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An Introduction to Scoring Baseball Games

By misfit13b in Culture
Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 03:58:57 AM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

Now that the 2004 major league season is officially over, baseball fans typically gravitate to another sport to get them through the winter, until spring training comes around the next year.

However, I see this downtime as the perfect opportunity for fans, young and old, to get themselves acquainted with how to score a baseball game, in preparation for the coming season. This article will introduce the reader to how to score a baseball game for themselves.

Get familiar with the game

It'll be hard for you to score the game of baseball, without some understanding of the rules at play. The official rules for Major League Baseball are here. I don't expect you to read them cover to cover, as I certainly never have, but they are a good reference to keep handy for use on those more controversial calls.

The best way to learn isn't boring yourself by reading rules anyways. It's best done by watching a game, and scoring the plays for yourself. Hits and outs are the easiest to start with, defensive plays will take some practice.

Pick a Scorecard

Let's not get ahead of ourselves too much. Before we get into the specifics, let's get familiar with the scorecard itself.

There are many different types of scorecards that people use, and will be available to you when you first decide to score a game. Overall, they are the same, with the differences being in the details. Some have room for you to record the pitch count (a record of how many balls and strikes are pitched to specific batters) while others do not. Some allow more space for subsitutions such as pinch hitters and relief pitchers.

One thing that all scorecards have in common are small diamonds arranged in rows. These are where you record the at-bats for each player in the lineup. Each column represents an inning, and each row represents a player's turns at the plate.

If you'd like a PDF of the scorecard that I use, just email me and I'll send you a copy. Print it twice, once on each side of a sheet of paper, and you'll be ready to go.


Baseball scorekeepers don't use the full names of the fielding positions while keeping score. What they use instead is the number assigned to that position instead. It takes a little getting used to at first, but if you'll forgive the difficult ASCII art later in this article, the numbering system goes like this:


  7           9

      6/ \4
      /   \
     5\ 1 /3
       \ /

1 = pitcher     6 = shortstop
2 = catcher     7 = left field
3 = first base  8 = center field
4 = second base 9 = right field
5 = third base  DH = designated hitter

Fill in the blanks

What you should have now is a scorecard filled with the player's names, numbers, and positions. Should look a little something like this:

#   Name     POS 1 2 3 4 5...
18 Damon      8
12 Bellhorn   4
24 Ramirez    7
34 Ortiz     DH

In these examples, I will use the 2004 Boston Red Sox lineup, as it is the one I am most familiar with. The Red Sox are an American League team, and in their league's rules, the pitcher doesn't have an at-bat. Instead, they use a Designated Hitter (DH) to hit for the pitcher. National League teams do not have a DH, and the pitcher takes an at-bat.

Now that the players are all arranged from top to bottom in the order that they will bat, we can get to scoring.

The nitty gritty

For my example, I'll use the ESPN game log information given here for Game 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. Yeah, I'm showing a lot of bias for choosing this particular game, but that game had a lot of hitting, some errors, strikouts, some walks, and even a "grand slam" homerun that can be used to illustrate how to score.

Due to the limitations of space and my patience with ASCII however, let's just take the Boston half of the first inning. If you like, you can use the game log to continue scoring the rest of the game yourself as practice.

From the game log, #18 Johnny Damon hits the ball into left field for a single.

The way I would score that, is to color in the line from home plate to first, and put a "H" in the lower right corner, signifying that Johnny made it to first base with a hit.

#   Name   POS
18 Damon    8  .-------.
               |  /\   |
               | /  \  |
               | \  /  |
               |  \/ H |

Next up is #12 Mark Bellhorn, but during his at bat, Johnny Damon steals second base. To show this, I color in the line from first to second base, and write "SB 12" in the upper right corner to say "Stole Base while #12 was at bat".

#   Name   POS
18 Damon    8  .-------.
               |  /\SB |
               | /  \12|
               | \  /  |
               |  \/ H |

For Bellhorn's at bat, he struck out swinging. There are two kinds of strikeouts: swinging, where the batter swings and misses and looking, where the batter doesn't swing, but the pitch is called a strike.

