In our continuing effort to get “Dynamite Eating” Edvard van de Kamp hooked on American sports, we have invited you to quiz him on the rules of baseball.
Baseball is a team sport, involving nine players on each team. As specified in rule 1.05 of the Official Baseball Rules, “The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.”
Edvard, of course, likes football, which is also a team sport in which the objective of each team is to win by scoring more scorey things than the opponent. However, football is slightly different with regards to the number of players on each team, the shape and size of the field of play, the duration of the game, the equipment, the size of the ball, the body parts that may be used to touch the ball, and the manner in which scorey things are scored.
Still, like McDonald’s and the Second Amendment, if baseball is good enough for America, it must be good enough for the rest of the world, right? In that spirit, our latest installment of Stump Edvard features his responses to your questions about the rules of baseball.
Dear Edvard: How many ways are there for a player to be out in baseball?
– Shane McGanter
Wichita, KS, USA
Dear Shane: Let’s find out.
Dear Edvard: What the hell is a balk?
– Janetta Felgrants
Ocean Park, NJ, USA
Dear Janetta: A balk is an attempt by the pitcher to deceive the baserunner, including an illegal pitch, an illegal throw to a base, or a deceptive motion when there is at least one runner on base. When a balk is called, all runners may advance one base.
Dear Edvard: What if there are no runners on base?
– Tacoma Rivers
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Dear Tacoma: If the bases are empty, an illegal pitch is called a ball, unless the batter reaches first base safely [for example, if the batter hits the pitch into play and reaches first base safely].
Dear Edvard: So how many ways are there to commit a balk?
– Taeryn Staffer
Grey Lake, MB, Canada
Dear Taeryn: Let’s find out.
Dear Edvard: What if the ball explodes?
– FB Lanceley
Orchard Tree, MN, USA
Dear FB: They get a new one.
Dear Edvard: Why don’t umpires wear suits any more? Those old umpires looked so stylish, not like today’s umpires with their polo shirts.
– Bobby Scosson
Ithaca, NY, USA
Dear Bobby: Business suits may have been stylish, but they were not functional. Umpires need to run all across the field to cover each play, and they work in a wide variety of weather conditions. Their clothing needs to accommodate that.
Dear Edvard: Is there crying in baseball?
– Noreen Burks
Lansing, MI, USA
Dear Noreen: Sure, if you feel like it. Also, that movie was about softball.
Dear Edvard: Why do managers and coaches wear uniforms?
– Richard Dominguez
Glens Falls, NY, USA
Dear Richard: Coaches wear uniforms because they must wear them in order to be permitted on the field of play. Rule 4.07(a) of the Official Baseball Rules does not say that managers must be in uniform, but they always are anyway.
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