Saturday, November 7, 2009

9 Reasons why Baseball is better than Cricket

I realise of course this is absolutely the wrong time to write this blog – it should be done next year as the baseball season begins, but I said I’d write it now, so here it is (I’ll probably just repost it in April!)

Comparing baseball with cricket is a somewhat fraught exercise, but given cricket’s seeming desire to make itself more and more like baseball, it can be quite easily done, especially if the focus is on comparing baseball to one day and Twenty20 cricket. Test matches are a supreme life form that I will not hear criticism of (well unless it is criticism that agrees with my own!), but that said there are still an easy nine reasons why baseball is better than all forms of cricket:

1. It’s over in 3-4 hours:

The time factor is the big thing that kills one day cricket – it goes for one whole day! My family were all members of Adelaide Oval, and when I was a kid and we went to the one day games to see Australia play Sri Lanka or some lightweight team, I always hoped that Sri Lanka would bat first. They would be lucky to get much over a hundred, meaning that Australia would be a good chance to knock them off quickly and we could go home early.  I hated it when Australia batted first, made 300 and then Sri Lanka (or whoever) would eke out 150-200 over the fifty overs. We never went home early, and I just hated the whole thing (mostly because back then Adelaide Oval didn’t have lights and the match would be played during the day in 40C heat).

Test matches of course take 5 days, but on this category I’ll let that pass (and besides a test match day only goes for 6 hours, not the 8-9 of a one day game).

In baseball you’re looking at around 3-4 hours for each game. It means they can start playing at around 8pm. Yeah they’ll have a late finish, but you’re able to go to work and then come home and watch the game. This is the one reason why Twenty20 cricket has been popular. People do not want to spend all day watching a sport. The most popular sports to watch are all the forms of football – be they NRL, AFL, NFL or soccer. All of them are done and dusted in under 3 hours or so (NFL can drag out a bit). In, out, done, rest of the day or night to do other things.

So the brevity of baseball has it all over cricket, except…

2. It may never end:

A cricket match is 20 overs long, 50 overs long or a 5 day test. And once that set amount of overs or time has been reached, that’s it. Game over. In baseball (at least in the major league version) there are no ties, and so if the game is all square after nine innings, then the teams keep going until one team has a lead after a complete innings. Theoretically a baseball game can just keep going, much like the 5th set of a Grand Slam tennis match (except, ironically, in the US Open). It means a game can turn into a war of attrition where heroes can emerge in the 14th innings at 2am.

But the best aspect of the fact that the game may never end is…

3. It’s never over till it’s over

Twenty20 and one day games are all devised to try and produce a close result. I have seen quite a few Twenty20 games live, and I think only one has been close. A close one day game? More the exception than the rule. And why is this so? Because once your 10 men are out, that’s it, and once your 50 or 20 overs are bowled, then that’s it. So if you are 40 runs down with 2 overs to go. Well let’s be honest it ain’t going to happen and if it does it is remarkable. If you have 10 overs to go and you’re down to your last 2 batsmen, likewise, forget about it, the game is over. Hairston_Walk-off_HR

In baseball however look at this example from the world series Game 4. It is the top of the 9th innings. The Yankees are down 3-4. There are two outs. Johnny Damon is batting, the count is 1-2 (one ball, two strikes) meaning Philadelphia are one strike out away from winning. Damon proceeds to get two more balls and also fouls off five pitches. On his ninth pitch he hits a single. Mark Teixeira is up next. Damon steals 2nd base, and then seeing no one is on 3rd, he steals that as well. Teixeira gets hit by a pitch and moves to 1st base. Up next in Alex Rodriguez. He hits  double, Damon scores, Teixera moves to 3rd. The scores are now tied. Next up for the Yankees is their catcher, Jorge Posada. He fouls the first two pitches, and is thus on 2 strikes. Again Philadelphia is one strikeout away from ending the innings. On his fifth pitch, Posada hits a single and both Teixeira and Rodriguez score. The score is now Yankees up 6-4.

And the thing is, while that is a great comeback, it is not all that uncommon. In fact it is expected of the best players that they can come through “in the clutch”. The best players are those who get hits when it is close and tight in the last couple innings. If the team is down by 2 runs, and there are 2 runners on the base, it’s the 9th innings and there are two outs, well no one in the crowd is leaving – and if you are considered the best hitter on the team, the opposition might even intentionally walk you just so you don’t hit a home run.

Such comebacks are so common that specialized pitchers called “closers” have the job of closing out the game in the last two (or one) innings. The reason they have this job is because the game is never over till it’s over. You’re down 9 runs with one innings to go? Are you going to win? Probably not. Can you win? Absolutely. You can be one pitch away from being out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still win.

In many ways, baseball scoring is again more like tennis than say cricket. You can be down 2 sets to love, and down 40-15, 5-0 in the third. Will you win? Unlikely. Can you win? Absolutely. In cricket, you’re nine wickets down, one over to go, and 30 runs shorts? Can you win?. No. In fact, most likely half the crowd has already gone home.

