October 07, 2008

Baseball versus Cricket: While the NLCS and ALCS occupy our minds, over in England they took a pub table debate and put it into practice. What if a team of professional cricketers took on a baseball team on the diamond? Who would win?

posted by owlhouse to baseball at 05:20 PM - 9 comments

I found this very interesting. I've played both sports, but like the cricketers in the article, couldn't adjust my batting technique to the demands of the baseball swing.

However, the former Australian captain Allan Border was a top grade baseball player, and another former captain, Ian Chappell, wasn't bad either. Unfortunately, cricket is a summer game, too, which limits the chances to play both at a higher level.

posted by owlhouse at 05:25 PM on October 07, 2008

Great link, thanks.

posted by yerfatma at 08:10 PM on October 07, 2008

Love the cricket jargon, wish I had had the chance to have played it.

Not sure how much practice time the pro's had, but I'd guess that they'd improve quickly. Both games are based on hand-eye coordination, throwing and speed, so I would think superior athletes would do well at either.

posted by dviking at 11:16 PM on October 07, 2008

Shame they didn't do the experiment in reverse too.

posted by squealy at 08:53 AM on October 08, 2008

I played and coached slow-pitch softball in Egypt (mostly ex-pat Americans) for about 3 or 4 years, and I had a few UK players on the team. The hardest thing to teach the newcomers was not to run up on the ball to swing at it. Once they got the idea of a single stride into the pitch and keeping the hands back while the hips slid and turned, they became quite good at the game. Fielding was something of a problem, but lots of ground balls, fungos, and just playing catch was the cure for this. We never had much of a team, but we did go deep into the playoffs in a couple of seasons.

Loved the post, owlhouse, it's a classic. I can almost hear the cricketers dreaming up the idea over a few pints.

posted by Howard_T at 09:39 AM on October 08, 2008

What exactly is a "wicked googly."

posted by jasonspaceman at 11:51 AM on October 09, 2008

In this context, "wicked" just means "very good."

The Googly is a delivery from a type of bowler called a "leg spinner" - he bowls the ball and it lands, or "pitches" on a line with leg stump and then spins toward off stump.

Like this :

After facing several, (maybe even tens), of these types of deliveries the bowler will slip in a "Googly" or, for those upside down people, a "wrong 'un" which is a ball that goes the other way.

So you get used to the ball pitching on your left (if you're a right hander), then jagging across you, trying to entice you into getting the edge of your bat on the ball, so you can be caught out. Then suddenly you get one that looks like the bowler has got the line wrong, because it's going to pitch further to your right, you react to it as if it's going to jag right and hello! It jags left and you're in the wrong place - if the ball hits your legs you can be out "LBW" because you stopped the ball from hitting your wicket with your legs.

Essentially, a lot of the danger of the Googly is similar to the change-up in baseball - it's dangerous because of what it's not, as well as what it is. In baseball you misidentify the change up as a fastball and you're through your swing too soon. In cricket you misidentify the Googly as a standard leg break and you move to the wrong place.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:08 PM on October 09, 2008

Best. Comment. Ever.

posted by rushmc at 06:16 PM on October 09, 2008

If you're interested further, here's a couple of videos :

Leg Spin Basics

Shane Warne's Five Leg Spin Deliveries (The Leg Break, the Googly, the Flipper, the Slider and the Top Spinner)

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:15 PM on October 09, 2008

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