My wife and I have been married 27 years. In that time I’ve watched more than a few baseball games. We have also been to a few major league games and also numerous minor league games. Suzy usually pays attention when she sits down to watch with me. In this much time you’d expect most people to pick up a few things that most baseball watchers take for granted — including some things I had down pat by the time I was eight years old. But the rules of baseball are not easy, so it’s no surprise that someone who has been watching the game may occasionally ask questions such as these that were asked during the recent World Series.
“How many innings are in this baseball game?” This is actually another question in disguise: “When will this baseball game be over so you can turn off the TV and pay attention to me?”
“How many fouls make an out?” As anyone who knows the game is aware, this is something that is easier to understand than it is to explain.
In the seventh inning, when it was 0-0: “So will they just keep playing until someone gets a run, even if it takes all night long?” Ummmm — yes. (The night before was a 7-5 game that didn’t end until the 14th inning.)
In the eighth inning, with men on base and the score 1-0: “So if they score a run, will it be over?” No. It will be tied. It’s only the eighth inning. There are nine innings unless there is a tie after nine. ” Oh that’s right, this is the World Series.” Ummm, there are nine innings in every baseball game. Unless it rains. (There’s got to be an exception to confuse matters.) You knew that. “Oh yeah.”
As Ebby Calvin LaLoosh said in the movie Bull Durham? “This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains!” Think about that for a while.