4. Every pitch matters but some matter more than others

Cricket is a leisurely game to watch. The bowler takes a long run up, runs in and delivers the ball. The batsman lets it go through to the keeper, and everyone goes back to talking to their mate, or reading the paper. In a cricket match, you only need to look at the play for that second or so that the bowler delivers the ball and the batsmen either hits it or lets it go. Once it has been fielded, unless it is a run out chance, you can look away for 30 seconds. If the captain decides to change the field then make it a minute.

You can’t look away during a baseball game. The pitcher doesn't need to run in, and if there is a runner on one of the bases you have to watch even before the pitch is made to see if he is going to try and steal a base. Every pitch could be a home run. And yes every ball in cricket could be a wicket, but it is the intensity of watching baseball that makes it so different. The time between pitches is less than in cricket, the pace of the game is so much quicker.

There are also less opportunities in a baseball game where you can go off and get something to eat. In a one day game, or test match, there are ample times when your can go out for a while, knowing it is pretty likely when you get back not much will have changed. In baseball in the matter of a few pitches the whole game can change. A pitcher can be cruising along, with 2 outs in an innings, he walks a batter, the next gets a single, the next hits a home run, those last two things could have happened from just two pitches. And boom, what was once a no hitter is suddenly a 3 run game, with one out still to get, and the next batter up could be in great form and before you know it you’re thinking this could be a blow out. And yet just four pitches before you were thinking the pitcher was cruising.

Now maybe that happens a bit  in Twenty20 cricket, where one over can change a match, but it rarely happens in test cricket – and it may happen in one over out of 90 in a day’s play. In baseball every innings can be like that. Getting that last out is crucial, and it can all go so bad for a team so very quickly.

5. It comes down to moments

In some ways this is a colliery to reason 4 and reason 3. In Game 6 of the World Series, the Phillies were down 7-3 in the 7th innings. They had two outs, but there were two runners on base. Up to the plate came Chase Utley, the 2nd baseman for Philadelphia, who in the first 5 games of the World Series had hit 5 home runs – 2 in Game 1 and and 2 again in Game 5. This guy was in seriously good form, and could hit the ball a mile. If he hit another Home Run, Philadelphia would be down only 1 run with 2 innings still to go, if he got out, it is unlike he would have got another chance to hit in the game. This was a arodkey moment. Yankees relief pitcher Damaso Marte struck him out with three pitches. From that point on the Yankees looked unlikely to lose.

And every game in baseball has these types of moments. It might come in the first innings when the bases are loaded, or the last innings when one runner is on. You never know when, but they’re always there, and they crop up regularly. In cricket it just doesn’t happen that way. A batsmen may come in at a crucial time for the team – they might be down 3 wickets for bugger all runs. But what that batsman (and his partner) needs to do is make a century which means he needs to stay in for 2-3 hours. That ‘moment’ is actually half a day long. The only time a cricket match ever gets down to a moment is if 6 or less runs are needed off the last ball. And that doesn’t happen often. 

Baseball isn’t just about close endings, it’s about tense moment all the way throughout the game.

6. Everyone gets a second chance

Imagine going to a cricket match, and you are all excited because you know a great batsman – say a Tendulker or a Lara is going to be batting that day.  He comes to the wicket, and the ball moves off the seam, he edges it and he is caught behind for a duck. Everyone in the crowd roars in a cheer but then they groan knowing they won’t get to see him bat. In baseball every player can count on getting on average four chances to hit. If you are a top player, the likelihood is at least 3 of those opportunities with be “a moment” in the game, a time where the crowd will be inching forward in anticipation of seeing something happen.

Not only do players get a second change, so too do the spectators. Every batter gets another chance, and everyone knows that you can’t expect the batter to get a hit every time. For here is the most stunning thing for cricket fans about baseball –if you get a hit 3 times out of 10 in a season, you’re doing very well. If you average a hit 4 times out of 10, you’re a legend.

7. The statistics

This season, Yankees captain Derek Jeter hit .334 (ie he had a hit 33.4% of the time), but if you include walks and hit by pitches, he got on base 40.6% of the time (what’s called an on base percentage – OBP – of .406). In innings from the 7th innings on he batted .341, in day games he batted .347, in night games it was .328. He averaged a walk 10.1% of the time he went to bat; his ratio of ground balls to fly balls was 1.21:1; he averaged 3.82 pitches per plate appearance. And I could go on and on and on. Baseball loves statistics. You can find out each player’s batting average against each pitcher, what their average is when the count is 1 ball-1 strike, what percentage of balls they hit to left field as opposed to right field etc etc etc. Some are pointless – do we really need to know what a player averages when the count is 2 balls and 1 strike? – others are interesting and make for great reference.

And it’s not just the averages and other statistical aspects, it’s the records that matter – Hank Aaron’s 755 home runs, Pete Rose’s 4,256 career hits, Ricky Henderson’s career 1,406 stolen bases. These matter; they are remembered.

