The Baseball Portal
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team (batting team) are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either immediately or during teammates' turns batting. The fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play. Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch back and forth between batting and fielding; the batting team's turn to bat is over once the fielding team records three outs. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is usually composed of nine innings, and the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are usually played. Baseball has no game clock, although most games end in the ninth inning.
Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century. This game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly in Japan and South Korea.
In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The MLB champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. The top level of play is similarly split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League. The World Baseball Classic, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is the major international competition of the sport and attracts the top national teams from around the world.
The posting system (ポスティングシステム posutingu shisutemu)
is a baseball
player transfer system which operates between Japan
's Nippon Professional Baseball
(NPB) and the United States
' Major League Baseball
(MLB). Despite the drafting of the United States – Japanese Player Contract Agreement in 1967 designed to regulate NPB players moving to MLB, problems arose in the late 1990s. Some NPB teams lost star players without compensation, an issue highlighted when NPB stars Hideo Nomo
and Alfonso Soriano
left to play in MLB after using loopholes to void their existing contracts. A further problem was that NPB players had very little negotiating power if their teams decided to deal them to MLB, as when pitcher Hideki Irabu
was traded to an MLB team for which he had no desire to play. In 1998, the Agreement was rewritten to address both problems and was dubbed the "posting system". Under this system, when an NPB player is "posted", MLB holds a four-day-long silent auction
during which MLB teams can submit sealed bids in an attempt to win the exclusive rights to negotiate with the player for a period of 30 days. If the MLB team with the winning bid and the NPB player agree on contract terms before the 30-day period has expired, the NPB team receives the bid amount as a transfer fee, and the player is free to play in MLB. If the MLB team cannot come to a contract agreement with the posted player, then no fee is paid, and the player's rights revert to his NPB team. Up to the end of the 2008/09 posting period, thirteen Japanese players had been posted using the system. Of these, seven signed Major League contracts immediately, three signed minor league
contracts, and three were unsuccessful in attracting any MLB interest. The two highest-profile players that have been acquired by MLB teams through the posting system are Ichiro Suzuki
and Daisuke Matsuzaka
. They attracted high bids of $13.125 million and $51.1 million respectively, and have enjoyed successful MLB careers. However, since its implementation the posting system has been criticized by the media and baseball insiders from both countries.
An Afghan girl playing baseball in August 2002
A shortstop tries to tag out a runner who is sliding headfirst, attempting to reach second base.
Rickey Henderson—the major leagues' all-time leader in runs and stolen bases—stealing third base in a 1988 game
Defensive positions on a baseball field, with abbreviations and scorekeeper's position numbers (not uniform numbers)
David Ortiz, the batter, awaiting a pitch, with the catcher and umpire
Diagram of a baseball field (the term diamond may be used to refer to the square area defined by the four bases or to the entire playing field). The dimensions given are for professional and professional-style games. Children often play on smaller fields.
Theodore Roosevelt "Double Duty" Radcliffe
(July 7, 1902–August 11, 2005) was at his death thought to be the oldest living professional baseball
player (it was later discovered that Silas Simmons
was born seven years earlier in 1895), one of only a handful of major league (considering the Negro Leagues major) players who lived past their 100th birthdays, and a former star in the Negro Leagues
. Playing for more than 30 teams, Radcliffe had more than 4,000 hits and 400 home runs
, won about 500 games and had 4,000 strike-outs
. He played as a pitcher
and a catcher
, became a manager, and in his old age became a popular ambassador for the game.
Damon Runyon coined the nickname "Double Duty" because Radcliffe played as a catcher and as a pitcher in the successive games of a 1932 Negro League World Series doubleheader between the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Monroe Monarchs. In the first of the two games at Yankee Stadium Radcliffe caught the pitcher Satchel Paige for a shutout and then pitched a shutout in the second game. Runyon wrote that Radcliffe "was worth the price of two admissions." Radcliffe considered his year with the 1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords to be one of the highlights of his career. The Crawfords beat the Monarchs 5-1 in the best-of-nine series.
In Major League Baseball
, the Manager of the Year Award
is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers
in the American League
(AL) and the National League
(NL). The winner is voted on by 28 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America
(BBWAA). Each places a vote for first, second, and third place among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award. Several managers have won the award in a season when they led their team to 100 or more wins. Lou Piniella
won 116 games with the Seattle Mariners
in 2001, the most by a winning manager, and Joe Torre
won 114 with the New York Yankees
in 1998. Tony La Russa
and Sparky Anderson
finished with identical 104–58 records in 1983 and 1988, respectively. Three National League managers, including Dusty Baker
, Whitey Herzog
, and Larry Dierker
, have exceeded the century mark
as well. Baker's San Francisco Giants
won 103 games in 1993; Dierker's 1998 Houston Astros
won 102 and Herzog led the Cardinals to 101 wins in the award's third season. In 1991, Bobby Cox
became the first manager to win the award in both leagues, winning with the Atlanta Braves
and having previously won with the Toronto Blue Jays
in 1985. La Russa, Piniella, and Jim Leyland
have since won the award in both leagues. Baker, Leyland, and Piniella have won three times. In 2005, Cox became the first manager to win the award in consecutive years. Joe Maddon
and Piniella are the most recent winners. After the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike
cut the season short and cancelled the post-season, the BBWAA writers named the managers of the Yankees (Buck Showalter
) and Montréal Expos
), who led the leagues in winning percentage
, Managers of the Year. Two franchises, the New York Mets
and the Milwaukee Brewers
, have not had a manager win the award.
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