Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I found this excellent article from Encarta.
10 Reasons Baseball Is a Weird Sport
Baseball is the American national pastime and many people take the game rather seriously. In our earnest dedication, we may sometimes lose sight of some of the game's striking peculiarities. So let's take a step back for a moment and review the top 10 reasons baseball is one weird sport.
1. If a batter fails two-thirds of the time, they're still considered an excellent batter. It's too bad this standard isn't applied to everything else in life.
2. It is legal to "steal" in this game. This is, perhaps, a questionable example for children.
3. If you aren't such a good hitter, you can have a pinch hitter bat for you. If you aren't such a fast runner, you can have someone--a pinch runner--come in and run for you. At what point, you might wonder, is a team entirely comprised of "pinch" players?
4. There's a rule preventing pitchers from spitting on the ball. They can spit anywhere else they like, apparently.
5. If a batter walks with the bases loaded, he is credited with an RBI (Run Batted In). That's right: even though he didn't hit the ball.
6. The game is played on dirt and grass, but if the ball gets dirty, it is replaced with a new clean ball.
7. If a batter accidentally hits the catcher when swinging, it's the catcher's fault, even if the catcher gets injured. The batter is awarded a base. The catcher gets an apology, if he's lucky.
8. The coaches and managers wear the same uniforms as the players.
9. When a pitcher walks a batter, the batter jogs to first base. Incongruous, but it is a nice show of effort.
10. The 7th-inning stretch makes baseball the only sport where spectators must take part in calisthenics.