Yes cricket has lots of stats as well, but nowhere near as many, and nowhere near the amount that can be compared to other eras. Batting and bowling averages matter – though given the size of grounds, and make of bats now, an average of 50 is perhaps a little bit devalued (but not much) – but overall records? Players play so many more test matches now than in the past that the record number of runs and wickets are meaningless. No one even bothers comparing Ponting’s total runs with Bradman’s because Bradman played so many fewer tests. But in baseball up until the middle of the last century there were 160 games a season, and now there are only 162, so career hits, runs, home runs can be compared. If you played for 15 seasons in the 1980-90s you would have played roughly the same number of games had you been around in the 1920-30s. It’s why hitting 500 home runs, 3,000 hits, or winning 300 games all mean something.

Just think about cricket; how many test runs do you need to make to be considered an all time great? 6,000? 7,000? 10,000? If someone made 4,000 runs in the 1930-40s how does that compare with someone today? You can’t say – you would need to look at their average. And it’s why statistics in cricket really don’t have the resonance that they do in baseball.

Baseball also has more records than in cricket – there is no comparison in cricket with Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak, or Nolan Ryan’s 6 no hitter games pitched. Sure cricket can come up with some stats – the site Howstat! is quite interesting, but it’ll only ever be a poor man’s Baseball Reference.

8. The history

Cricket is older than baseball, but when it comes to history, baseball has it all over cricket. In 1919 the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, in 1923 the Yankees won their first World Series, in 1941 Joe DiMaggio produced his hitting streak and Ted Williams hit over .400 (the last person to do so), in 1947 Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play in the major leagues, in 1961 Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle engaged in a chase to break Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a season – Maris did it, hitting 61. Now I could rattle those facts off without a second thought, but I have to say I have no idea what happened in cricket in 1919, 1923, 1947 or 1961. Babe-Ruth-and-Lou-Gehrig---Photofile-Photograph-C10106975

Heck I don’t have to even go that far back. In 1984 my football team Norwood, won the Grand Final against Port Adelaide, having come from 5th to win. I can’t remember who Australia even played in the 1984-85 summer. I think it was New Zealand – but did they play 3 tests or 5? I know Chappell, Lillee and Marsh debuted in 1970 and retired in 1983. I know World Series Cricket was between 1977-79. I know Australia won back the Ashes in 1989 – because that was the year I was in Japan, so I generally recall events of that year quite easily. But who did Australia play in 1989-90? I have no idea. I can’t even remember as I type this who they played last summer. Oh wait… it was South Africa... before that it was the Ashes, and before that… errr. But I could name the Grand Finalist each year from about 1980 without too much trouble.

And likewise with baseball. I know who the Yankees played in the 1996 World Series, and even who was MVP. Does anyone ever remember who is man of a series in a set of test matches? Who was man of the series in the last Ashes series? billd0I have no idea and I watched every match.

But it’s not just the scores and the names, it is the way baseball is so indelibly linked with American history. In part this is because of better story telling by Americans – I hate that I know more about Shoeless Joe Jackson than I do Victor Trumper. But think about it – can you imagine the movie Bull Durham being about cricket? or Field of Dreams being Oval of Dreams? I guess they could – after all a very interesting film called Wondrous Oblivion does  convey some of the sense of joy and wonder about cricket, but somehow I doubt it would resonate as well.

For me cricket just struggles to match baseball for history – for magical moments you remember, for dates in time that you will never forget – a case in point: I was at Adelaide Oval when the West Indies beat Australia by a run, but I can’t tell you when that was – I’ll guess either 1991 or 92 because I know I was at uni at the time. In baseball the season is vital to the memory because of one absolutely vital reason…

9. It’s a club not a country

The most supported sports in the world are all forms of football. What is common about all (except Rugby Union) is that for day in day out supporters, the ultimate aim is his or her club winning the championship/Grand Final/Super Bowl. Baseball is the bat and ball game that replicates this fervour. I have never been in America, but I love the Yankees. If baseball was like cricket and America played other nations, there is no way I could get as excited – in fact I didn’t care when America played in the World Baseball Classic this year, even though a number of Yankees were playing.300px-NewYorkYankees_PrimaryLogo_svg

The ESPN’s “Sport’s Guy” Bill Simmons is a mad Boston Red Sox and, in the NFL, New England Patriots fan. After Game 4 someone asked him if he would be happy for the Patriots not to win the Super Bowl this season, if it meant the Yankees would choke and lose the Super Bowl. He thought for a couple seconds, and then said, “yes”. The key thing about sports which involve different clubs is that not only do you want your team to win, but if your team can’t, then you want your enemy to fail. I used to say I’d be happy for the Crows to come second last, provided Port came last. I was only half joking. Now I’d say I’d be happy for the Crows to come third last provided Port and Collingwood finished below. When Geelong flogged Port in the 2007 Grand Final, I thought it was hilarious and a great game to watch. 

But with cricket? Yeah when I was young I wanted Australia to win, but by the early-mid 1990s, when the arrogance of the team became overwhelming, I have to say I didn’t mind seeing them lose. That is something I could never say about the Crows. It wouldn’t matter who played for them, I would defend them to the death, and each loss would be a small death.

