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Baseball and Cricket

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Baseball and Cricket

Postby Jabba the Taff » Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:25 am

Okay, so I'm listening to the Ashes and watching the Open while roaming the internet and I'm reminded yet again that I just don't get baseball. Now I love sport. But I've never been able to get into baseball. I'd love for someone to be able to light the way! XD

Now, here's the other thing, I don't understand how people can love baseball but not like cricket. Whenever I've spoken to Americans that always seems to be the case. Please understand that this isn't me trying to flame, I'm really interested in this, and genuinely want to try to understand. It isn't an anti-American sport thing - I adore American Football and annoy my friends who can't understand what I see in that. But to me cricket is a more nuanced, surprising, and complex version of baseball. Can someone show me where and why I'm wrong? What am I missing?
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby Jetrooper » Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:47 am

http://tm87.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/te ... -baseball/

Baseball is a game of precision and passion.
It is a game of both strength and grace.
Baseball is more than just a game.
It’s a lifestyle.


Pretty much sums it up. :)
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby theJudeAbides » Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:08 am

I caught Bull Durham on a few nights ago (it was late):
This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

Ah, for days of classic Kevin Costner baseball movies... Anyways, the quote has a certain amount of truth to it. To me, the game has always seemed simple. Perhaps if you could explain what's confusing you.

I should say, though, that despite it being a "simple" game, it isn't an easy game. I'm not even referring the physical strength required to hit home runs and throw 90 mph fastballs or the speed needed to steal a base and outrun a fly ball. There are always mind games taking place between the pitcher and batter. There are strategies like the hit 'n run, sacrifice fly, suicide squeeze, and whether to bring in a left-handed or right-handed relief pitcher. So to say there's no subtlety to baseball is a bit off. Just because the announcers don't talk about it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Now I myself haven't a clue about cricket, but it's not exactly a popular sport here. I could probably find some videos on youtube or something, but I guess I don't have much interest. Perhaps it's more of a subtle sport than baseball, but part of the baseball experience is sitting back, drinking a beer, and yelling at the players (not necessarily the opponents), umps, and anybody else within earshot. So, unless Cricket involves that, I really don't care. It is, after all, the American way.
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby bigospedros » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:27 am

theJudeAbides wrote:but part of the baseball experience is sitting back, drinking a beer, and yelling at the players (not necessarily the opponents), umps, and anybody else within earshot. So, unless Cricket involves that, I really don't care. It is, after all, the American way.


I've known people playing in an actual game of cricket to do these things let alone the fans watching in the stands ;)

I love cricket ... I play every week, weather permitting and I'm currently captain of our team.

The thing that confuses me a little about baseball is all the stats, but that's only because I don't know what the accronymns mean. I found it very useful to watch some of the World Series in 2007 with some Americans whilst I was over there. They explained quite a few things and that helped.

When I go back to the US, I really want to go to a proper game and also have a go in a batting cage.
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby Jabba the Taff » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:54 am

theJudeAbides wrote:I should say, though, that despite it being a "simple" game, it isn't an easy game. I'm not even referring the physical strength required to hit home runs and throw 90 mph fastballs or the speed needed to steal a base and outrun a fly ball. There are always mind games taking place between the pitcher and batter. There are strategies like the hit 'n run, sacrifice fly, suicide squeeze, and whether to bring in a left-handed or right-handed relief pitcher. So to say there's no subtlety to baseball is a bit off. Just because the announcers don't talk about it doesn't mean it isn't there.


Yeah, this would be part of it. I've sat up late into the morning watching baseball on a couple of occasions and I've heard nothing of many of these strategies. The American football on Sky Sports has always included plenty of guides to strategies making it easier to get into.

But also, there does seem to be less variety in baseball than cricket. If you compare pitching and bowling as far as I've seen there are more varieties in spin bowling alone.

And finally, Jetrooper, all those photos; I have the same ones about cricket. Part of it must be something to do with not growing up with it. But then I didn't grow up with American Football - we had The Fridge, Dan Marino, two games at lunch time at school and that was about it.

Anyway, I'm now going off to have a look at those strategies.
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby ThinkingImpaired » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:24 pm

Jabba the Taff wrote:I don't understand how people can love baseball but not like cricket.


