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2 hours ago, CanadianRugger said:

See Harry, you and I have more in common than you think.  I also like Cricket although I mostly watch Twenty20.  I was an Army Officer and spent a considerable amount of time in the Caribbean, Jamaica to be specific.  Watched Chris Gale play a match for the West Indies.  

I played pickup with the Jamaicans and batted a number of times.  What I found most difficult was changing my mindset from trying to absolutely crush the ball like I would in Baseball but also trying to balance protecting the wicket.

Good on you, perhaps a moniker change to "cricketing rugger player" might be more suitable, but please insert RL instead of rugger, I read where you said that is the name irrespective of which code is being referred to in Canada but it no doubt brings up all kinds of connotations from RL devotees over here, and non of them would be very complementary!

After reading that deeper insight of baseball above by Mr. Windup, I can't imagine that these - would I be wrong in using the word 'ambiguous' - rules have been with the sport and stood the test of time? Have they been originated and invented to make sure there is a 'result' to a game, saying that I do not know if a tied scoreline is/was possible, it does seem very complicated at first sight and I would think that fan's would have had to evolve along with the rules than easily understand them if one was a newcomer to the sport.

But, saying that RL is no different it is also a game that the authorities have tampered with and useually annually for a long time, there have been some great additions in my opinion like the 40/20, but again and it is personal preferance I would reduce tomorrow the multiple interchange of players during game time to say 2 but no more than 3, that in my opinion would both speed up the game and in turn increase the skill levels on show.

So, please tell me why these rules that perplex Mr Windup have been originated and if you think they are for the better or worse, do they improve the sport or detract from it in your opinion? Also if you want to see my reasoning why this simple change I suggest in the interchange rule in RL Football would radically change the game just ask, I will write it down and you can make your own mind up.

Good debate, much better than the animosity that has been the order of the day for a while now.

 

Edited by Harry Stottle

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7 hours ago, emesssea said:

My point was more directed on fan experience. You seemed to criticize how we American's watch baseball comparing it to how you wow a rugby league game. Comparing how fans of a 162 game a year sport to fans of a 29 game a year sport is the apples and oranges I was referring to. I can't really gear of for a baseball game days in advance beacuse those days will be filled with other games. 162 games ayear, ~3 hours per game, you're just not going to get the same level of attention to the game as you will a rugby league, or soccer, or NFL fan. It's really not possible except for an extreme minority of fans, I love baseball, I'm getting ready to watch a game as we speak, but I won't be intensely watching it as I watched a game last night, and will be watching games almost nightly till the end of October.

 

Irregardless fandom is not absolute, what works for you as a fan doesn't have to work for someone else and vice versa regardless of the sport.

Please read back what I said emessea, I did not once criticise Americans attitude to attending their sporting contests, I explained how my personal gameday expierence unfurls and in comparison of how I have been informed in the way North American's enjoy theirs, I simply said "I don't understand it" When I attend to watch a game I do not want to miss a single minute of the action, and I did conclude with "each to their own" which to me is exactly the same as your "Irregardless fandom is not absolute, what works for you as a fan doesn't have to work for someone else and vice versa regardless of the sport"

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37 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

After reading that deeper insight of baseball above by Mr. Windup, I can't imagine that these - would I be wrong in using the word 'ambiguous' - rules have been with the sport and stood the test of time? Have they been originated and invented to make sure there is a 'result' to a game, saying that I do not know if a tied scoreline is/was possible, it does seem very complicated at first sight and I would think that fan's would have had to evolve along with the rules than easily understand them if one was a newcomer to the sport.

The designated hitter rule was adopted many decades ago by one of the 'leagues' (conferences) in MLB because, presumably, people like to see good batters step up to the plate. As any cricket fan will know, tailenders tend to be cleaned up quicksmart for a good reason, they're bowlers and batting isn't their forte. So that rule in particular was clearly about making the game more 'attractive'. But the other league, opting for tradition, stuck with the old ways. 

