Siberian Baseball

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For such a simple game, it sure is hard to explain

While I don't even pretend to be a baseball expert - I fall squarely into the "Smarter than the average bear" category - I'm no dummy, either.

I take for granted the basics of the game and thank my lucky stars that my wife had a good working knowledge before we met, sparing me hours of infuriating conversation. So, imagine my confusion when I realized that a friend in from Ireland had no clue what was going on as the World Series got underway last night.

Just take a moment and realize how many odd little rules are in play for baseball. In addition
to arbitrary strike zones, fair and foul balls, fly balls and grounders, force outs - this list can go on for pages - you have park-specific ground rules like Wrigley's ivy, Fenway wall balls or fly balls hitting speakers or catwalks in domes.

Football is pretty simple to give someone a working knowledge of in a minute or so - take the ball, run that way to score - while basketball and hockey are really easy - soccer on ice and hardwood - but baseball is a lot trickier than it seems.

The real kicker is that after all of that excitement last night, we're having lunch today and talking about the confusion last night and she says, "Oh, kind of like rounders, right?"

Honestly, I thought that sport had been dead for decades.

(Image from



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