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Baseball Explained By An Australian (Who's Never Seen Baseball)

This ignorant Aussie just watched his first baseball match. MLB Down Under.

Baseball players are the ultimate good sports. Much time is spent doffing caps, enquiring into each others health and generally being thoroughly nice chaps.

Baseball seems a little like cricket, but is actually different in almost every way. Even when it's baseball being played on the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Instead of a big oval with all the action taking place in the centre, baseball is played on a weird diamond, with all the action taking place in one corner.

This makes for a lot of empty space.

Each side has 25 players, but only nine actually play.

Everyone wears pyjamas. Fancy pyjamas, but still PJs.

Before the game everyone lines up, takes their hats off and sings the national anthem. This is AWESOME.

" Hello Goosebumps!"

Like cricket, someone bowls a ball, the batter hits it, and there are fielders who try to catch and run you out.

Except fielders in baseball use mitts (cos they're soft) which makes catching pretty easy.

Incidentally, these guys wear GREAT leather belts.

Half the time the players don't seem to know what's happening and the coach has to explain the rules.

Like in cricket, one guy bowls at the batsman. Except someone forgot to bring the wickets.

Unlike cricket, the guy bowling throws the ball: it's called pitching. And yes, throwing is allowed.

The balls themselves are much lighter than cricket balls. Softer some might say.

The balls are either super cheap or the MLB is super rich. Balls go into the crowd non-stop and never come back.

Pitching looks less demanding than cricket bowling (a pitcher throws an average of 100 balls a game) but it pays better: Dodger Clayton Kershaw earns $30m a season!

The pitch doesn't bounce and is aimed at an IMAGINARY box in the air. The players and umpires can see this box, but no one else can. If the ball is going into this box, the battter tries to hit it.

Tries is the operative word. There is A LOT of playing and missing.

If cricketers missed the ball as often as this cricket matches would be over pretty quick. They don't, which is why cricket matches can take five days.

Batsmen are called hitters. Which makes you wonder why they miss the ball so much.

On the rare occasions batters hits the ball, it mostly goes right up in the air or flies off the bat in the wrong direction.

Once in a blue moon, a player hits the ball out of the park for a HOME RUN!


When this happens everyone goes CRAZY and the batter gets fist-bumped and high-fived and gets a rest.

Baseball is basically rounders. The batter tries to hit the ball and run to first, second or third base. Once he gets home he scores a touchdown. If he hits long he scores a three pointer.

No one seems to think it odd that these bases are named after waypoints in a blooming sexual relationship.

Unlike cricket, which boasts positions such as gully and silly mid off, baseball's fielding positions sound pretty dull. With the exception of short stop.

There's nothing dull about baseball fans though.

There's A LOT of sitting around in baseball. It's an even more leisurely game then cricket.

One guy doing a lot of sitting (well squatting) is the wicketkeeper. He catches the balls that the batter misses. Except he's just called the catcher, or backstop, because there's no wicket.

He stands REALLY close to the hitter, so he wears a whole load of protective gear to make sure he doesn't get his teeth knocked out.

This guy has the most dangerous job in world sport.

He should be the baddy in a Batman movie.

On average, baseball players seem a little heftier than other athletes.

To the untrained eye, weight looks like it may actually be a major advantage in baseball.

This is why two-foot-long hot dogs are a baseball speciality.

Thanks for coming Down Under Major League Baseball! You blew our minds.

The backdrop? Tremendous. #OpeningSeries

Kenley locks it down and Game 1 Down Under goes to the @Dodgers.