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3 minutes ago, Mr Wind Up said:

The designated hitter rule was adopted many decades ago by one of the 'leagues' (conferences) in MLB because, presumably, people like to see good batters step up to the plate. As any cricket fan will know, tailenders tend to be cleaned up quicksmart for a good reason, they're bowlers and batting isn't their forte. So that rule in particular was clearly about making the game more 'attractive'. But the other league, opting for tradition, stuck with the old ways. 

Agree with that, but when it counts the contribution of those 'not expected to' being the tail enders can be as exciting or intriguing in itself as the guy's hitting the runs, there are many many examples but tell me would we have lost games instead of those being hailed as some of the best in the history if the sport like the efforts of Grahame Dilly, Monty Panasaar and Jimmy Anderton, and very lately Jack Leach, without Dilly there would be no Botham's Ashes in the record books, Monty and Jimmy saved a series, and without Jack's one run innings all the effort that Ben Stokes displayed would not have happened, I for one would not swop the 'tailenders' to appoint a specialist batsman.

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1 hour ago, Barry Badrinath said:

It was a competition sponsored by xThe World' newspaper 

I also almost said this too (because I remember Stephen Fry saying so on QI) but I googled it and apparently it's not true, it was actually just to make it sound more extravagant.

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11 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

What was Salford's crowd tonight? Does it compare?

What do you think this is, a RL Forum?! ūüėĬ†Finding it a little difficult to find last night's attendance. Nowt on Yorkshire Post report, Sky Sports or BBC.¬†Salford's website hasn't even got the result on yet.¬†ūüôĄ

(On the baseball thing, three of us went to watch the Blue Jays when in Toronto for the Leigh game last year and enjoyed the game and experience so much that we ended up going to see them again later in the trip. It very much came in helpful that, on the night before the first game, we were given a crash course in the game by a very helpful bartender. Still not a patch on cricket but to maintain a 20k average over such a mental number of games is nothing short of remarkable).

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7 hours ago, Mr Wind Up said:

I recently got into watching baseball, having watched cricket all my life. There are definitely things about it that puzzle me as an outsider. By and large though, unless you're seated high up behind the bowler, what is a day out at the cricket rather than a social event? I'm not sure why this criticism should be levied at baseball when it's the exact same at the cricket. I absolutely love cricket and can sit down to watch every minute of a Test match easily, but wouldn't think of spending a second watching it at a ground. 

Cricket, as far as I'm concerned, and I have a strong bias, is basically the perfect game. And while I'm getting used to the peculiarities of baseball, some things about it still bug me slightly. 

One of them is the designated hitter rule. For anyone not familiar, imagine if in cricket India had to use all their players 1-11, while England could substitute a specialist batsman to replace James Anderson. Half of MLB plays with one rule where the pitcher has to bat, the other half allows the pitcher to miss out and be substituted for a specialist batsman. I understand that the two MLB leagues merged and were their own separate thing and that's why stuff like that is tolerated, but I struggle to get my head it. If cricket was like that, I'm not sure I'd watch it. It's borderline cheating. I'd prefer it if everyone batted like in cricket.

The other thing that's strange is the pitching rotation. Again, imagine if in an Ashes Test series, Broad bowled in one test, and took no part in the other 4. Anderson, Archer, Woakes etc all had a designated test match to themselves. The batting lineup would remain fairly similar across all the tests. Would you watch all the Tests? I'm not sure I would. And that's exactly what's happening with baseball. I'm finding myself looking at the who the starting pitcher is for the team I'm following, and just going 'nope, not watching that one' because I can see that he's a weaker pitcher and that the opposition one is stronger, and that the team will probably lose, so why watch it? 

One other issue I have is with the gloves. I don't mind that the catcher has a glove for obvious reasons, but the fielding becomes so robotic with gloves. It would be so much more varied and interesting if the fielders had to use their hands to make catches. 98% of the time if a team doesn't hit a home run, it's a regulation catch into the glove in the outfield. Having followed cricket for so long, this aspect of baseball is one that bothers me more than the others. 