In the early mid-1990s when one summer they let the Australia A side play in the one day series, a number of commentators couldn’t understand why Australian crowds would cheer for the team to beat the “Australia” side. The reason was simple – for many (especially South Australians) the Australia A side contained some favoured sons who we wanted to cheer; and in effect Australia A became our team. Yes it’s great to cheer for Australia, but there is nothing better than having a team who you feel is your own – and one you have to defend against work mates. It’s why the Indian Twenty20 is doing the right thing by making it a team competition, and why I think in Australia they should try a Twenty20 comp with more than the state sides. Have 2 teams in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. One from Hobart  and maybe 3-4 from Sydney and Perth. Heck even align them with footy teams – Can you imagine the Collingwood Magpies playing the Adelaide Crows in Twenty20? I don’t even care who is playing, I already want the Crows to win, and I sure as hell want them to win more than when South Australia is playing Victoria.

Baseball has teams you can follow all your life. They play 162 times a year. You can work with a baseball fan and never agree on anything. If you are a cricket fan, and you work with a cricket fan, are you ever going to have an argument about whether Australia is better than England? Not unless your workmate is English.

Playing for and supporting your country is a great thing. But it should be like playing for your country in soccer. Baseball, unlike cricket, has worked out that true passion lies in having teams to live and die for. Case in point, Johnny Damon beat the Yankees while playing for Boston in the 2004 American League. I hated him. He now plays for the Yankees and he starred in Game 4 of the World Series – so obviously he is now a great player and I won’t hear a bad thing said against him! If say Virender Sehwag suddenly got an Australian citizenship I’d be wondering what the hell he was doing trying to get a game playing for Australia, and would cheer for him somewhat reservedly – it would feel odd, because, well country is country. But if he were playing for the Adelaide Crows against Collingwood in the Australian Twenty20 Championships, then I would be crossing fingers, and toes during his innings, hoping like hell he scored a ton of runs, and cheering madly.

Country is great, but for week in week out support, you need a club, and on that baseball beats the stuffing out of cricket.


r4i karte said...

Hi there,
I like to play games on my console and in my pc cricket was one of the favorite game of my..
So this blog will also like me....

Anonymous said...

you are a jackass and i dont agree.. cricket gave birth to dont say cricket is tryin 2 be like baseball, when your forefathers asked for the rule book of cricket and made their own shit up..and called it baseball..same goes for your other sports..called AMERICAN FOOTBALL..

man just go die

Anonymous said...

Why even discuss limited overs cricket? That's how Rome fell, you know. Test Matches weren't packing out the Circus Maximus or the Colosseum, so they tried to jazz it up to keep the colonials interested. And BAM! Before they knew it, the Visigoths were playing Twenty20 on the Palatine Hill!

Anonymous said...

Some of this is valid, but your points about history is totally laughable.

Just because you are ignorant of cricket history, means nothing. Most people in cricketing nations could not name a single baseball player besides Babe Ruth, and I'd wager there are a few who have not heard of him either. Cricket history goes way back - what was happening in baseball when Ivo Bligh recieved the urn? What famous baseball players were there in WG's day? When Thomas Lord built his cricket ground, had baseball even been invented?

Anyway, aren't you an Australian? I've never met an Australian who could talk about the history of cricket and not complain about Bodyline and Douglas Jardine, but you seem to have managed it. You say you don't know what happened in cricket in 1947. What about 1948? 99.94 ring any bells? I hear it's a famous number in Australia.

As for the difference between club and country, that is not an advantage at all. I couldn't care less about domestic competition in any sport. It is utterly, utterly meaningless. Only the clash of one nation against another can excite tribal passions. It is Baseball's very lack of any elite international competition (because olympic baseball and the world classic are a joke) that makes it an obscure shadow sport in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Baseball players r sissies who need a bigg padded glove 2 help them catch a ball. Real men (cricket players) use their bare hands

Anonymous said...

baseball do not not require much fitness, they run along bases a couple times per match and when they field they rarely move. Cricket requires mental and physical strength at maximum just to complete a game. Baseball are for fat pussies, cricket are for gentlemen.

Anonymous said...

Even though you MIGHT be an idiotic Australian, you are totally bias

Anonymous said...

cricket wasnt designed as a spectator sport, it was for the players. american sports were designed to entertain the growing number of lazy fat slobs in the country.
americans copied rugby (american football) and cricket (baseball) becuase they were too pussey to play against the rest of the world. babe ruth wouldnt stand a chance against don bradman.

Anonymous said...

baseball people are overrated, they make one fabulous hit and are hailed heros and have many chances... in cricket one mistake with the bat and your out. funny how baseball people earn so much money when they use gloves in the outfield, fcking pussies try fielding at silly point or the slips at full pace without gloves and stopping the ball when your the bowler hit in the middle of the bat

Anonymous said...

lol man...all your points besides point 9 about cricket are wrong, even point 9 is half right, there are other leagues besides the ICC in which we use clubs not countries but that being requires much more skill, is more fun to watch. Believe me dude, I live in America and have watched/played my fair share of baseball and can tell you obviously no nothing about cricket. my suggestion to you is to look over your facts before you make yourself look like such a food.

Dan J said...

