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Baseball is a sport between two dueling teams of nine players that takes place on a baseball field (diamond). The winner is the team that scores the most runs after nine innings. A run is scored every time a runner makes it past the first, second, and third bases and returns to home plate after a hitting a ball into the infield, outfield, or entirely out of the park (a homerun). 

There are nine innings in a game.

There are nine players on each team.

There is no set length of each game, but most games last around two hours.

Each game of baseball has a standard of nine innings and goes into extra innings if the score is tied after the initial nine.

Every baseball game begins with the away team at bat while the home team is on the field on defense. Each batter begins at home base ready to hit a single, double, triple, or, at best, a home run out of the park so they can score a run after running past all three bases (first, second, and third) to make it back to home plate.

Each batter has three tries to swing the bat and hit fair pitches. When the batter properly smacks the ball it is, of course, called a hit. However, in order for a batter to get an actual hit, it must land on the field without being caught or thrown to first base before the runner reaches it. If either of those two happen, the batter is out. There is also one more requirement for a ball to be a hit: it must remain within the two foul poles.

Some batters may get a hit and make it to base and others will not. There is no limit to as many hits a team can get during an inning, but when three batters strike out their portion of the inning is over and the other team is at bat with a chance to get a hit.

After nine innings the game is over and the team with the most runs wins. If the game is tied after nine innings, extra innings must be played. This is not a situation where the first team who scores will win like in football. Instead, complete innings must be played until a team is able to score enough runs to take and hold the lead when the entire inning is over. If there is a tie at the end of an inning, another inning must be played.

There are 30 Major League teams, that are divided equally between the Naitonal League  (NL) and American League  (AL). Each of those leagues has thre divisions with five teams in each. In the NL there is the NL East, NL Central, and NL West. In the AL there is the AL East, AL Central, and AL West.  

AL EAST TEAMS

BALTIMORE ORIELS

BOSTON REDSOX

NEW YORK YANKEES

TAMPA BAY BLUE RAYS

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

AL CENTRAL

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

CLEVELAND INDIANS

DETROIT TIGERS

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

MINNESOTA TWINS

AL WEST

SEATTLE MARINERS

HOUSTON ASTROS

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

TEXAS RANGERS

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

AL EAST

ATLANTA BRAVES

MIAMI MARLINS

NY METS

PHILADELPHIA PHILLYS

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

AL CENTRAL

CHICAGO CUBS

CINCINNATI REDS

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

AL WEST

ARIZONA DIAMOND BACKS

COLORADO ROCKIES

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

SAN DIEGO PADRES

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

The BATTER’s Perspective

There is only one offensive position in baseball: The batter! The batter/hitter’s job is to hit the ball out into the field without it being caught or thrown to a base in time for them to be tagged out. If the ball is caught while it is in the air, the hitter is immediately out. If the ball lands and then caught by a defensive player, the defensive player has a chance to throw the ball to the base that the running is advancing to or must return to (more on that later). If the throw beats the runner to the base and is caught, the runner is out (more on that later).

A hitter can get a “base hit” that allows them to get to first base, a “double” that allows them to get to second based, or a “triple” that allows them to get to third base. Those are all great, but the batter really wants to hit the ball out of the park, which is a “homerun” that immediately scores a run. Beyond that, the absolute best thing a batter can do is to hit a “grand slam” when the bases are loaded, meaning there is a runner at each base, and a home run brings the batter and all three runners home, scoring four runs on one play.

 

The Pitcher’s Perspective

The pitcher’s main job is to throw the batter three good pitches that fall within the strike zone. The catch is that they have to be thrown so well that the  batter misses or does not swing at them. The strike zone is “the area over home plate from the midpoint between a batter’s shoulders and the top of the uniform pants — when the batter is in his stance and prepared to swing at a pitched ball — and a point just below the kneecap.”

The Strike Zone

The strike zone is called that because every time a pitcher throws a pitch into the strike zone, and the batter misses or does not swing, is called a “strike.” Once a pitcher throws three strikes to a batter, the batter has “struck out” and must return the dugout, defeated without taking base.

All pitches that are not thrown into the strike zone are considered unhittable and officially called “balls.” Surprisingly, a ball is not always a bad thing when it is not simply a mistake. In fact, a pitcher usually intentionally throws a batter a few balls  in hopes of getting the batter to slip up and swing at them. That’s because, no matter if a pitch is a ball or thrown within the strike zone, it becomes a “strike” if the batter swings at it and misses or a “hit” if the batter connects with and gets a base hit, double, triple, or home run. However, a pitcher can only throw three balls every time a pitcher is at bat. The fourth ball causes a “walk” and the batter takes  first base without getting a base hit and the pitcher looses that mini battle. If that was not the case, the pitcher could throw and endless stream of “bad” pitches and the game would go on forever. 

Pitchers may intentionally walk a batter by throwing four balls when that know it will be very hard to strikeout a powerful hitter. In that case, the pitcher would rather have the batter take first base instead of possibly smacking a homerun out of the park.

 The other way a pitcher can walk a batter is by hitting them with the ball. That is a deterrent to stop pitchers from hitting batters on purpose.

 

the baseman’s perspective

No matter if a ball is hit or thrown to them, the primary purpose of the basemen is to be ready to tag a player out when they are headed to their base. Aside from that, they are supposed to be ready to catch all balls that are hit towards them and throw it to correct place to hopefully help get an out or stop a player from advancing to another base.

the outfielder’s perspective

The primary job of ALL outfielders is to catch the balls that are hit into the outfield while they are in the air to immediately get a hitter out. However, that is not always possible. Some balls are hit into the ground and roll out into the outfield past the short stop or basemen, or they are hit perfectly in places where an outfielder can’t get to quickly enough.

When an outfielder cannot catch a ball that is in the air, they have to get it while it is on the ground or during a bounce and then throw it to the correct base in hopes that the baseman will catch it in time and tag the runner out.  Sometimes, an outfielder will be so deep in the field that they do not have the strength to accurately throw the ball to the correct base. When that happens, they may throw the ball to a teammate in between them and the base and that player is much closer to the target and can accurate throw the ball to the base to get the runners out.

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