Swing-and-miss strikeouts are signified by the capitol letter "K". If Bellhorn had been called out on third strike, the "K" would be written backwards. (Lucky for us that he swung, as I dunno how to do that in ASCII. Perhaps a lower-case "k" would do.)

#   Name      POS
12 Bellhorn    4  .-------.
                  |  /\   |
                  | /K \  |
                  | \  /  |
                  |  \/(1)|

I also put a small number one in a circle in the bottom right, to show that Bellhorn made the first out of the inning.

Next at the plate is #24 Manny Ramirez. Manny gets a hit.

#   Name     POS
24 Ramirez    7  .-------.
                 |  /\   |
                 | /  \  |
                 | \  /  |
                 |  \/ H |

However, Johnny Damon tried to score on that hit, and was tagged out at the plate. This will mean that not only do we have to make a change on our scorecard for Manny's hit, we have to signify what happened to Johnny as well.

#   Name   POS
18 Damon    8  .--------.
               |   /\SB |
               |  /  \12|
               |24\  /  |
               |(2)\/ H |

Since he was caught at the plate, the colored bold trail of him around the bases stops half way between third and home. Also, since he was the second out of the inning on a play started by #24 Ramirez, he gets the "(2) 24" designation. We can now see from that small diagram, what happened to Johnny Damon in the first inning.

While Johnny's play at the plate was disheartening for Sox fans, the inning's not over yet as there's still one more out. #34 David Ortiz, comes to the plate next.

And what does David do? He hits himself a two run homerun, that's what! I show homeruns by completely filling in the diamond (again, hard to do in ASCII) and showing the number of RBI (runs batted in), in this case: two, with black dots going up the side of the box.

#   Name   POS
34 Ortiz    DH  .-------.
                |  /\   |
                | /**\  |
                | \**/ *|
                |  \/  *|

This hit also brought Manny home from first, so we go back up to his box and indicate that as follows. Since he was hit home by #34 Ortiz, that's the number we'll place in the lower left to show who drove him in.

#   Name     POS
24 Ramirez    7  .--------.
                 |   /\SB |
                 |  /  \12|
                 |  \  /  |
                 |34 \/ H |

For what would be the last at-bat of the Boston half of the first inning, Catcher Jason Varitek #33 comes to the plate and hits a ground ball to the pitcher.

This can be shown many different ways. The way that I use is to indicate that it was both a ground ball "G" and who it was hit to, the pitcher "1". Since he's the third out, he also gets the dreaded "(3)" placed in the corner.

#   Name      POS
33 Varitek     2  .-------.
                  |  /\   |
                  | /G1\  |
                  | \  /  |
                  |  \/(3)|

Others choose to designate that play as "1-3", as in, "The pitcher (1) threw to the first baseman (3) to make the out".

With the inning complete, add up the number of hits (3), runs (2), strikouts (1), walks (0), errors (0)and runners left on base (0) and total them at the bottom of the column.

Since the other teams info will be on the opposite side, flip the scorecard over to begin the home half of the first, and keep scoring!

Now that we've been through all of that, why should I even bother trying it myself?

A lot of people wonder why people do this, and to be quite honest, it's not really the easiest question to answer. Some people just don't like everything that's involved with scorekeeping, and would rather just watch the game.

However, if you do decide to score a game or two, feel free to modify the specific ways you do so. Don't like my idea of filling in the diamond for a homerun? Then change it and make the experience more to your liking. It's your scorecard, so personalize it however you see fit. The point is to keep things interesting for the fan, and to have your own record of the games that you've attended.

So get out there, flip on ESPN Classic and find yourself some practice games to score in preparation for the coming 2005 season! Most of all, enjoy!


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Related Links
o here
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o here [2]
o Also by misfit13b

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An Introduction to Scoring Baseball Games | 96 comments (52 topical, 44 editorial, 0 hidden)
question (none / 1) (#14)
by llimllib on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 04:38:00 PM EST

You don't mark out who threw Johnny Damon out? Wouldn't a 7-2 go in the center of his diamond, or something to mark that matsui threw him out?