The next one is the sacrifice fly. Imagine if in cricket, a batsman skied a ball, ran to the other crease for a run, and was caught out. In cricket, the run would be chalked off as the batsman is out. In baseball, if you have less than two outs in an innings, you can hit a ball into the air and allow one of your teammates who is on base to run in for a single. Don't like this rule at all. 

The next one is coaches standing at first and third base for the batting team. I think it completely ruins an aspect of decision making that would make the game more interesting. When you are running around the bases, it should be up to the players to decide whether to keep running or to stay. Having a coach standing at a base telling an oncoming runner if it's safe to keep going just seems like unnecessary handholding. Separate the good base runners from the bad ones by allowing them to make split second decisions on whether to stay or go. 

And finally, stealing bases. It wastes time when the pitcher keeps turning his back around. Not a fan of it. 

Other than that, it's decent enough. 

Full marks for paying attention. These are great questions, Mr W.

Designated hitter rule: many old school fans agree with you. Quick solution: support a team in the National League. You get to see the pitcher attempt to bat and also the manager has more leeway to make strategic substitutions to the batting line-up, especially if the pitcher is being replaced in the game. More crafty moves late in the game. OTOH the American League games on average are higher scoring because the batting line-up is marginally stronger.

Pitching rotation: Typically a team has five starting pitchers. In the playoffs, they may use only the best three. Each brings different skills and different pitches. Some are fastball pitchers, others throw more subtle pitches that spin or curve, or that are delivered at different speeds, making the batter's job harder. Right handed v left handed pitchers look different to the batting line-up (is your batting line-up predominantly right or left handed?) The ball is in transit from the pitcher's hand to the batter at anywhere from 80 to 100 mph so it reaches the batter in approx 0.4 seconds. You get to appreciate certain pitchers and pick you favourites - remember, there are more than 80 home games a season to choose from. Nothing compares with watching a great pitcher work the opponent's batters -  Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Greg Maddox - athletes in complete control of their craft.

Gloves: Prevent bones breaking in hand. See above for ball speed. Also, they've been worn since the late 1800s, so tradition.

Stealing base: Ooooh, base stealing is a key on-field strategy and exciting for fans. Especially if the player is at first base and steals second. That opens up the on-base play making it much more likely that the guy on second can reach home plate if the batter gets a hit. Hugely increases the chance of scoring a run. Also, un-nerves the opposing team's pitcher.

Sacrifice fly: Similarly, if the batter ends up being out but a player on base can move up the bases, there's a better chance of scoring.

I've had quite a few UK/Euro visitors over the years. I always offer them a Blue Jays game. Very few refuse. Most have a good time, some are completely hooked even at the first visit. Takes all kinds.

The MLB World Series starts early October. Four top teams from each league battle it out, watch a game or two if you can and especially pay attention to the pitching strategy.

Oh, and no neutral grounds in MLB. American and National league have a mid-season game, the winner gets home-stadium advantage for the final.

People who love baseball, love baseball as much as people who love rugby league, love rugby league.

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8 hours ago, Mr Wind Up said:

I recently got into watching baseball, having watched cricket all my life. There are definitely things about it that puzzle me as an outsider. By and large though, unless you're seated high up behind the bowler, what is a day out at the cricket rather than a social event? I'm not sure why this criticism should be levied at baseball when it's the exact same at the cricket. I absolutely love cricket and can sit down to watch every minute of a Test match easily, but wouldn't think of spending a second watching it at a ground. 

Cricket, as far as I'm concerned, and I have a strong bias, is basically the perfect game. And while I'm getting used to the peculiarities of baseball, some things about it still bug me slightly. 

