Baseball! America! Hot dogs and apple pie totally aren't European in origin, yeah!
Find yourself frustrated by having to pay attention to three-and-a-half-hour bouts of staring, nodding, and spitting, every day from the middle Spring to the middle of Fall? There’s an app for that.
For a growing number of young people and working professionals, watching one full game of baseball, let alone a whole 162-game season, is a Kafka-esque task designed to drive an unsuspecting sports fan to madness. Ironically, it’s a Kafka, Chris Kafka, who hopes to put an end to it. Kafka, a 26-year-old web developer from Virginia but now living in New York City, was frustrated that his older colleagues and unemployed peers would frequently cycle back to America’s past Pastime as a topic of conversation. “They would talk incessantly about games and pennant outlooks and whoever the f*** is the hot young pitcher of this five minutes. Like I can stay up ’til two a.m. every night keeping up with that s***! So I decided to write an app that will alert you when anything worth anything happens in the world of baseball.”
Take this season; amazing how the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees managed to slip into the postseason around the collapsing Red Sox in a thrilling Wednesday night (Wednesday? Really?) of baseball, right? Kafka’s app would alert you Thursday morning of the pertinent scores and facts. It would also let you know that the Sox apparently suck now, and everyone hates them– invaluable information to anyone who was last compelled to care about baseball when everyone was remarking how awesome Boston was after winning their second World Series in 4 years. A week and change later, the app would inform you that both the Yankees and the plucky Rays had washed out of the playoffs, and it was safe to ignore baseball again until the World Series begins.
Maybe even longer.
Kafka points out that most of the thousands of games played in a major league season are laughably meaningless, but when something notable does happen, he is expected by colleagues and friends to know everything about it. “Someone mentioned the [Kansas City] Royals once, and I thought they were making a Pulp Fiction reference,” he recounts, more annoyed than embarrassed. Kafka played his mistake off, but vowed it would never happen again. “Having this app is like bringing a porn-star-sized dildo to the dick-measuring contest” that is modern baseball fandom, he says. The young web-developer hopes the iPhone and iPad apps will be approved in time for Opening Day next season; a version for the Android platform is in the works.
–Rony Josaphat, who, by the way, genuinely loves soccer.