Things to Watch For at a Baseball Game to Keep it Exciting

April 11, 2011

Does baseball make you sleepy? Do you find yourself counting the seconds to the 7th inning stretch? Well you’re in luck! Here’s a quick list of things to watch for in a baseball game that will make the game fun to watch!

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At a cursory glance, baseball can seem simplistic and very slow. But it’s the mini-games within the game that avid fans love to watch! Check out these five tips to get in the loop.

1. Pitching. While all pitches may look the same to the untrained eye, there are actually several types of throws used by major league pitchers. You can see how well a pitcher is doing by watching his catcher. Before each throw, the catcher lines up his glove where the pitch should land. If the catcher has to move quickly to make the catch, you know the pitcher is missing the mark. If this happens a lot, it means the pitcher’s tired and needs replacing.

2. Batting. Batters are allowed a little leeway in their positioning over the plate. If a pitcher is constantly throwing to the outside, a batter will step closer to the plate. This is known as “crowding the plate.” Every now and then, a good pitcher will throw a hard inside ball to keep the batter honest. That’s called “brushing back.”

3. Outfield. Do you get frustrated trying to follow a flyball with your eyes? Just watch the outfielders! If they’re standing still, it’s most likely a home run. If they’re tearing toward the back fence, you’ve got an exciting play coming up!

4. Running the bases. One of the go-to moves for the defense is the double-play. This happens when the offense has a man on first base and the batter hits a short easy ball to the infield. Here, the defense tries to throw the ball to second and then first before either player reaches their base. A good offensive player will come in hard on second base with cleats up to try and disrupt the double-play.

5. Runner on third. Whenever you have a runner on third and especially when there’s less than two outs, you’ve got an exciting situation. The batting team has six different ways to bring their man home including an infield hit, sacrifice fly, groundout up the middle, or a wild pitch or balk by the pitcher. Most exciting though, is the suicide squeeze. Here, the runner takes off from third just as the pitcher releases the ball. While he’ll almost certainly be out if his batter misses the ball, he’ll be safe if the batter makes any kind of contact.

Well there you have it! Try and focus on these little things to watch for at a baseball game and you’re sure to enjoy it more. If not, at least buff up on the lyrics of ‘Take me out to the ball game.’

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team (usually replaced by home team’s name),
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.”

Do you have any other tips for amateurs watching a baseball game? Or tips for going to a game?Let me know in the comment section!

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