I don't personally, no. (none / 1) (#16)
by misfit13b on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 04:41:41 PM EST

But that's only because I choose not to.  That's where more of the personalization comes in.

Same reasoning behind scoring pitch counts, I guess.

[ Parent ]

Read below. (none / 1) (#25)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 05:25:54 PM EST

Base score: 0
Not Politics: +1
Author NOT nullo: +1
Not personally interested in sports: -1
Possibility of sparking interesting conversation: +1
Front Page worthy material: -1

Grade, +1 Sidebar.

Baseball Compared to Football (2.00 / 4) (#28)
by egg troll on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 07:37:38 PM EST

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs. In most sports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defense is allowed to touch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.

Also: in football,basketball, soccer, volleyball, and all sports played with a ball, you score with the ball and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.

In most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager. And only in baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do. If you'd ever seen John Madden in his Oakland Raiders uniform,you'd know the reason for this custom.

Now, I've mentioned football. Baseball & football are the two most popular spectator sports in this country. And as such, it seems they ought to be able to tell us something about ourselves and our values.

I enjoy comparing baseball and football:

Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park.The baseball park!
Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying.

In football you wear a helmet.
In baseball you wear a cap.

Football is concerned with downs - what down is it?
Baseball is concerned with ups - who's up?

In football you receive a penalty.
In baseball you make an error.

In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog...
In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute warning.

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there's not too much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you're capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.

And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different:

In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! - I hope I'll be safe at home!

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

actually, football and baseball are very similar (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by speek on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 09:00:47 PM EST

Football is all about penetration, and baseball is all about getting to home base.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

"any" other sport? (none / 0) (#54)
by squigly on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 07:05:06 AM EST

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs.

Baseball is much like any other bat and ball field game.  Cricket, rounders, stool ball all have runs and a batting and fielding team.

[ Parent ]

At least attribute your source (3.00 / 4) (#57)
by Pelorat on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:17:50 AM EST

-> George Carlin

[ Parent ]
Plus one for Momus lyrics (none / 1) (#83)
by killmepleez on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 04:25:58 PM EST

I get a warm naughty feeling every time I see or hear the word "Lufthansa", and that can only be a good thing.

"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
Does George Carlin Know you are stealing his (none / 0) (#93)
by Techsavvy on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 09:01:35 AM EST

material? without due credit? shame on you.

[ Parent ]
Regarding the designated hitter (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by caek on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 08:25:06 PM EST

I once had a rather drunken conversation in a bar in Monterey with a baseball fan. I tried explaining cricket to him, and didn't get very far. I flatter myself that this was due to cricket's complexity, but the beer may have had something to do with it.

It starts to get a little hazy when people began to insist that, as an Englishman, I drink the bitter this bar had on tap (they were very proud of this). It was ice cold and undrinkable, but I felt it only fair to make approving noises. They seemed happy with this -- so happy that they started paying for them. One of the last things I remember is this chap mentioning the Designated Hitter in particular, and the AL in general, with a slightly dismissive sneer. My questions are the following:

  1. Why do the leagues play different rules?
  2. How do they fairly resolve the difference in the "World" (pshaw!) Series and other interleague games?
  3. Is this fan's contempt for allowing the pitcher to be replaced by an offensive meathead widespread?
In cricket, you're allowed to change players from the eleven that start only when you're fielding and only when one of the fielders is injured such that he is unable to play. If you, say, break your leg or get hit in the testicles while -- or before -- batting, you may play with a "runner". The runner does your running for you, but you still have to do the hitting.

I bloody love complicated sports.

An attempt to explain... (none / 0) (#35)
by misfit13b on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 08:42:53 PM EST

The two leagues play different rules, and it began as an experiment to get more people in the seats by increasing the offense back in the seventies.

The American League decided to replace the pitcher in the lineup with a player who did nothing but hit, the DH.  The National League left things as is, and their pitchers continued to take at-bats.

When the World Series is played, the rules go with the field.  When they play in the AL park, both teams play with a DH.  When in an NL park, both pitchers hit.