One of them is the designated hitter rule. For anyone not familiar, imagine if in cricket India had to use all their players 1-11, while England could substitute a specialist batsman to replace James Anderson. Half of MLB plays with one rule where the pitcher has to bat, the other half allows the pitcher to miss out and be substituted for a specialist batsman. I understand that the two MLB leagues merged and were their own separate thing and that's why stuff like that is tolerated, but I struggle to get my head it. If cricket was like that, I'm not sure I'd watch it. It's borderline cheating. I'd prefer it if everyone batted like in cricket.

The other thing that's strange is the pitching rotation. Again, imagine if in an Ashes Test series, Broad bowled in one test, and took no part in the other 4. Anderson, Archer, Woakes etc all had a designated test match to themselves. The batting lineup would remain fairly similar across all the tests. Would you watch all the Tests? I'm not sure I would. And that's exactly what's happening with baseball. I'm finding myself looking at the who the starting pitcher is for the team I'm following, and just going 'nope, not watching that one' because I can see that he's a weaker pitcher and that the opposition one is stronger, and that the team will probably lose, so why watch it? 

One other issue I have is with the gloves. I don't mind that the catcher has a glove for obvious reasons, but the fielding becomes so robotic with gloves. It would be so much more varied and interesting if the fielders had to use their hands to make catches. 98% of the time if a team doesn't hit a home run, it's a regulation catch into the glove in the outfield. Having followed cricket for so long, this aspect of baseball is one that bothers me more than the others. 

The next one is the sacrifice fly. Imagine if in cricket, a batsman skied a ball, ran to the other crease for a run, and was caught out. In cricket, the run would be chalked off as the batsman is out. In baseball, if you have less than two outs in an innings, you can hit a ball into the air and allow one of your teammates who is on base to run in for a single. Don't like this rule at all. 

The next one is coaches standing at first and third base for the batting team. I think it completely ruins an aspect of decision making that would make the game more interesting. When you are running around the bases, it should be up to the players to decide whether to keep running or to stay. Having a coach standing at a base telling an oncoming runner if it's safe to keep going just seems like unnecessary handholding. Separate the good base runners from the bad ones by allowing them to make split second decisions on whether to stay or go. 

And finally, stealing bases. It wastes time when the pitcher keeps turning his back around. Not a fan of it. 

Other than that, it's decent enough. 

From what I've seen of cricket, it seems a more challenging game to play than baseball.  The fielders have a much bigger field to cover and except for the wicket keeper they're all fielding barehanded too, and I love the fact that they have no subs and have to rotate the players on the field instead to change bowlers so the players have to be able to play more than just one position.

That said, a major flaw of cricket is that it's simply a matter of the team batting first putting a score on the board and the other team chasing it, that's just boring.  In baseball as in most sports the lead can and often does change hands a number of times during a match and that's much better.  I'd like to see a one-day version of cricket where that could happen, e.g. three innings played 12 a side with no fielding restrictions at all where 1/3 of the team bats in each inning so they go through the whole batting order and reduced value for boundaries so players are inclined to run more often and risk being thrown out, something like that.

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52 minutes ago, Loup said:

Full marks for paying attention. These are great questions, Mr W.

Designated hitter rule: many old school fans agree with you. Quick solution: support a team in the National League. You get to see the pitcher attempt to bat and also the manager has more leeway to make strategic substitutions to the batting line-up, especially if the pitcher is being replaced in the game. More crafty moves late in the game. OTOH the American League games on average are higher scoring because the batting line-up is marginally stronger.

Pitching rotation: Typically a team has five starting pitchers. In the playoffs, they may use only the best three. Each brings different skills and different pitches. Some are fastball pitchers, others throw more subtle pitches that spin or curve, or that are delivered at different speeds, making the batter's job harder. Right handed v left handed pitchers look different to the batting line-up (is your batting line-up predominantly right or left handed?) The ball is in transit from the pitcher's hand to the batter at anywhere from 80 to 100 mph so it reaches the batter in approx 0.4 seconds. You get to appreciate certain pitchers and pick you favourites - remember, there are more than 80 home games a season to choose from. Nothing compares with watching a great pitcher work the opponent's batters -  Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Greg Maddox - athletes in complete control of their craft.

