Friday, September 5, 2008

What's All This Then?

For those of you who lament the post-1993 offensive era and wish to return to a time when pitching ruled the day, know that you're not alone. They fight about this sort of thing in cricket too, as dueling letters to the editor in the Times of London demonstrate. At least I think that's what they demonstrate because I'm not sure what every other word of this first letter means:
If it’s pyrotechnics and big-hitting your correspondent requires, may I suggest he tries baseball or some other glitzy show. The nudgers have a beauty of their own, and who’s to say a stolen single into the covers is any less dramatic than a bludgeoned hoick over mid-wicket? Cricket lovers who will be supporting the game long after the bandwagon boys have moved on to floodlit golf or disco chess would argue that the game would be better served if the balance between bat and ball were less in favour of those wielding the willow.
Yeah! What he said! The response:
Sir, Harry Baker describes baseball as a “glitzy show” consisting of “pyrotechnics and big- hitting”. He is the latest in a line of commentators who demean this sport.

Anyone who takes the trouble to watch baseball will discover that there is the same mixture of subtlety, skill, guile and power as in a game of cricket. Many teams win games without ever hitting a home run, relying instead on moving players around the bases in a variety of ingenious ways. The difference between the games is that because the odds are in favour of the pitcher, unlike in cricket where they favour the batter, most baseball games can be completed in around three hours.

What's the British version of "Oh, snap!"?

I have no idea about the dynamics behind this little debate, but I am glad to see some disagreement on a higher rhetorical plane than "Yankees suck!"


Travis M. Nelson said...

Bally Jerry, pranged his kite right in the hows-your-father. Hairy blighter, dickie birdied, feathered back on his Sammy, took a waspie, flipped over his Betty Harpers and caught his can in the bertie!

Alex said...

Tally ho, good chap.

Alex said...

Someone please point me to the nearest disco chess match.

What's funny is that the second letter describes the sort of smallball that's frowned upon in many circles these days ( comes immediately to mind). Whose side would Adam Dunn take in this debate? (Probably that of the first letter, since he hates baseball.)

RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

Cricket is a hoot. If you can take in a match with some folks who'll explain what's going on and give you an idea of what to look for, there is a slight chance you might dig it. I'll share quickly that I've been in and around the IT business for a very long time. I work with people who are legitimate Statistical Scientists, and I've seen some pretty insane mathematical work done on Excel spreadsheets. But without a doubt, the most insane, over-the-top complex and impressive Excel document I have ever seen was built by a gentleman from India, (some database guy...), who built a spreadsheet to track All Things Cricket. It was nuts - I really wish I had secured a copy of it.

Ron Rollins said...


I think I know where to find that.

I'll let you know.

Daniel said...

Okay, let's decipher that first one: "pyrotechnics," "nudgers have a beauty of their own," "stolen single into the covers," "wielding the willow."

Cmon, we know what's going on here. Cricket is just one giant euphemism for sex. This guy is obviously advocating the slow and steady approach. In the immortal words of Tenacious D...nah it's inappropriate.

Loztralia said...

I dunno, in case anyone's actually interested:

Pyrotechnics: Playing music during the game.
Big-hitting: Hitting six run shots, home runs.
Nudgers: Batsmen who don't hit the ball far but rely on placement. Think Ichiro rather than Eckstein.
Stolen single into the covers: Like an infield hit the opposite way. Jose Reyes.
Bludgeoned hoick over mid-wicket: A dramatic but ugly big hit to power alley. Maybe Vladimir Guerrero taking one from outside the strike zone.
Balance between bat and ball: Place on the deadball to steroid era spectrum.
Those wielding the willow: Batters - cricket bats are made of willow. Perhaps we could adopt "men of maple"?