The DH has been an ongoing debate since it was started.  I can only speak for myself, but I like it a lot.  I don't think that the pitcher has any business lifting a bat, and seeing that starting pitchers only play every fifth game, how do you expect them to get in any kind of rhythm at the plate?

Expecting either side to concede to the other tho... I don't see that happening any time soon.

That's interesting about cricket... baseball fans see defensive replacements and pinch runners as a major factor in strategy.  And then there's the whole left-right factor in pitching matchups, where it is (generally) accepted that right handed batters can hit left handed pitchers better, and vice versa.  Without the ability to pinch bat, that element would also be removed.

It's crazyness, I tell you!

[ Parent ]

Cricket gets complicated with handedness as well (none / 0) (#68)
by xria on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:37:27 AM EST

You tend to want two different handed batsmen playing together, so when you get a single (putting the other batsmen in unless the over just ended) the bowler will have to adjust his line of attack, his fielders will all have to move about, which can stop the bowling attack gaining predominance so easily.

Bowlers can bowl over the wicket - which usually means the releast point is more or less in line with the stumps, or around the wicket, which means the ball will be moving into the batsman/wicket. This ability of variation could be equated to say a pitcher having various arm slots, but is more extreme. For example some spin bowlers are considered defensive (low run rate, low wickets) bowling from one and attacking (higher run rate, higher wickets) in the other.

Another thing to add is that instead of defensive replacements, in cricket often the key is defensive placement - the fielders can be moved all around the field, sometimes holes will be left to deliberately invite the player to try and hit there for 4 runs, but with the risk that if he mistimes there is a fielder placed at a likely spot for a catch.

It's probably a bit like baseball - if you only watch it occasionally you probably don't notice the depth of strategy involved, but as you watch more you notice the nuances that can make it something you can watch for a lifetime without getting bored.

[ Parent ]

Langer and Hayden (none / 0) (#88)
by maw on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 03:59:25 PM EST

You tend to want two different handed batsmen playing together, so when you get a single (putting the other batsmen in unless the over just ended) the bowler will have to adjust his line of attack

Usually true, although Langer and Hayden make a good counterexample.

To be fair: although they're both lefties, they also have rather different hitting styles, which makes up for the fact that they both hit from the same side of the wicket.
I have no idea what you're talking about, but that's ok, since you don't either.
[ Parent ]

no DH is the "purist" point of view (none / 1) (#41)
by Rahaan on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 09:28:19 PM EST

so you can't really argue against it.  Seriously, do you want to dilute the purity of baseball and ruin the game forever?  Or do you want to see the pitcher hit?

While the DH is kind of a sham -- enabling fat, immobile men to make millions of dollars, and making the rules depend on who you are in the league -- it's not going to go anywhere, and I don't even know too many people who mind it.  Since it was instituted sometime in the 70's, a whole generation of baseball fans has grown up knowing nothing other than having a DH.

It's one of those perfect things to talk about when you're drinking and trying to socialize since you can be wildly opinionated about something and still have everyone like you, because even people who like the DH usually see the opposing point of view and don't really have much to say for it.  

Hating(or liking) the Yankees is another one of those things, because anyone who knows even a little about baseball will be able to participate.  Except hating them is a lot more fun, especially if you're a furr-ner, where it's got double meaning.

you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

Some answers (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by schlouse on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 05:33:38 AM EST

A typical batting lineup goes something like this:

1. Lead off hitter. Not a power hitter, but a fast runner with a high on-base percentage. His responsibility is to get on base (with a walk or single) so the next several power hitters can get him across home plate.

2. An all-around fast and skilled player. May be a power hitter if there's a lot of them on the team. You want a fast runner to avoid a double play, but want a skilled batsman so that he can lay down a good bunt to move the lead off runner to second, if that's what the manager wants.

3. The second-best power hitter. If one of the first two batters got on base, this guy (and the next) are responsible for getting them home.

