Baseball: It seems so deceptively simple. And then you try to explain it to someone who's not familiar with the game. And then you get even crazier and start ranting about the fourth out in a sport that's supposed to have only three.
Baseball is a game of inches, and umpires hold the tape measure. Sometimes they succeed, other times not. When they don't, it's not hyperbole to say that umpires are perhaps the most vilified people in sports.
Sometimes in baseball you have to think beyond the blast. It's a game of tactics, and occasionally a bunt -- dropping the ball short and slow, right where it will give the infield fits and maybe score the runner on third -- wins games.
Spring training reminds fans of how baseball used to be – cozy ball fields, lower prices and players willing to sign autographs and chat a little. But spring training is also a multimillion dollar tourist attraction for Florida and Arizona.
The Negro Leagues may have been borne out of discrimination, but for generations of African-American ballplayers, they offered a real chance at fame and autonomy. How did the leagues start, and how was the color line finally broken?
It's just a piece of cardboard with a picture of a baseball player on it, right? If you look at some of the price tags on these rare mementos, along with some of the history behind them, you'd think twice.
For those who find baseball as exciting as watching paint dry, knowing a little something about the sport just might increase your interest level. Let's start off with a basic explanation of the nine positions.