Lol, this is absolutely hysterical that some people don't realize the true athletic necessity of baseball players, and actually think cricket players are better athletes. It's an endurance game rather than a sprint like most other sports, so it requires a whole different level of athletic ability. And even with that, you still have to be a damn good athlete. If you don't believe me, check out this play from the other night.

And not only was it an absolutely tremendous play, it also was to preserve Matt Cain's perfect game. That's 27 consecutive batters retired without a hit, walk, or an error, which was the VERY FIRST one to take place in the Giant's 127 year history and only the 9th perfect game in the history of the National League.

I can certainly see why people find baseball to be tedious and why they don't appreciate just how athletic you really have to be, but that's almost always because they don't understand the true nature of the game. I for one find cricket to be more boring than watching paint dry, but I can admit that part of it is because I simply don't know enough about the intricacies of the game.

And finally, there is a reason why the US' highest paid athlete is a baseball player who has TWO separate contracts of more than $250 million. Not only that, of the top ten highest paid athletes in the world, 9 o them are baseball players.

Anonymous said...

I'll forgive you for being a Yankee fan. But, you make very valid points.

Baseball requires a ton of skill, focus, and physical ability. A pitcher doesn't simply throw a ball at a target. He must have the ability to throw different types of pitches in different situations and tailor them to different batters. If there are men on base, he must keep them in mind too.

On the other side, batters must know what the pitcher may throw in context of the situation and where and how to hit depending on the specific situation during the game.

The fielders must also adjust their position depending on the situation.

The manager must also do a lot of thinking with every batter or pitcher and direct his players accordingly.

So, every player and the manager on both sides must stay focussed throughout the entire game.

Even though baseball has simpler rules than cricket, as I show above, a lot of strategy must take place.

The relatively simpler rules are also more advantageous for moving the game along. For example, an inning is over for the team that's batting after 3 outs and not dependent on allowing every batter to have the opportunity to hit. Even the number of pitches are limited. 3 strikes are an out, 4 balls are a walk, a hit is made, or the ball is hit and the batter is out in some fashion.

There are no ties, but eventually, and very rarely over a long period, one team wins. Quite amazing that a game with no clock can be played consistently in a relatively short amount of time with a definite outcome.

As for all the cricket-fans-baseball-haters who commented, they are truly clueless and let their biases show.

Anonymous said...

As a Melbournian who has played baseball for 20yrs and has had an MCC membership, I feel adequately qualified to give my opinion on this matter without sounding like a pig-headed Aussie: the game of baseball is simply more interesting. There are more possibilities, strategies, and more action in each game. The history of the game, while not as old cricket, is again, MORE INTERESTING!
To to person who suggests that baseballs 'forefathers asked for the rule book of cricket', you must not have ever seen a baseball game. Both games are unique, with incredibly different rules.
To the person who stated that 'cricket requires mental and physical strength at maximum just to complete a game' clearly hasn't played a game of baseball. Cricket fielders decide which end to throw the ball based on where the runners are on the pitch, but what do you do if you pick up a groundball at short with 2 out a runner on third? The situations and fielding choices can be different with each hitter, even change in a pitch, And I think the athletic superiority of baseball over cricket is evident in the fact that baseball coaches where introduced to the Australian team.
There are legends of cricket and some amazing stories (like the reference to Bradmans 99.94) though the history and drama in comparison to baseball is thin.
And 'baseball has simpler rules than cricket'? No, not even close. The rules of baseball can are intricate and tedious.
To compare anything on the internet will do nothing but gather extreme opinion. But the sheer arrogance and baseball-illiteracy of Australians is overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

lifelong baseball fan, relatively new cricket fan here (canadian for what that's worth).

I don't think either game is necessarily superior, inferior, or whatever. they're different games that require different skills and techniques and both require massive amounts of specialized training to become elite at, and nobody from either sport could switch over and do appreciably well. but because there seems to be some anti-baseball sentiment here, here are some things I feel a need to point out:

- the ball moves much, much faster in baseball. even the quickest bowlers are still 10-15 kph slower than the baseball equivalents, and just about every major league pitcher throws at least as hard as the quickest bowler.

- because of this, the ball travels faster off the bat: line drives can go as hard as 130 mph, or roughly 225 kph. try catching one of those with your bare hands from 25 meters!

- baseball fields have longer boundaries: the absolute shortest are over 90 meters, they get as long as 120-130 if my rough calculations are accurate. therefore almost all sixes in cricket would be caught on a baseball field.

- baseball requires hitting straight to a field of eight fielders. there is far less open space to put the ball in.

- baseball bats are smaller, and also round, meaning it's a lot harder to middle the ball.

- one of the things that drew me to cricket, as a baseball fan, was the history aspect, the reverence around 99.94, Bodyline, the Ashes, etc. that said, baseball's is just as rich, and perhaps more so. to answer the questions asked by one other guy: yes, there were famous baseball players in WG Grace's day! ask any serious baseball fan about Old Hoss Radbourn, for instance. or King Kelly, who had hit songs written about him (in the 19th century!). Ivo Bligh receiving the urn roughly coincided with Pete Browning getting the first Louisville Slugger. cricket has Hansie Cronje, baseball has Pete Rose.

