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The World Series: Why We Care

October 21, 2013
Plain English Version

World Series Trophy

Baseball is called the national pastime. It is the most American of games. Baseball is different from the other national sports – football, basketball and hockey. Those are all territory games played against the clock. The teams go up and down the field, court or rink.

Many foreign-born people do not really understand the game. Just as most Americans do not understand cricket.

The best way to learn about baseball is to watch it. Eventually it will make sense. Follow the relationship between the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher does not want the batter to advance. If the batter misses hitting the ball three times, he is “out.” If the pitcher does not put the ball into the “strike zone” four times, the batter advances to first base.

If the batter hits the ball… well, that is why the rest of the people are out in the field. Their jobs will soon make sense. Scoring a run is what the game is about.

Using elimination, the two leagues, National and American, eventually put their best teams to play for the best of seven games. The first team to win four games takes the prize.

The first two games are played on the home field of the league that won the all-star game. This year the American league won, so the series will start in Boston on Wednesday, October 23.

Then the teams will take a day off. The next three games are in St. Louis.  If more games are needed, they will go back to Boston. It is done this way because the home field always has an advantage. If the home team wins the first two games, it has a good chance of winning the series.

Baseball is the leisurely summer game. It is played best under the sun, with fans eating peanuts and hotdogs. The grownups drink beer.  It is also the game kids learned to play when they had the summers off from school.

In this day and age, the game may seem too slow. But as people mature and slow down, the game comes back to remind them that time can still stand still.

Source: The New York Times                                                                                                October 20, 2013

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