stolen bases and stuff are exciting if there aren’t too many of them.  The key to baseball is variety and surprise and those “holy crap” moments. Moments like when Jake Taylor dropped the bunt in “Major League.”

There are exceptions: everyone knew Dave Roberts was gonna steal that base in the 2004 ALCS and it was still fantastic. Actually, it was fantastic because we knew it was coming and it happened.  But for the most part, we just want different cool things to happen.

Video: Corey Dickerson breaks scoreless tie with walk-off home run

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
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Neither the Pirates nor the Tigers could manage any offense during Thursday afternoon’s game at PNC Park. That is, until outfielder Corey Dickerson launched a walk-off solo home run off of Alex Wilson with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Dickerson, 28, has been solid for the Pirates for the first month of the season. He’s batting .314/.348/.500 with a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 13 runs scored in 92 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in late February in exchange for journeyman pitcher Daniel Hudson and Single-A infielder Tristan Gray.