I'm sure if cricket was introduced in the U.S. it would get fairly popular. I don't know much about it but I'm sure it's a lot less boring than baseball. Baseball is popular despite being a very slow-paced game compared to any other sport because it's been around for decades and everyone has grown up with it being "America's past time"
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby The Brain » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:15 pm

Having had a required unit on cricket in P.E., I know the gist of the game and the basics to gameplay. It seems to me that cricket is actually a lot simpler (for those of you who play, don't take "simpler" as "easier"). (On offense) you simply have to hit the ball with the bat, and run like hell. In baseball, however, the pitching/hitting part is more complex, as their are many different types of pitches, plus (and perhaps there's some bias here) it's more difficult to hit a ball with a relatively horizontal swing, versus a swing in cricket that's nearly perpendicular to the ground.

Then there's the fact that there are four bases to run around in baseball. As you run, you have to assess which base you think you can/need to get to, and whether or not you should sacrifice your own run to advance another runner, or run conservatively on a potentially strong hit.

I think the reason most Americans prefer baseball is the amount of prestige a player earns for scoring a run (or a couple of RBIs--runs batted in for those cricket players :p ). In cricket games, the scoring gets very high, kind of like in basketball, so players who score a few points aren't really bragged about. However, comparatively speaking, scoring a home-run in baseball is essentially equivalent to scoring a goal in soccer/hockey, or perhaps a touchdown in American football--it's a bigger deal.

As to why many Americans don't like or know about cricket--beats me. I enjoyed playing cricket, and have an Indian friend who plays often when he visits cousins in England and India, so I've played with some friends outside of P.E. as well. It's a fun game!
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby Kyle » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:05 am

In the US, cricket's popularity rates about the same as, say, curling. It just doesn't have the exposure necessary for us small-minded uncultured folk to bother learning it. You guys can apparently find a game of baseball or 'Murrican football to watch on tv. My folks have super duper satellite tv,and on their hundreds of channels there's not a single cricket match. It's not quite as bad for rest-of-the-world football: games are televised, but usually on Spanish-language channels and almost always at some hideously wee hour of the morning.

Heck, Scrabble gets more tv coverage than cricket over here. :p
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby bigospedros » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:17 am

The Brain wrote:Having had a required unit on cricket in P.E., I know the gist of the game and the basics to gameplay. It seems to me that cricket is actually a lot simpler (for those of you who play, don't take "simpler" as "easier"). (On offense) you simply have to hit the ball with the bat, and run like hell. In baseball, however, the pitching/hitting part is more complex, as their are many different types of pitches, plus (and perhaps there's some bias here) it's more difficult to hit a ball with a relatively horizontal swing, versus a swing in cricket that's nearly perpendicular to the ground.


I would suggest that there is more complexity and variety in bowling in cricket compared to pitching in baseball. Afterall, all you can do with a baseball pitch is get swing (vertically & horizontall) and vary the speed, whereas in the cricket, you have all of that, plus the after effects of the ball bouncing, which can vary with all kinds of spin and also the effect of the seam, which can cause the ball to move both ways.

I would agree that it's harder to hit the ball with a horizontal bat ... afterall, it's advisable to play cricket with a vertical bat as there's more chance to hit the ball that way, but you can play horizontal bat shots in cricket afterall!

Then there's the fact that there are four bases to run around in baseball. As you run, you have to assess which base you think you can/need to get to, and whether or not you should sacrifice your own run to advance another runner, or run conservatively on a potentially strong hit.


there may be less "bases" in cricket, but there is just the same judgement needed regarding running.

There's a wiki page which compares the two sports here :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... d_baseball
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby Jabba the Taff » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:34 am

Kyle wrote:In the US, cricket's popularity rates about the same as, say, curling. It just doesn't have the exposure necessary for us small-minded uncultured folk to bother learning it. You guys can apparently find a game of baseball or 'Murrican football to watch on tv. My folks have super duper satellite tv,and on their hundreds of channels there's not a single cricket match. It's not quite as bad for rest-of-the-world football: games are televised, but usually on Spanish-language channels and almost always at some hideously wee hour of the morning.