4. The "cleanup" hitter. This is the most powerful hitter on the team. His job is to "clean" the bases with a home run, if somebody has made it on base. Also note that if the first three batters got out, he will lead off the next inning, creating two consecutive "difficult" innings for the pitcher. Sometimes, the batter in this spot hits a home run to start off the second inning because the pitcher has physically cooled down (and therefore his muscles have tightened), and he hasn't been pitching long enough to get permanently warmed up.

5, 6, 7, 8. Average hitters, in order of skill, from best to worst.

9. In the National League (NL), the pitcher bats. In the American League (AL), the Designated Hitter (DH) bats. This has several interesting repercussions.

In the AL, where there's a DH, you get more offense, because the DH does not play a field position, and is a batting specialist (and often, quite large and muscular). This breathes life into innings that might otherwise end in an out (pitchers almost universally hit poorly). And if you, as a pitcher, give up a hit or walk to the DH, you have the top of the order coming up next (ie the best batters).

Note that in AL games with a DH, the pitcher does not bat. This has an interesting repercussion: since AL pitchers themselves do not bat, they can be more liberal with throwing wildly. If they hit someone, they don't have to worry about being hit by a pitch themeselves (in retaliation, which really, really hurts). This can produce some really crazy games that are looked down upon by NL'ers. In contrast, NL games are more or less self-regulating: if the pitchers get too crazy, they'll get a taste of their own medicine on their next visit to the plate.

Since the pitcher is a weak spot in the lineup, NL games often involve much more pure baseball strategy and finesse (bunts, hit and runs, stolen bases, suicide squeezes), rather than the typical blunt AL style of high-emotion and high-offense games. Since runs are a little bit harder to come by in NL games, good defense is valued somewhat more highly in the NL than in the AL. NL fans say that the NL is richer in "pure baseball" and strategy, and that some of the hot-headed, high-scoring AL games are a disgrace. AL fans claim that the NL is boring and somewhat antiquated.

The parks themselves either house a NL team or an AL team. In an interleague NL-AL game, the issue of whether to use a DH is determined by the stadium the game is being played in.

Of course, this is somewhat of an overgeneralization, and many of the points within are subject to considerable debate, but that's part of what makes it fun, and an enjoyable thing to talk about whilst drunken.

Mark S.

[ Parent ]

Bean balls (none / 0) (#59)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:21:08 AM EST

I don't really buy that argument, as in AL games, no one knows who's gonna get the retaliatory bean, and therefore it can put entire lineups a bit on edge.  

On an NL team, if it's assumed that the pitcher is the guy who's gonna get it, it doesn't have as much of an effect.  And, since it's the pitcher anyway, you'd get a free base out of the deal instead of the typical weak out or sacrifice.

"Pitching in" is a part of baseball, especially in the days of Barry Bonds' body armour and everyone crowding the damn plate.

Plus, the DH rarely bats last.  They're usually in the meaty part of the order, as shown in the illustration I used in the article, David Ortiz bats cleanup for the Sox.  

The higher up in the order you are, the more at-bats you will probably get, and since the DH's specialty is hitting, you want them to hit as much as possible, hopefully with men on base.

[ Parent ]

some other nits (none / 0) (#72)
by llimllib on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:54:11 AM EST

1) As a matter of professional courtesy, you don't hit the pitcher in any circumstance - either with a pitch or in the field. You especially don't hit the pitcher with a pitch, as that puts on base your most likely out and brings up the top of the order again. It would just be silly. Instead, retaliation is likely to occur with one of their better hitters, who is more likely to get on base.

2) 5, 6, 7, 8 hitters are usually like a second top of the order. Instead of putting your players in descending order of quality, a likely strategy is to try and put high-OBP people at 5 and 6, followed by people who can hit them in at 7 and 8. Although the 9 hitter is usually your worst, last year's batting champion in the AL, Bill Mueller, batted 9th almost all season.

[ Parent ]

almost true (none / 0) (#80)
by Altus on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 02:45:38 PM EST

if the opposing pitcher hits somebody you might be tempted to hit him when he bats.

of course it would be more effective to hit the best slugger on the team and not the pitcher but it does help the pitcher think twice about beaning someone.

of course studdies have been done that show that batsmen are hit just as much in the NL as in the AL so although it seems like reatiliation would keep this practice down it is not actually the case.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

So besides ''tradition'', what is (none / 0) (#81)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 02:53:32 PM EST

the major argument for pitchers hitting?  

The last thing I wanna see would be Curt Schilling twist something running to first base or something like that...  

In Game 1 of the World Series, didn't St. Louis have their Game 4 starting pitcher in, to pinch run?!  I seem to remember him stumbling all over himself trying to run to second base.  If he's injured doing something stupid like that, what then?

[ Parent ]

if pitchers could hit (none / 0) (#82)
by Altus on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 02:58:44 PM EST

I would want the DH abolished... but they cant... and they really have never been that good over all...

pitching is a life long art... by the time you have thrown enough pitches to be good you have very nearly burned out your arm... I dont want these guys wasting their time on being good at batting and I dont want to have to watch someone miserable bat every time around the order.

the only arguments I have heard other than tradition is that it somehow increases the strategy element of baseball.  but since the AL has small ball teams too I really dont see it.


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Cricket is quite a simple game (none / 1) (#52)
by squigly on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 06:29:57 AM EST

At least, the basic rules are. Mostly it's the jargon that confuses people. The important piece of jargon is the "wicket". A target made from 3 pieces of wood (stumps) in the ground, and two pieces of wood balanced on top (bails).
  • 2 teams. One fielding and one batting.
  • The cricket pitch has a boundary going all the way around it. No fielder is allowed outside this boundary.
  • A member of fielding team bowls a ball at the stumps, tries to knock the bails off the top.
  • The batsman tries to hit the ball as hard as possible to prevent this.
  • The batsman scores runs (points) by
    • hitting The ball over the boundary (4 or 6 runs depend on if it hit the ground first)
    • Running up and down to score runs.
  • The batsman is out if:
    • He misses the ball and it knocks the bail off the wicket.
    • The ball is caught after he hits it.
    • Someone knocks the bails off the wicket while the batsman is running.
Certainly there are specific rules such as LBW, the fact that bowling must be overarm, and lots of very cryptic jargon (silly mid on, square leg, bowling a googly etc), but the rules above will allow someone to watch a match and follow what's going on, and probably play a game.

[ Parent ]
The thing is, (none / 1) (#55)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 08:43:55 AM EST

I dunno if I could see a cricket game on TV here in the States if I tried.  It can't be that bad a sport if it has something called a "googly" in it, now can it?

[ Parent ]
Cricket is perfect for TV (none / 0) (#70)
by squigly on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:50:39 AM EST

It's cheap to film, and lasts for days.  All you need is a few cameramen and a couple of commentators who have a decent selection of cricket anecdotes to talk about when nothing's happening (which is most of the time)

[ Parent ]
Now that sounds familiar. (none / 0) (#73)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:57:23 AM EST

Jerry Remy, Red Sox commentator and former second basemen, makes his scorecards available for purchase as keepsakes.  

It's good to be a local sports celebrity!

[ Parent ]

With the right commentator (none / 0) (#78)
by xria on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 12:39:34 PM EST

Who can ever forget that classic line:

The bowler's Holding; the batsman's Willey.

A great collection of Colemanball's I found recently:


It's nice to see the US has their own luminaries in this field, such as Yogi Berra. Sport wouldn't be the same without the great commentator's.

[ Parent ]

fox world sports (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by maw on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 03:50:28 PM EST

Fox World Sports used to show cricket sometimes, although it was mostly old matches (too bad!). At some point in 2002 they stopped. I wrote to them asking them to start showing it again, but never did.

International sports roundup programs often show cricket highlights, but they never very satisfying - for any sport, not just cricket.

I started getting into watching baseball because I missed cricket after having lived in Australia for a few years. I still think I prefer cricket, but I've come to appreciate baseball as an excellent sport in its own right.
I have no idea what you're talking about, but that's ok, since you don't either.
[ Parent ]

That's too bad. (none / 0) (#87)
by misfit13b on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 03:53:03 PM EST

With all the talk and comparisons made here, I'm interested in seeing what it's all about.