Gloves: Prevent bones breaking in hand. See above for ball speed. Also, they've been worn since the late 1800s, so tradition.

Stealing base: Ooooh, base stealing is a key on-field strategy and exciting for fans. Especially if the player is at first base and steals second. That opens up the on-base play making it much more likely that the guy on second can reach home plate if the batter gets a hit. Hugely increases the chance of scoring a run. Also, un-nerves the opposing team's pitcher.

Sacrifice fly: Similarly, if the batter ends up being out but a player on base can move up the bases, there's a better chance of scoring.

I've had quite a few UK/Euro visitors over the years. I always offer them a Blue Jays game. Very few refuse. Most have a good time, some are completely hooked even at the first visit. Takes all kinds.

The MLB World Series starts early October. Four top teams from each league battle it out, watch a game or two if you can and especially pay attention to the pitching strategy.

Oh, and no neutral grounds in MLB. American and National league have a mid-season game, the winner gets home-stadium advantage for the final.

People who love baseball, love baseball as much as people who love rugby league, love rugby league.

Great explanations Loup.  I love watching baseball, also pays that I am from a part of Canada that has produced a lot of top level baseball players to name but a few of the most popular:

Rheal Cormier

Jason Dickson

Matt Stairs

I think one thing people have trouble with the two most popular American Sports is how heavily coached they are. 

Managers and Head Coaches in Baseball and Gridiron are like Generals in a lot of ways, decisions they make can have an outsized influence on the matches themselves.  Take pitching for instance.  Pitching rotation and combinations is basically what will win you baseball games and knowing when to substitute a pitcher can win or lose you a baseball game.  

Same in Football, the New England Patriots are so dominant because of the relationship between Belichick and Brady.  Belichick is the General while Brady is his highly capable Battlefield Adjutant who takes his orders and gets the soldiers to execute them.

 

 

Edited by CanadianRugger

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1 hour ago, Loup said:

Oh, and no neutral grounds in MLB. American and National league have a mid-season game, the winner gets home-stadium advantage for the final.

That was true from 2003-2016, but then they stopped doing that. Now it's decided by regular-season record (even though the schedules are wildly unbalanced). And there are some obscure tie-breakers if the two league champions have identical records (see https://www.si.com/mlb/2018/10/world-series-2018-home-field-advantage-decided-red-sox-fenway-park)

Now that's going off on a tangent!

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Back in their glory days, the Blue Jays averaged ~50,000/game for the season - over 4 million a year! In 1993 the Colorado (Denver) Rockies averaged over 55,000/game. Nowadays, as interest in the game wanes, only the Los Angeles Dodgers draw anywhere near those numbers.

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13 minutes ago, TIWIT said:

Back in their glory days, the Blue Jays averaged ~50,000/game for the season - over 4 million a year! In 1993 the Colorado (Denver) Rockies averaged over 55,000/game. Nowadays, as interest in the game wanes, only the Los Angeles Dodgers draw anywhere near those numbers.

Hang on a minute " as interest in the game wanes " , as in attendances are going down , what's wrong with them , this is NA , things like that don't happen over there ?

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5 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

Hang on a minute " as interest in the game wanes " , as in attendances are going down , what's wrong with them , this is NA , things like that don't happen over there ?

Only you said that.

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Younger people find baseball too slow.

Older people don't like the way the game is being played - it's all or nothing now, home runs or strikeouts.

Every game is on TV.

It is expensive! to go to a game. People might only go to 2-3 games a year when before they went to 5-6, or more. Newer stadiums only seat 35-40,000, 10,000 less than the generation of stadiums before. Rogers Centre is only 30 years old and it is now one of the oldest stadiums in MLB.

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