I love both sports, and I think the world is better for having both in them. But when people say things like "Baseball players r sissies who need a bigg padded glove 2 help them catch a ball. Real men (cricket players) use their bare hands" that shows ignorance more than anything. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Those who are making 'uneducated' comments about baseball are simply no less, making themselves out to be fools that do not deserve a moments attention nor acknowledgement for their obvious ignorant outbursts. Anyone who learns everything he/she can about the game of baseball, and perhaps even play a few games themselves could not help but fall in love with it, guaranteed 100%!!! You won't be able to help yourself, PROMISE! It is one of the, if not MOST EXCITING game ever played, regardless of how much younger it is than Cricket or any other game played out there. Learn it, play it, then make your comments. At least then, your comments will be at least somewhat more educated and far far less prejudiced due to ignorance.


KD Gaur

Logan said...

Okay, I'll bite... I quite like baseball; it's my favourite "American" game. But it's never threatened cricket in my affections. Going through your points:

1. For me, the length is what makes cricket - and yes, I work so I can only go at weekends. Being able to sit around at lunch, then tea, then overnight five times in a row and chew the fat is fantastic.

2. T20's "Super Overs" can sometimes (depending on the competition) be theoretically endless, but mostly I concede this point.

3. First Ashes Test, 2013 - 80 to win with nine down, and Aus still almost made it over the line. Yes, games like that are relatively rare, but I prefer it that way: it makes them more special when they happen.

4. See point 1: I prefer cricket's stop-start nature. Personal preference, this one.

5. Partly conceded, but that the third umpire decision re Agar's stumping (or not) was a huge moment - as was the last ball of all!

6. Personal preference again. I like the all-or-nothing aspect with cricket.

7. No question that baseball is statto's heaven. Cricket is catching up, but I doubt it'll ever be quite as stats-heavy as baseball. I'm a stats geek, so this point goes to baseball.

8. If I'd been at that WI match, I'd be able to tell you the minute, never mind the season. Cricket has a vast amount of thrilling, fascinating, resonant history; just because you don't know it doesn't mean it doesn't count.

9. Absolutely not! I love Tests cricket, rugby union Tests, the Olympics and the Ryder Cup -- all of which are country v country sports. I don't care all that much about ordinary golf tournaments, and the Lions rugby win meant more to me than my local team (Worcester) staying in the Premiership. And yes, this is part of why football (as in soccer) isn't a sport I care for much.

Anonymous said...

Such silliness comparing the two really, both are great sports and appeal to different tastes (e.g. I quite like the international prestige of cricket, you may not appreciate it as much).. For one thing, comparing Australia's summer sport to something that obviously runs a lot longer in the U.S. is wrong - you may as well make the same argument to compare Cricket with AFL.

What are we going to compare next? Soccer and hokey?

Anonymous said...

I'm a baseball fan. I also like to watch cricket. But these questions are like impossible to answer. It all depends on preference if you ask me. For the other people that say that baseball players aren't fit then you are wrong. They are fit. They sprint to get on base and to steal a base. They practice hard to improve their power, their speed and their endurance. Baseball players play almost everyday in the entire MLB season. It takes stamina to play 162 games in 6 months. When it comes to cricket, most of the time cricketers would jog going to the other side of the pitch. To sum it all up, baseball is more about power while cricket is more about endurance. I never underestimate cricket because it is a beautiful game. Just respect each others' sport.

Anonymous said...

A long time ago baseball players play bare handed. And I enjoy that baseball uses gloves. It makes the game faster. Well, it all boils down to preference. What's gonna be next? Rum or whiskey?

Anonymous said...

Why dont you jus read this link and then say anything

Anonymous said...

The top baseball leagues are a joke, because they're SO HEAVILY weighted in favour of the pitching team that the game is pointless! Nothing happens! It goes: ball, ball, foul, strike, foul, strike, hit, out. Rinse and repeat many times.
Batting is just too hard. I feel like I'm in Bizzaro World every time I see it on tv.
Batters average less than .4 of a run?!? Come on! And the best team in 2012 averaged 5 runs a game?! That's for a whole game (right?)! :-) Bloody hell. Come on, people; wake up.

I'd rather watch kids' softball.

Put it this way: if the game was invented today, would if get off the ground as a spectator sport? No. And if someone tells me one more time that I need to learn to appreciate the bloody nuances, I'll spew up.

It's gotta be more even. For a start, the bats should be bigger, and at least a third of the fielders should go. Imagine that: zingers much more often.

It's got so much potential.

Having said all that: yes, the top players are amazingly skillful, especially the pitchers. The way they curve or dip the ball at good speed; wow! And some of them are so FAST. 'Several' pitches have been clocked at over 165km/h, and a handful over 170! Crikey!

Anonymous said...

Baseball is better than cricket!!!!!!
a base player has to take clever decisions and quickly,
also the rules are so cool,
the fun in playing baseball is great,
there are lots of twists and unpredictability in baseball,
you can't be sure what's gonna happen next in the game,there is a lot more stuff about baseball which shows that baseball is better than any other sports.

and cricket is boring,that's very predictable and that's a game for weirdos(no offence),
the players dress as if they are gonna fight in a battle,pussys.

baseball is cool!!!!!!