Heck, Scrabble gets more tv coverage than cricket over here. :p


I think there were plans to push cricket in the states through Twenty20 (20-over matches as opposed to 40-over one-dayers or 5-day test matches). Before he went up on charges for fraud, Allen Stanford was looking to bring his tournament to America.

There's an episode of Sports Night where Joshua Malina's character is reading out the score of a cricket match and no-one has any idea what it means; I'm thinking what a classic game!
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby Teekay » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:31 pm

theJudeAbides wrote:I caught Bull Durham on a few nights ago (it was late):
This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.


Ah of course. That has got to be one of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite movies. If you find a scene in that movie that doesn't have a quote-worthy statement, I will give you five dollars. I often like to whip out "I believe there should be a constitutional amendment outlawing astro-turf, and the designated hitter."

Now, on the topic of the appeal of baseball in America. I don't know much about cricket, but what I know about baseball is that it is more than a game here in America. At least to most of the people I know. Like, to me and my family, at least, football and basketball and etc., are sports, we are interested, and we follow them. But, nothing draws a comparision to baseball to America. It is a pastime.

As for cricket being more complicated than baseball, it is in some ways, but baseball is a tougher game in other ways. For example, the bat in cricket is bigger, making it easier to get contact on the ball, where in baseball, the bat is much thinner. Here's one that I'm not sure about, but is there "foul" territory in cricket? As in, an area where you may not run after hitting the ball. This I'm sure makes it easier on batters in cricket, if cricket doesn't have this.

Also, as for baseball being not complex, baseball is very complex. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and a lot of them can have disastrous consequences if you choose wrong. I don't know about the complexity of cricket, though.

Baseball has an appeal in America, I guess because it has been around through so much, and people have been around it, and maybe even used it as a rallying point in tough times. I mean, baseball survived the Great Depression, both World Wars, and many other crises. I guess people love baseball so much, that it is a constant to them. The one thing in the world that will not change on them, no matter what else happens. Also, in baseball, you see so many miracles, every day. I mean, Colorado and Tampa Bay, the loser teams, going to the World Series in the past few years (misnomer, BTW), Josh Hamilton coming back and owning the major leagues, and those are just a few in the game right now. Baseball is not just a game. Baseball is life.

Wow have I been writing some long posts these past few days. I guess on this one, if there is one thing more important to me than SW, it is baseball.

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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby bigospedros » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:53 am

Teekay wrote:As for cricket being more complicated than baseball, it is in some ways, but baseball is a tougher game in other ways. For example, the bat in cricket is bigger, making it easier to get contact on the ball, where in baseball, the bat is much thinner.


actually, the blade of a cricket bat can only be up to 22" long, compared to a baseball bat can be up to 42" long, with a max length of the handle area being 18" (according to various google based searches!).

Obviously, the cricket bat is wider and also flatter than a baseball bat, which is round. So, I would not necessarily say it's easier to hit a cricket ball with a cricket bat, but I would say it's probably easier to control the direction you hit the ball with a cricket bat.

Here's one that I'm not sure about, but is there "foul" territory in cricket? As in, an area where you may not run after hitting the ball. This I'm sure makes it easier on batters in cricket, if cricket doesn't have this.


you can hit the ball wherever you like and still get runs in cricket, but you can also have as many people as you like behind the bat in cricket, leading to more opportunities for being caught out off the edge. (nb : there is a limit of no more than 2 people behind the bat on the leg side, but not on the offside).

Also, as for baseball being not complex, baseball is very complex. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and a lot of them can have disastrous consequences if you choose wrong. I don't know about the complexity of cricket, though.


As a captain in cricket, I would say cricket can be very complex. On this level, the games are probably very similar.

I would argue that fielding is harder is cricket than baseball ... afterall, only the wicket keeper can have gloves in cricket and the fielding area, at the professional level, is also bigger.
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Re: Baseball and Cricket

Postby banthafodder » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:10 pm

bigospedros wrote:baseball bat can be up to 42" long


Who's swinging a 42" bat? He could probably win the three legged race running solo. :shock:
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