Baseball: You’re Doing It Wrong

Dear Americans, after watching some of your ‘base-balls’ playoffs and in advance of what you call the ‘World Series,’ it has come to our attention that you have, for quite some time, been playing cricket wrongly. You have been using a strange narrow bat and playing on a frankly bizarre diamond-shaped pitch. Luckily, we Brits are here to set the record straight!

1. Saddle up on your imaginary steed, grab your coconuts, and prepare for a basic lesson

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We want to show you how to play cricket the right way—the way we Brits have played it since at least the 16th Century. And who better to demonstrate than the Knights (pronounced ‘kuh-nig-huts’) of a very silly place called Camelot?

2. The field

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Much like the baseball diamond, the cricket pitch has an infield and an outfield. But instead of three bases in a diamond pattern, there are ends and only two in an oval field.

Secondly, you’ve been using too few players. Cricket fields 11, with a total of four innings being played in Test cricket (two per side), with each player batting once per inning (they all have to bat - none of this designated hitter nonsense) and two batsmen on the field at all times. We can only assume the two-man shortfall came about because of the unpopularity of baseball—which of course will be rectified once you start playing it properly!

3. First, the bowler (pitcher) bowls the ball to the batsman (hitter)

Firstly, the batsman (‘batter’ sounds so undignified, don’t you think?) is CLEARLY supposed to stand in front of the wicket. And… Wait, what do you mean, ‘What’s a wicket?’ Good Lord! It’s three sticks stuck in the ground behind the batsman, with two more across the top. OBVIOUSLY.

Anyway, the batsman is SUPPOSED to hold his bat to the side—not over his shoulder. Ridiculous!

By bouncing the ball before it reaches the batsman, a bowler actually can put rotations on the ball that are more difficult for the batsman to hit (like a curve ball… but we call it a ‘Googly’, a flipper, an off- or leg-break). The bowler’s aim is to hit the wicket (that’s the five sticks, remember?) before the batsman can hit the ball. If the bowler does hit the wicket, the batsman is out!! This is called being bowled out, and it’s similar to striking out in your baseball.

4. Second, the batsman makes contact

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While its clearly revolutionary and genius and so on to make your bats tubular when striking a round surface, we found that when one is hurling an 80 mph ball at you, it’s nice have a flatter surface to connect with it. The flat hitting surface is called a blade, which is connected to the handle and has no connection to the movie from 1998.

5. Next, the batsman runs from one wicket to the other

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Why someone would ever just stand around on a base for ages upon ages we’ll never know. This is a key difference. Instead of having 4 places to reach, we’ve streamlined the process. Check it out: TWO WICKETS, each with a safe zone called a crease—our equivalent of a base. The batter runs from one base to the other as quickly as possible to score as many runs as possible. SO much easier to remember.

6. But the batsmen must avoid getting out

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Since we only have two “bases” in cricket, the batsman runs between them to score as many times as s/he can until s/he is in danger of being run out, which is similar to being thrown out in baseball: it happens when one of the fielding players breaks the wicket with the ball when a batsman is outside the crease. Besides being bowled or run out there are eight other ways of getting out in cricket. Makes it more interesting, what?

7. Once you’re out, you’re done batting for the match

There is only one opportunity per inning to bat in cricket (two per game), none of this “chance at redeeming yourself later on” stuff. Harsh but fair.

8. The team with the most runs wins

Once one team is finished batting, each player on the other team bats. At the end the team with the most runs wins. Simple as that!

9. We love trash talk as much as you do!

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Known as sledging in the cricket world. Cricketers are known for their subtle and not-so-subtle trash talk.

10. Finally, Just remember: Explaining the cricket to baseball fans is never easy

On second thought, none of this makes sense. You must remember Camelot is a silly place. Here’s a video to better explain and here are some handy rules.

11. And now for something completely different

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