Baseball is America's current pastime, the previous one being cricket. One guy throws a ball at another guy, but a guy in between those guys tries to hit that ball with a stick. If he does, a bunch of other guys try to catch the ball or otherwise get the hitter out, while the guy with the stick throws the stick away and runs in a circle. Then they do the whole thing over again, at least 55 times over the course of a game.
If the guy who throws the ball (the pitcher) hits the guy with the sick (the batter) in the head too many times, all the guys start punching each other. That's what happens when a bunch of grown men are shooting large quantities of steroids and growth hormones.
See Also: Cricket
Hitting and Scoring
- A single is when a batter hits the ball and successfully reaches first base without the fielders committing an error, a fielder's choice, or throwing the batter out at first.
- A double is " except the batter successfully reaches second base.
- A triple is " except the batter successfully reaches third base
- A home run is when a batter hits the ball over the fence in fair territory, or if the batter successfully circles the bases without the fielders committing an error or throwing the batter out (this is called an inside-the-park home run)
- A home run with the bases loaded (all three occupied) is called a grand slam
- If a batter gets a base hit but is thrown out at second base trying to stretch the hit into a double, it is still considered a "hit" and a single.
- Runners on bases are allowed to "steal bases," during the middle of an at-bat but could be thrown out by the catcher in the process.
- A team is awarded one "run" (or point) whenever a runner reaches home plate successfully.
- The infielders and outfielders are trying to get the batter out in any way possible. There are three outs in a half-inning. After three outs have been recorded, the teams switch sides and the opposing team fields, while the team that previously fielded now "bats."
- There are nine (9) positions in baseball: the Pitcher, Catcher, 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base, Shortstop (in-between 2nd and 3rd base), Left Field, Center Field, and Right Field.
- In the American League (MLB), the pitcher does not bat (unless playing at a National League ballpark in Interleague Play or in the World Series). A specialty player (usually high in home run numbers) instead bats as a "Designated Hitter" but does not take the field for defense.
- The pitcher is the player who throws the ball to the batter. The catcher stands behind home plate beside the batter and umpire. A "strike" is assessed when a ball is pitched inside the "strike zone," the batter swings at the ball but misses, or when the batter hits a ball that is not within the boundaries (called a foul ball). A batter is "out" after three strikes (if a batter fouls off a pitch with 2 strikes, the at-bat continues on; this means either the batter looked at a pitch "in the zone," swung on and missed or bunted the ball foul).
- Pitches landing outside the strike zone are considered "balls." If four "balls" are thrown in a single at-bat, the batter is awarded first base via a "walk." A batter is also awarded a "walk" if they get hit by a pitch.
- If the batter hits a groundball to one of the infielders, they can throw the ball to first base before the runner touches the bag, which counts as an "out."
- If a batter hits a ball high into the air, fielders can attempt to catch the ball for an "out."
- If there are runners on base, they must retreat to their initial base they started at if the ball is caught for a flyout. If they don't, the fielder can throw to that base before the runner gets back and that runner is out as well.
- However, a batter can "tag-up" and run to the next base. In order to do this, the runner must touch their initial base after the ball is caught, then they can run to the next base.
Softball is a popular game in the United States, similar to baseball. There are amateur leagues for men, women, and even co-ed teams. Softball is one of the most common women's intercollegiate sports.
When it comes to sports, most people prefer not to cross it with politics, which is very understandable. But sometimes politics can have an affect on sports, too. In Major League Baseball in the U.S., Jackie Robinson became the first baseball player to break the color barrier, officially becoming the first African-American player in this sport. He was an inspiration for many that followed him. Over time, the number of Latino players has increased as well.
The current commissioner of MLB, Rob Manfred, has not clearly showed which party he supports. But based on his background, and the decisions and remarks he has made, he is most likely a Trump-supporting Conservative. He has done a lot of damage to MLB during his tenure, though his political beliefs has not affected the sport as much, which is good. To be fair to Manfred, though, many of the commissioners before him did not do a good job improving MLB, either.
As for the fanbases, it mostly depends on the team's location. For example, the teams based in the Northeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic U.S., and West Coast U.S. tend to have more liberal fans. In the Midwest, it's more mixed, or purple. Teams based in the South are definitely more likely to have fans who are conservative.