The Baseball Corner


(Phil H) #1

In the spirit of fairness I thought we should have a sporting thread that our American cousins can feel at home with. Plus, despite being a damn Limey and a football man through and through I have also been a baseball fan since watching the 1978 World Series on T.V during one of my sojourns to Australia.

Unfortunately it is really hard to see any Baseball in the UK so I have lost touch somewhat from the days when I was first an enthusiast. I can’t say I follow any team in particular. Used to be a Cardinals fan back in the early 80s so maybe they would still be my sentimental choice but really I just like the game and probably am more a fan of individual players rather than teams.

I used to especially like pitchers. They remind me of goalkeepers in football. You can’t win without a great one and they are all mental. My faves used to be Nolan Ryan, Freddy Valenzuela, Goose Gossage, Joaquin Andojar and Dwight Gooden.

Anyhow, if you are into America’s national passtime this is the place for you.


(AceHigh) #2

Thanks Phil H! This is a really nice gesture. Probably aren’t that many baseball fans on here but I hope so. I was a Houston Astros fan growing up in the 60s as they were the only major league team in Texas back then. When the Washington Senators folded around 1970, they came to Texas and became the Texas Rangers. I’ve been a diehard Rangers fan ever since. They’ve had a history of mediocrity(at best) but they’re the home team, so GO RANGERS! I still sentimentally root for the National League Astros as well. At this writing, the Rangers stand 3-2, which is great for us. We’ve got a few studs and, like I’ve said many times before, this could be our year! Doubt it though, being a Rangers fan is like being a Cubs fan; it’s always “wait til next year!”

Someone earlier on here said baseball is boring to watch. I’ve heard that from people all my life and understand that sentiment completely. To each, his own. I happen to love everything about the game and always have. Played it throughout my school years, then when my son was old enough to sit up, I started playing catch with him. He was a great all around athlete in high school and could have played baseball at the next level but is playing football(American) in college instead. To me, there’s nothing better than being kicked back at a Rangers game on a hot summer day, drinking beer with my buds, and watching baseball. On days like that, you know all is right with the world.

Baseball is a game where you can legitimately compare the old players with the new. It has a great history and if you like statistics, then you’ll like baseball. Well, enough of that. Hope all you fellow spaghetti westerners around the world have a good Easter!


(Phil H) #3

You’re right of course. Each to their own. But I have always thought that anyone who finds Baseball boring just doesn’t know enough about the game. For me, every pitch is a mini battle of wits and the fact that a good quality big league batter still only gets a successful hit around 30% of the time just adds to the tension not the boredom. It also goes to show it is a bloody tough game to play.

It’s also a game steeped in colourful history and lends itself to the written word better than any other sport I know. Both in terms of fiction and non fiction. For all you non fans out there, do yourselves a favour. If you’re not ready for the actual game, get yourself a book or two on the subject. Or maybe the short stories of W.P. Kinsella. You won’t be sorry.


(scherpschutter) #4

True of course. I guess it’s more or less a question of being brought up with a game or not. I was brought up with (European) football, started to study the game, and learned about all there is to know about it. British people grow up with Cricket too, and most of them love it. To non-British like me it seems very boring: you just don’t know anything about it, so you can’t judge whether the game, or a particular match is interesting or not. It’s a bit like watching a movie in a language you don’t understand, or watching a movie that refers to a kind of symbolism you’re not familiar with (films from India can be a real nuisance in this aspect!). I learned to play baseball in the army (we had a sergeant, a sporting instructor, who was crazy about it), so I do understand it, and I do like it too, but like Phil said, it’s very hard to watch a decent game of baseball on these shores, since it’s hardly ever shown on TV. Once in a while a game of American Foorball is shown (I don’t fancy that game), but baseball: no.


(Phil H) #5

Football is our national game of course. Cricket is quite popular but doesn’t incite the kind of passion we feel for football for the most part. In fact, I prefer Baseball to cricket.


(scherpschutter) #6

Me too, of course. The funny thing is the game looks close to baseball, at least at first sight, but still is a mystery to people like me


(I...I...Idiot) #7

Get used to me on this thread. Thanks Phil H. If you were an American football fan, I guess you’d be a Vikings fan. Sorry Ace High, but the Rangers story every year will be wait til’ next year until your GM learns to stock up on pitching. I respect your loyalty, being a Red Sox fan & suffering all those years, I feel your pain (Cubs fans ahem). I went to opening day at Fenway Park the other day & it was COOOOLD! 3 rows back for the back of the stadium with the wind in our faces & the first vendor we saw was yellin ‘ICE CREAM HERE!’. I’m glad to see people aver seas giving baseball some love. BTW, how can I get televised darts over here (which I Play & love) but you can’t get baseball over there?


(AceHigh) #8

Speaking of the Red Sox…The best game I’ve ever been to was a Red Sox-Rangers game around '90 or '91. Clemens pitched for the Sox and a guy named Bobby Witt(I think he was maybe a New Englander) went for the Rangers. Both were throwing fireballs and both were on that day, but Witt probably threw one of the best games of his life and beat Celmens in extra innings. It was dollar beer night and I had to carry my brother out of the stadium. He rode home sacked out in the bed of the pickup. Great night.


(scherpschutter) #9

Maybe you can, if you pay for it. A lot of networks are, like they say here, ‘behind the decoder’, in other words: you have to pay for them. I have already 28 (open) networks on my TV, and that suits me very fine. Where I live, Belgium, open networks roughly only show footbal, cycling and tennis. Athletics mainly during the Olympics, or when a national athlete is very succesful.


(carlos) #10

Let me add my thanks, Phil, for this thread.
I grew up in SW Missouri, no TV. I got to listen to the Cardinals on radio with my Dad for an hour or so before bedtime. The first year that really registered was 1964, pre-playoffs, an exciting pennant race and facing the mighty Yankees in the series. My teacher was a fan and we listened to the series in class as it was day games back then! Then 1967 we had a great series with I. I.'s Sox. In 1968 I was a senior in high school and only had to go a half day, so had an afternoon job. My boss was a fan so I got to watch portions of a couple of games on TV! The Tigers outpitched us but it was still great!


(AceHigh) #11

Truer words were never spoken I…I…,the Rangers have never had enough pitching. Today, we’re up 4-0 going into the 8th, Millwood pitched 7 strong, we bring in C.J. Wilson, the bum gives up 6 and we lose. Same ole story.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #12

[quote=“Phil H, post:1, topic:1711”]My faves used to be Nolan Ryan, Freddy Valenzuela, Goose Gossage, Joaquin Andojar and Dwight Gooden.

Anyhow, if you are into America’s national passtime this is the place for you.[/quote]

Nolan Ryan is probably my favorite all time pitcher. Tremendously underrated, who had the misfortune of playing on bad teams throughout his career who did not provide him with the offensive support to win games. For a fastball pitcher like Ryan to last as long as he did, pitching at a world class level into his forties is nothing short of a historic feat. Most fastball pitchers like Pedro Martinez start to break down in their early 30’s, or change their style, but Ryan was still throwing 100 km/hour pitches at 42. Amazing. Incredible durability.

I was a Blue Jays and White sox fan growing up but my enthusiasm for the game dried up after the strike in the early 90s.

I still have a huge collection of Baseball cards stored up from back in the day, I wonder how much their worth now.


(I...I...Idiot) #13

Ouch :-[. How can an organization not learn their lesson after so many years & so many great players. The Orioles are following suit. At least Toronto has had great pitching in recent years but just has not been able to keep them (with the exception of Hallada. Ace, I’ll be looking forward to our match up & discussing it after. BTW, my first game at Fenway was a Clemens start & the pre game pop of the mitt had me in awe. Reminds me of an ex Ranger pitcher that, let’s just say, is not on Robin Ventura’s facebook page.


(ENNIOO) #14

I did purchase a baseball hat the other week…guess I just need to watch a game now.


(Phil H) #15

And cultivate a love of outlandish hair. Particularly the facial variety. This is a long standing baseball tradition and should be a natural for a man like yourself who appreciates the beauties of an LVC rug :slight_smile:

Here’s some examples to whet your appetite

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=baseball/hair/gallery


(scherpschutter) #16

Nice to know that some celebreties play a good game of baseball:

Pete Rose = Jimmy Conners

King Kelly = Wyat Earp

Bud Selig = Bill Gates

Jim kern = Our own staff member lordradish!


(Bluntwolf) #17

I’m a big Marlins (good start this year 5-1) fan since I’ve lived in Florida for some time (beginning of the 90s when the Marlins were an expansion team)… before that I followed the Yankees ('cause they were the best known team in Europe).

I just love the game and am happy to have the opportunity to watch a lot of games on ESPN AMERICA (http://www.espnamerica.com/portal/systemcontent/howtoget::uk)

It’s quite cheap to get in Germany and they feature every major US sportsleague except the NBA…

If you love American sports you gotta have it !!! :slight_smile: Have a look at the link !!! :slight_smile:


(ENNIOO) #18

Thanks for the link Phil :slight_smile: .


(valenciano) #19

Since i am the one who called the game dull and am in that way the true starter of this topic, let me add:

AS pointed out correctly i probably dont understand enough about baseball to discredit it as boring. But i am a sports lover and I try to leanr something about the game before talking about it. I get Baseball and I see that it is mainly a duel between pitcher and hitter; which can be interesting but on the other hand is the downside of the game for me. Its like a football game only with penalties, yeah exciting at first (think of every cup game that is sent to penalties) but is boring after a while.
So i havent really watched it a lot (yeah no tv coverage here, in contrast to some hockey and american football[which i love, i even went to a low league game in heidelberg, not the best football though lots of fumbles, but that is what you get on amateur level]). I “played” it on the streets in a lets get a stick throw a tennisball and play something like baseball, we also played Brennball in school http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennball(last passage) which has a similar idea like the bases but no hitting.

What turns me off baseball is that it is very repetitive and seems to go very long. And one thing i dislike (but what americans seem to like in their sports)is statistics. There are so many in baseball that i dont get and dont care about either. It is the same in american football for me (qb rating is still a mystery to me)but i can enjoy the game nonetheless.
What baseball also makes unpopular in non-usa is callling its league world series, yeah if your country is the only one playing, like calling for a timber sports world series in canada, hehe.

And why is it that there are two seasons each year, they got too many games. Well better than nfl who have too little.

So there are my thoughts, i will follow this topic and maybe you can enlight me on this game.
And for cricket, it is the only game i still dont understand, even after reading about it. So yeah no idea about that.
Another game which is nice but can be boring too is rugby, but hey football has some very exciting 0:0 draws too.
so enjoy your baseball

I am a yankees fan by the way 8) ;D :wink:

just kidding, i am for the underdog


(AceHigh) #20

Valenciano, if you’re for the underdog, then you’re a Rangers fan. ;D