Archive for May, 2012

May 17, 2012

Watching England vs. West Indies now. As any baseball aficionado knows, things like lowering the mound or moving in the fences takes what is, indeed, one of the central spectacles of baseball, and cheapens it. How great is a home run if you’re virtually guaranteed several, from each team, each game? Does more home runs really equal more “excitement” and more spectators? or how long does it take for audiences to become inured to this steady stream of vuelacercas? But I think baseball aficionados are the only ones who would be early adopters of cricket in the U.S. Really? You’re going to get fans of the NBA or the NFL to sit still for even 40 overs? No matter how many sixes they smash into the stands (“you mean we have to give the ball back?”) I don’t think you’re going to attract fans from more action-packed sports. In fact, you destroy perhaps cricket’s one selling point which was its original downfall: its elitism. People who like baseball, golf, tennis could get into another British sport, which could be extolled for its perceived gentlemanly virtues: An elegant game for a more civilized age.

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May 9, 2012

This kicks ass

This thesis examines the extent of the diffusion of baseball across the world. Tracing the diffusion of baseball, and the diverse receptions the game has encountered on foreign soils, holds out the prospect of offering many insights into the global spread of the processes of globalization in general. By sport and our understanding of different responses to baseball, and developing our empirical knowledge to examining the extent of its diffusion, we will be in a position to draw more reliable and valid conclusions than have, thus far, been offered in relation to the global diffusion of baseball specifically, and globalization processes more generally.

With specific reference to baseball, many authors have concluded that we are presently witnessing an acceleration in the globalization of that sport. … However, the unanimity of these writers should not be allowed to conceal the fact that their arguments tend to have two things in common. Firstly, they are fundamentally ethnocentric. … Secondly, their generalizations lack any substantive empirical support.

Ohyeah.

May 7, 2012

I do occasionally post linguistic stuff here, when it comes up in the course of my travels (foreigners talk funny!) but a recent Language Log comment thread is also relevant to American cricket, as well as, my other love, baseball:

Rounders was played by boys and (far worse!) girls. The only adults who played it were strictly working class. So naturally the identification of baseball with rounders annoyed the Americans tremendously, and an ideology arose rejecting any English origin of baseball as unpatriotic. Enter Abner Doubleday…

Yes, baseball and rounders are both different codifications of a popular kind of rural game played in the southeast corner of England in early modern times. There are, or were, others, such as stoolball—which we played at school in the 1960s—and bat and trap, now almost extinct. Cricket comes from the same family tree, but diverged longer ago. They are all native to Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire.