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Beginners’ Guide to Baseball and the 2014 World Series

October 19, 2014
Plain English Version


Most Americans are born to baseball. The rest of the world has fotbol. Soccer, American football, basketball and hockey all have two things in common. They are all games of territory. Scoring takes place when you reach deep into your opponent’s territory and make a goal or basket. They are also all played against the clock.

Baseball is different. Players score by circling a field with markers. These are called bases: first, second and third. When you get to the fourth marker, called home plate, you have scored or made a point called a run.

The basic rules are simple: it is about pitches that are called balls and strikes. Balls miss the plate, strikes go over the plate, four balls, three strikes. There are  three outs and nine innings. There is no time clock.

The football season is in full swing. The basketball and hockey seasons are getting underway. The World Series marks the end of the baseball season.

The Kansas City Royals are representing the American League. The San Francisco Giants are representing the National League. The first game between the Royals and Giants is in Kansas City on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. The championship will go to the winner of the best of seven games.

Which team is favored to win?

The professional odds makers say Kansas City is a slight favorite. The first two games are in Kansas and the next three are in San Francisco. If necessary, two more will be played back in Kansas.

Beer, soda, hotdogs and peanuts are the traditional dietary fare for watching a game at the ballpark.

Baseball is hard to follow. If you want to learn the game, watch it on television with the sound off while listening to it on the radio. The TV announcers confuse things with endless statistics and analysis. The radio announcers tell you what is happening. Once the logic of the game is understood, it is very enjoyable.

Source: The New York Times October 17, 2014

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