Thursday, September 22, 2011

Three strikes and you're ... very confused!

My first baseball game! Between the Arizona Diamondbacks (D-Backs) and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was, I am told, one of the worst games that any of my American friends had ever seen! There was very little hitting of the ball, lots of waiting around and they only seemed to score in binary... 0,0,0,1,0...

But the advantage of the game being slow was that Sean could explain every move and game play to me as we went along and I didn't miss a thing. Well, how can you when most of the play is just something that happens between adverts?

Oh, and 'kiss cam', and the mascot race, and the camera zooming around the stadium to encourage people to gasp with amazement as they see themselves live on the huge screen. This inevitably prompted them to displays of dancing, hands over wide open mouth and mad waving.

OK, so back to the game. This was the second game in a series of 3. The D-backs won the first game - but the Pirates were up (and indeed won) this time. D-backs in white, pirates in black and grey. There's the pitcher (which is like a bowler, not a huge jug), and the batters (or batsmen? I'm not sure). There are bases which get loaded (batters on them, not drunk) and a mound that the pitcher stands on. They don't always run, sometimes they get a walk. That's usually because of four bad balls. But if the pitcher throws three stikes, which means the batter misses and the catcher catches, then the batsman is out. And it goes three in, change - team, next three in - change. So it's fast paced as per who is batting.

There are nine innings, unless something happens earlier on which means... ooh I don't know. A home run is hitting the ball right outside the yellow line (forwards only, sideways or behind is out). I didn't see any of them. But lots of long high balls that were caught.

Of course I had to have 'baseball game food'. I had nachos and cheese. My friends  had hot dogs and a huge apple covered in toffee and chocolate sprinkles.

Three hours later, and about 5 or six runs later (made up in stages, not home runs), I had seen my first complete ball game.

Summary: take cricket, mix it with rounders and then throw in some random rules = baseball. Oh, and a lot of fun actually too.

For more photos, visit my Flickr account.
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