Mystikiel said...

I enjoy both sports and wouldn't say that one us better than the other, but there are a few reasons I prefer cricket:-

1) batting in cricket is more interesting. Where is baseball's equivalent of the cover drive? I love watching the more improbable shots like reverse sweeps and ramp shots. Batting in baseball boils down to swings and occasional bunts.

2) I love the international aspect of cricket. Would bodyline have really been a big deal if it was just a spat between two rival clubs? And what about the west indies during the late seventies and eighties, when national and racial dignity was so clearly being celebrated. I would much rather watch countries play, clubs are just meaningless corporate entities anyway.

3) I love the variability that exists in cricket because of the pitch. India struggle abroad but are lions at home because they grew up on dusty wickets. Australia has rock hard road surfaces that favor steeping seamers. The pitch is an immense part of cricket's charm. Again baseball has no equivalent.

4) spin bowlers. The nearest equivalent baseball has are knuckleballers but nothing beats watching a spin bowler befuddle a batsman with some new creation. The Japanese leagues feature some interesting pitches like shuutos and gyroballs but realistically most baseball pitchers have a two or four seam fastball and maybe one variation.

4) While baseball does have a lot of statistics frankly the data mining aspect of baseball has gone so far that the play is quite robotic. Clubs always bring their closers out at the beginning of the ninth. Rivera always throws his cutter at left handers. I know they're playing the percentages but it can get dull.

5) Attrition. Nothing tests the reserves of a man better than being out in the middle, getting sledged by opposition fielders and having a fast bowler run in and try and land the ball on his teeth. Nothing shits me more in baseball than watching some overpaid player take to the field for a couple of minutes combined and still get paid a bushel.

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason in that whole document that has a valid point. That Is the first one Which is about time that baseball is shorter and people don't have time to watch a hole game of cricket . Who said u have to watch the whole match anyway ofcourse u would like too. But then point to just fucks up ur first point saying baseball may never end which could make the game longer than cricket.
When u say baseball has better history go read the history books. And all ur other points r just a pile of words which mean nothing

Jeff OHalloran said...

I like the references to the world series of Chicago playing New York. They are indeed champions of the world in a domestic competition. I watch both games as they have different skill sets and love the champions of the world (maybe the universe)references.

Anonymous said...

im on the cricket side of this argument for sure... my favorute thing about cricket has to be how suprisingly malleable it is, how you can change up the rules to play great competitive games anywhere anytime! backyard cricket, schoolyard cricket, hallway cricket, outside the stadium cricket
all you need is two or more people a bat and a tennis ball and a few imaginary fielders acted out by objects and your set
nothing beats backyard cricket and often that is where the skills of the greats are really developed
i wonder if this happens with baseball in the stares it doesnt seem like it would work well but maybe it does
would like to know...

Anonymous said...

I'm an American (born and raised) and cricket is way better than baseball. Your first and second reasons make no sense and contradict each other. For one, you argue that baseball is a shorter game, and the next you argue that baseball can theoretically never end..... And this argument that baseball is more exciting/unpredictable than cricket is a farce. Sports are sports and be it any sport, you never know what is going to happen until the very end. You said that you've watched a few T20s and they weren't close. I seriously wonder if you have even watched any T20s at all, because a good chunk of these games have nailbiting finishes. Baseball is quite boring in which the same pattern happens every time a batter comes out: ball, strike, ball, strike, and then strike/hits and out. Then repeat that for 90% of the entire game. In comparing stats between the 2 games, it is commonly known that in baseball the stats are taken seriously while in cricket the stats are more like guidelines.
And your denying of cricket's rich and colorful history just explains a LOT. You're an Australian but never heard of Don Bradman and the Invincibles? You never heard of the Bodyline Series? You never heard of the 2005 Ashes Series? And then what about Imran Khan and his team of tigers back in the late 80s? Of the 1999 India vs Pakistan Test Series (in which a war was declared a mere months after the series). Of the 5-0 blackwash series in the 80s which established the West Indies as one of the strongest cricketing dynasties of all time (which started an emergence of culture from the Caribbean)? Or what of the 1983 and 1996 world cup where the minnow India and Sri Lanka shocked the world by winning a world cup? Or the hat trick of world cups Australia picked up? India vs Pakistan 2011 in Mohali? India vs Australia 2001 Eden Gardens? South Africa vs Australia 434 match? Murali getting his 800th wicket with his last ball? The chucking issue? The underarm ball issue with Trevor Chapell? 1999 Chennai where Tendulkar made a century against all odds in a losing cause? Brian Lara reclaiming the world record Test score with 400*? Man this is only the tip of the iceberg, cricket history is sooo RICH and tied in with different nation's cultures. By saying that baseball has more is the most ignorant thing one can here.
Another Thing i just loathe about baseball is that they need to use gloves to catch a lighter ball. How hard is catching if you have gloves to catch? I've seen interviews with batsman who play cricket just to try it out, and always the first thing they say is "I Can't believe you guys catch this with your bare hands". There is also a lot of overweight players in the MLB. Here in the US (i'm not sure if people in other countries are aware of this), it is widely known of the abuse of performance enhancing substances in the MLB (Sammy Sosa, recently ARod, etc). In cricket, the only instance I can think of this was Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Dumbest post I have ever read. Cricket is the Mother of bat&ball games. Statistics? Are you kidding Me? It would take weeks to read stats of a single Cricket Match. Baseball is nowhere near to Cricket. Its only because of the reason 'Americans' play it, they think its a better game. Come out of USA & see the world, you'll get to know that most of the people don't even know what baseball is.

