Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Little Baseball Ed. for Wives Who Don't Get It

The “Boys of Summer” are here and you can’t pull your husband away from the television. ESPN, FOX and even your local channels are no help whatsoever. And now he’s even watching Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs’ (or White Sox) games live from TBS and WGN which come with basic cable or dish networks. And to make matters worse, July 10th will be the All Star game dubbed the Mid-Summer Classic. No missing that one. What’s a girl to do?

Join the boys, Ladies, you might find it fun after all. Furthermore, he is sure to enjoy your company and even a little friendly rivalry wouldn’t hurt your relationship. Nothing in the books says that his favorite team should be yours. And if you don’t know the rules, let me attempt to educate you on the basics of playing ball.

To begin with, each team has nine starting players. In the American League, unlike the National League, the pitcher has a DH (a designated hitter).

The two teams playing for us today will be the New York Yankees versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Just to let you know—Angels always beat Yankees. Angels are the home team, therefore the Yankees are up to bat first. There are nine innings where both teams, after getting three of their opponents out, have a turn at batting which gives them a chance to score. No such chance when the team is fielding—still with me?

Then here we go. First up for the Yankees is Derek Jeter, who is not usually in the lead off spot but I like to pick on him. He’ll be facing Angel’s pitcher John Lackey. Lackey has eight solid fielders behind him including catcher Mike Napoli. Most catchers will actually call what kind of pitch the pitcher throws.

In any case, when the umpire yells “ball one!” Lackey has thrown a pitch out of the strike zone. This is not good. If he can’t find the strike zone four times Derek Jeter gets to walk to first base—free pass, or base on balls, aka, walk is not a pitcher’s friend. Working against Jeter, however, is when the umpire calls “strike one!” The batter, in this case Mr. Jeter, gets three chances.

On the third strike, if Jeter swings and misses, he is out. Of course when there are two strikes on him and he keeps fouling off pitches it’s not counted as strike three. A foul ball is one that’s hit outside the field of play. He can have as many foul balls as he wants unless one is caught by an Angel fielder. Other ways to make an out would be 1) Jeter hits a fly ball and one of the outfielders catches it or, 2) he hits a grounder to one of the infielders who throws it to first base before Jeter can get there.

Jeter makes the first out by flying to right field (the ball that is, Jeter doesn’t fly). It was a close one. The right fielder, Vladimir Guerrero, catches the ball right above the padded wall. Two more outs to go, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, the Angels get to bat in the bottom of the first. This process is repeated nine times, since there are nine innings, unless the score is tied, then we play until we have a winner.

It’s a simplistic analysis of America’s game but a quick lesson to get you started and show off your new-found expertise. After all, it’s nothing but good times with your husband.

Footnote: I wrote this prior to the All Star game and okay, I admit it, the Yanks clobbered the Angels last they played. But then again, Angels are still in first place and Yanks . . . in the cellar I believe, or close to it.



I hope that you do a Thursday Thirteen this week.

The Gatekeeper said...

Oh, I missed it again. I shall do it next week.

Lady G~ said...

Great post! I grew up watching football, baseball and soccer games with my dad. My mom would be busy in the kitchen while we watched the games.

I would have to agree with you. My Knight loves that I sit and watch with him. I might not stay sitting the entire time. You'll find me jumping out,cheering or hollering "Oh, did you see that?!" :o)

The Gatekeeper said...

Aaaah, my friend Lady G., it is always such a pleasure to have you here. You put a smile on my face. Look, it's still there. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.