Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Cricket vs Baseball: Round 1

Nightwatchgirl couldn't help but enquire as she was gliding round New York, in between all the shopping in the warm sunshine, as to why it is that baseball is so popular in the States and cricket is not.

OK, so she is totally out of her comfort zone when discussing the American game, perhaps even to go as far as she has no real idea of why or how anyone could find it remotely interesting, but there are a lot (a lot) of Americans who are as potty about baseball as the rest of the world is about cricket. So there must be something about it. But what?

Is it easier?

More exciting?

More daring?

The answer is yes (wink wink), no and no.

Nightwatchgirl is aware that there are some Americans who occasionally glance at this blog, so she beseeches them, no, pleads with them, to explain what it is about baseball that is better than cricket.

And why it is that any mention of cricket to an American, their eyes glaze over, they yawn incessantly and start to try and do an English accent (badly).

As Nightwatchgirl understands it, cricket is the fastest growing sport in the US. Will it ever achieve baseball standards? Definitely no. But with the better weather over there, their love of food being sold directly in their seats (seriously, cricket organisers - this is a great idea), the game (or at least twenty20) could catch on as an underground, secret, cult-like status pastime.

The idea of being encouraged to drink for the entire length of the game must be an incentive to get the American interested (it does us alright). And then, who knows....?


Anonymous said...

good to see you back.
Great holiday, it seems.

Would you say baseball is closest to the 2020 format? It sound like it - chuck hard, hit hard - and run.

Except the umpire stands behind the wicket keeper - we should have it in cricket - to pick up those faint touches going behind..

David Barry said...

Twenty20 is the form of cricket most like baseball in the sense that the game is over after three hours, but that's about it.

A lot of baseball involves the batter not swinging. If he can pick the position of the ball early enough, he doesn't have to swing at anything outside the strike zone. This forces the pitcher to pitch where it's easier for the batter to hit it.

The "leaving the ball alone" business is much more reminiscent of Test cricket than T20, even if the scoring shots in T20 are often more baseball-like.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

Chinaman, it feels great to be back. Nightwatchgirl missed being in a cricket-loving land.

David, I like that you are giving some tips about the game and this is both useful and also interesting.

But surely not hitting the ball defeats the object of the game. The ball must be hit or you're out after three strikes. In Tests, batsmen can go for hours not hitting anything. Hours. Literally.

David Barry said...

But if the batter doesn't swing and the ball doesn't cross through the strike zone (ie, above the plate, between knees and chest), then it is a ball. Four balls and you get a free walk to first base.

So it is theoretically possible for the batters not to swing at the ball for hours, and every four pitches they'd just shuffle around the bases and score another run.

The Nightwatchgirl said...


Nightwatchgirl is very appreciative for the explanations. Baseball is like learning a foreign language - you need a good teacher, patience and the ability to roll your r's. Thank you.