[ Parent ]
this is a great article about baseball (2.66 / 3) (#39)
by Liberal Conservative on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 09:01:23 PM EST

i want to give some additional reading for those of you who wish to learn more about this sport

american major league baseball

baseball almanac

math and baseball

cooperstown hall of fame

the great thing about baseball is that is spans generations

never before have a seen a more inspiring world series than that which we saw this past year

the red sox showed true heart

miserable failure

   liberal conservative

Ah yes! (none / 0) (#40)
by bugmenot on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 09:24:15 PM EST

Cock really helps me to understand baseball.  As in "You are a cock who enjoys baseball."


I am living on borrowed time.
[ Parent ]

-1, screw baseball (none / 0) (#42)
by codejack on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 11:05:33 PM EST

Until they raise the mound height again.

Please read before posting.

-1 don't see what this has to do with the election (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 11:30:20 PM EST

Anyway, an article should be interesting, not how to perform some mundane task that you can easily find out about somewhere else.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
So let me get this right (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by godix on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 12:29:28 AM EST

Baseball is such a god awful boring game with hours between any exciting action on the field so a bunch of people invented a convoluted and annoying way to mark pieces of paper while waiting for some player to finally quit spitting and actually do something?

Why don't you just watch a sport that provides enough entertainment itself that you don't have to figure out stupid ways to pass the time?

- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.

It's the national pasttime! (3.00 / 4) (#67)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:37:10 AM EST

As in, it "passes time".  There's nothing us Americans like better than to sit on our asses for hours on end, watching a select few get drastically overpaid as we are overcharged to eat food served by the working poor.

And to sit there and doodle while we do so?  Heaven!  

[ Parent ]

lol soccer (none / 1) (#89)
by Ralp on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 04:47:05 PM EST


[ Parent ]
baseball (none / 1) (#45)
by the77x42 on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 01:57:15 AM EST

can someone please explain the strategy involved in baseball besides which pitches to throw?

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

A few examples (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by xria on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 02:46:10 AM EST

If you have a batter up with no one out, and a runner on first base you might find it advantageous to 'bunt' him to second base. To do this the batter just tries to meet a pitch with his bat and put it on the ground in front of him so it takes a while to field.

The reason for doing this is that the most common hits are singles, and most batters hit from about 25-30% of the time, so getting three singles in an inning to get someone home isn't all that common, so sacrificing an out to substitute for a second hit and get the first runner half way home and "in scoring position" can be a good tactic, especially if the game is close.

There are similar strategic decisions to be made about stealing bases, as you can see that there is a risk of losing an existing base runner, and an out, but the payoff is getting the runner into scoring position without sacrificing an out. The threat of stealing can also be very effective in keeping the pitchers full concentration from being on the batter.

There are numerous strategies around where to place the fielders exactly, although its rare for them to play significantly out of position, you will often hear that the infielders are playing "in". This indicates they are playing at or around the baselines instead of further back. The main advantages of this are the ball will get to them quicker, so it can help to turn double plays, or throwing out runners at the plate. The downside is that the ball gets past them quicker as they are nearer the bat.

[ Parent ]

and hit-and-runs (none / 0) (#69)
by llimllib on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:44:11 AM EST

A hit and run usually occurs with one or two outs and a man on first base. When a hit and run is called, the player on first base will start running as soon as the pitcher throws the ball. The batter will try just to make contact with whatever pitch the pitcher throws; the hope is that if he gets a hit, the runner may be able to score from first. If he hits a grounder, however, there is then no chance for a double play, since the runner will be at second before the fielder can throw the ball there.

Really though, for me at least, the strategy and beauty of baseball lies in the battle between pitcher and hitter. Watching Pedro Martinez pitch when he was at his prime was like watching Picasso paint. Every hitter was scared of him, and for good reason. He was just smarter than them, and if he wasn't, he could blow his fastball by them.

[ Parent ]

Reminds me of the infield shift (none / 0) (#71)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:52:38 AM EST

done on power hitters like Jason Giambi of the NY Yankees and Barry Bonds of the SF Giants.  