Praveen said...

Hi,I would like to share some of my opinions for this post.
I am from India the country where cricket is a part of life for every person. Well some of your points are convincing but the biggest bug i got here was that no comments looked in your favour. The fact surprises me that non indian people also watch and praise cricket.The fact is true that cricket is much more harder game than the latter but when i watch the speedometer in a baseball game i become crazy. i think that how they hit the speedy ball so faaar with a round bat..

Amit said...

Sorry buddy but I have seen both baseball and cricket. Cricket is way more interesting.

It produces intense rivalry between the teams - the kind that you can never imagine in baseball.

Their are far more matches (esp in the 20-20 formats) which are decided in the last over or sometimes even on the last ball.

Have you EVER heard of anyone dying because of a baseball game? Here is some news - 2 fans died (purely out of SHOCK) after India defeated their team in world cup semifinal.

Cricket rules.

Anonymous said...

What the f#@k is base ball game.. i never even heard of it..Do they play this game in backyard.. Cricket is played by men representing their countries.. Pussy Americans play cricket, rugby and foot ball (not with ur helmets on)...

Harry Douglas said...

Seriously, all these anti-baseball comments are idiotic. Watch a baseball game or play it yourselves, then make a comment. Forget the fact that baseballers wear gloves because I can say with a 100% certainty that they'd catch a ball just fine without it. And from what I've seen, the overall fielding ability of a MLB baseballer is of a higher standard than that of an international cricketer. For most of the last 10+ years, Australia's fielding coach is a former baseball player, and he's been a big reason why Australia has become probably the best fielding team in cricket. And he only ever played Minor League baseball! Imagine what a former MAJOR league baseball player and Gold Glove winner would turn the Australian team into!
Ohh And this is coming from a cricket fan/player as well.

Unknown said...

Both baseball and cricket are very difficult games to adapt for every individual - I am BTW a Korean who played only baseball when I was young but I could not make it to a professinal level. And there was no cricket culture as well as now either in Korea where baseball happens to be the single most popular and value making sport that overwhelms(no where close) what it is from the professional soccer(football - the 2nd popular sport in Korea) league given this fact that there is no way to understand and to get to know the true fun essence of cricket for me. I tried to watch Star Sports cricket games quite a several times (each at least 2 hours) but heck I had no idea what I was watching and I did not get a glimpse of the sport. I agree with Grog in so many ways but I find it very very amazing to know how Grog could become a fan of base ball in such non baseball playing environment down under where nobody plays baseball. Anyway as a Korean who loves baseball I can just say that baseball is a sport of life that once you only get to know what it is you will never compare it at all with any other sport even football what so ever. In addition cricket looks fun but I just do not understand how it is played out nor had played it before any how cheers!

Anonymous said...

True baseball fans would only follow his/her team for the rest of their lives that can pass easily onto their decendents. Weirdly they normally find baseball interesting but boring to watch compare to soccer(which is action packed -yet can be boring) for instance. They would not bother not watching a baseball game between other teams are involved even if it is the World Series. In baseball there is something you can never understand if you never get to know the essence of it which does not come by so easily. I do not now cricket much and there is no time for me to get to know what cricket is since I am a hardcore Giant's fan. Easier way of explaining baseball... NFL lovers or NBA fans they would also follow their home baseball teams but true MLB fans NORMALL DO NOT FOLLOW any other sports teams even if they are from their hometown. Do you know why? Becase they believe that any other sports cannot give the kind of full satisfactory and happiness package a human can ever dream about throught his/her entire life time that baseball can. Given that you decide to follow a particular team baseball becomes a sport full of dramas spectrum of which is way way way way profound and wider than any other thing than anything else that gurantees to continue for the rest of you and your childrens's lives. I wonder if cricket comes near it.

Anonymous said...

3. Foul territory is for Communists.

from the ha-ha-only-serious Spectavius article

(I like both sports, but T20 cricket, especially Caribbean Premier League, is my favorite.)

Anonymous said...

^ lol SOCCER and cricket are pussy sports. in cricket they have to use huge ass bats cause they suck so bad at hitting they have to make it bigger. and where pussies? Try watching a REAL football game. Every play there are head collisions, a huge hits.

Pendragon666 said...

Ive played both games in competition as a pitcher and open bowler. Cricket takes a shit load more skill and strategy. Baseball requires only apart from natural sporting attributes be able to throw and hit that ball... the main hard task in baseball is the rounded bat, though still its expected to be delivered into a limited legal small zone to hit.... a 5 day cricket test match has no end og strategy and skill.makes chess look like snakes n ladders.