Infielders will practically leave parts of the infield wide open in order to have more defensive players located where these specific players are known to hit more.

And then there's the infield fly rule.  Designed to prevent fielders from trapping runners on a shallow hit ball, it's worded something awful, and confuses a lot of folks.

[ Parent ]

and I thought watching baseball was boring enough (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by onealone on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 04:41:33 AM EST

I had no idea there was a whole new level of tedium awaiting with the scoring.

+1: Useful (3.00 / 5) (#53)
by ljj on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 06:35:31 AM EST

Will come in useful is GWB wins today and completes the invasion of the rest of the world. Then the rest of us can at least understand our new national sport.


-1, They never apologised (none / 1) (#58)
by Pelorat on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:19:34 AM EST

For the strike of '94.

Wow, remind me to never angerf you (none / 1) (#61)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:28:03 AM EST

as you can certainly hold a grudge.  ;^)

Let me guess, an Expos fan?  It sucks what happened to them.

[ Parent ]

Hehehe (none / 1) (#63)
by Pelorat on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:41:41 AM EST

No, a Braves fan, actually.

I used to love baseball. Had jerseys and caps and pennants. Went to games. But that strike was such a slap in the face, I couldn't stand to support them anymore. They certainly didn't care about their fans - their real source of income - so I figured, why care about them in return. Why reward them for kicking us in the collective nuts.

So I haven't watched a game since. I even gave away all of Mom's Braves stuff after she died.

I got nothing to do with em.

[ Parent ]

That sucks. (none / 0) (#64)
by misfit13b on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:49:04 AM EST

Well, even if you don't like the professional game anymore, perhaps some day you'll have a kid who'll wanna play little league or something.  

You can score the game and post it on the refrigerator or keep it around until he/she grows up and has their own kids.  There's no real reason to hold it to only major league ball.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#65)
by thankyougustad on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 09:52:39 AM EST

When I was 19 I coached a litle league team and one of the kid's dad scored all the games and helped me with them. It was cool.

As for the major leagues, I have to agree with the first poster. I used to have an interest in them, I went to games every now and then, but that strike was so stupid I lost all interest.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
+-0 with extreme prejudice (none / 0) (#66)
by tetsuwan on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 10:12:33 AM EST

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

-1, Baseball is booooring (nt) (none / 0) (#84)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Nov 02, 2004 at 05:21:59 PM EST

We hold these truths to be self-evident, hence NT

Deep Vein Thrombosis (none / 0) (#90)
by FearedThought on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:31:27 AM EST

Why do American sports go on for so long?

Commercial breaks and TV time-outs. (3.00 / 3) (#91)
by misfit13b on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 11:39:06 AM EST

I could have sworn that just the other day I was told that, as an American, I had a short attention span, and now I find out that the sports I watch go on for too long.

[ Parent ]
Correction: (none / 0) (#92)
by misfit13b on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 02:07:47 PM EST

Damnit, I screwed up one of the ASCII diagrams.

When David Ortiz hits the homerun and sends Manny home from first, Manny shouldn't have "SB 12" in the top-right corner to indicate a stolen base. That was an accident created by me copy/pasting Damon's information and then neglecting to remove the stolen base to represent what happened to Manny.

Manny's final box for the first half of the inning should look like this instead:

#   Name     POS
24 Ramirez    7  .-------.
                 |  /\   |
                 | /  \  |
                 | \  /  |
                 |34\/ H |

Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

Manny's diagram (none / 0) (#95)
by myjlf on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 01:32:03 PM EST

Also, not to nitpick as everyone has their own style , but I like to fill in the diamond of everyone who scores. That way, I can see at a glance the number of runs scored. So, in your inning, Manny would have his diamond filled in. But, as I said, to each his own. It's a nice summary regardless and it was very impressively done with ascii. :-)

Thanks. That's an interesting idea. (none / 0) (#96)
by misfit13b on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 01:46:29 PM EST

I like saving it for the HRs tho.  ;^)

BTW, welcome to K5.

[ Parent ]

An Introduction to Scoring Baseball Games | 96 comments (52 topical, 44 editorial, 0 hidden)
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