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Transcript of BASEBALL
Honors English 4
Table of Contents
1. Basic Rules
2. Object of the Game
4. 3rd Base
5. 1st Base
6. 2nd Base
9. Left Field
10. Right Field
11. Center Field
There are many different rules in baseball. I will only cover the basic rules of baseball in this Prezi. Also, I will talk only of the rules of Major League Baseball which is the premier, highest level of professional baseball. The bases on a baseball field must be 90 feet apart. The pitching rubber is 60 feet 6 inches from home plate. There can only be 9 players on defense on the field at one time. There are 4 umpires in regular season games and 6 in playoffs games. Umpires are the officials on the field that enforce the rules of the game during game play. There is 1 umpire behind home plate that calls balls and strikes and also plays at the plate. Each of the other 3 umpires are stationed at a base and hold the most authority at their base. For example, the umpire behind home plate can not overrule the umpire at 3rd base, unless, there is an appeal made and all of the umpires come together to make a concise decision. For the offense, each batter gets 3 strikes and 4 balls when up to bat. If the batter gets 3 strikes against him he is out. If the batter gets 4 balls against him, he gets to go to first base where he becomes and runner. To get a strike on a batter the pitcher must throw the ball in the strike zone, which is as wide as the plate and goes from the batter's shoulders to his knees, or the batter must swing his bat and miss the ball. The game lasts 9 innings each inning consisting of 6 outs, 3 outs for each team and has no time limit.
Object of The Game
Obviously, the main objective of the game is to win but, how do you win? Well you could ask hundreds of coaches about how they win in baseball and you would get hundreds of different answers about their different strategies and different mental preparations they do before each game. I will not be delving into the extreme details of different ways to approach the game, I will only be talking about the basics. For starters, the goal of the game is to score more runs than the other team. To score a run, an offensive player must touch home plate by making one complete round around the base path touching each base before advancing to the next one all in 1 inning. There are two ways of doing this, one is to get on base by a hit or walk then go all the way around and touching home plate. There are different ways to advance on the base path, such as, steal the next base, a batter gets a hit or walked, or the batter bunts to advance the runner. The other way is to hit a home run. A home run is when the batter hits the ball over the fence in fair territory. The first way to score is a strategy known as "small ball" and is not often utilized in MLB. More than usual major league games are won by home runs. I have played baseball all of my life and many of my own games have been won by home runs some of which I have hit myself.
Now I will begin to discuss the different positions of baseball starting off with the pitcher. The pitcher is arguably the most important position in baseball. Pitchers can determine who wins and who loses the baseball game. I am primarily a pitcher and have been since the age of 8. There is so much I could write about pitching and being a pitcher but simply can't because it would be much too long for this presentation. As a pitcher, the whole goal is to not let the other team score any runs but, this is easier said than done. The pitcher faces each player in the other team's lineup and starts out with a 0-0 count. A pitcher can strike a batter out with 3 strikes or walk the batter with 4 balls. Walking a batter is almost never what a pitcher wants to do unless it is on the rare occasion where the pitcher needs to intentionally walk the batter because of his batting ability or various other reasons. Pitchers have different types of pitches they can throw to the batters that travel at different speeds and have different paths to the catcher's mitt. A pitcher will use different pitches to a batter depending on if the batter is left-handed or right-handed and the situation of the game at the current time. Generally, as a pitcher it is best to strike the batter out so he doesn't have a chance to score and it is a quick, easy out. If a pitcher can't strike the batter out, he wants to get the batter to hit a ground ball to an infielder for an easy out at first base. There are 5 different types of pitchers, starting pitchers, middle relief pitchers, setup pitchers, left-handed specialists, and closing pitchers. I would consider myself to be a starting pitcher tho I have also closed games.
In my baseball career I have played 3rd base only very little. The third baseman position is on the left side of the infield closest to third base, as the name implies. The third baseman has the longest throw to first base out of all of the infielders; therefore, he must have a strong arm to make the throw efficiently. The third baseman's job, just like all the other infielders, is to field any ball that is hit in their direction and get the batter out. If there are no runners on any of the bases, the third baseman will throw the ball to first base to get the batter out. If there is a runner on first base, the third baseman can throw the ball to the second baseman or shortstop to get the runner out then the second baseman or shortstop will throw it to first base to get the batter out in what is called a double play. Double plays can be very hard to complete depending on how fast the runners are and how good the infielders arms are. The third baseman is also typically a very good batter and bats with power. The coach of the baseball team will sometimes pick a third baseman that hits very well but isn't necessarily the best fielder at third base. A good batting third baseman is much more valuable than a third baseman that can field really well. A batter with a lot of power is someone that can hit home runs occasionally, hit hard line drives, and hit balls deep into the outfield for multi-base hits.
First base is my secondary position and I have played it quiet often in the last few years. As a first baseman you do not have to field the ball very often because it is rare that a ball is hit to first base. In my own experience, I have played whole baseball games at first base and never gotten to field a ball. Most of what a first baseman does is catch the ball being thrown from the other infielders to get the batter out. This can sometimes be challenging if the infielders are not very accurate at throwing the ball to the first baseman. Sometimes, the first baseman is expecting to "pick" the ball, which is catching a ball after it has bounced off the ground. The ball can hit the ground any where from 1 foot to 10 feet in front of the first baseman each bringing a different set of challenges. If a ball gits the ground far away from the first baseman it could change direction and the first baseman has to be able to know which direction it will be deflecting in. If the ball hits the ground very close to the first baseman's glove, he must be able to know exactly where the ball is going to hit the ground in order to catch it on a short hop. The first baseman is always a batter with a lot of power. Since they do not field the ball much, it is not as important that they are good at fielding the ball. Another job of the first baseman is to act as the cut off man to home plate when the right or center fielder is throwing to home plate.
I have only played second base once or twice in my baseball career; therefore, I don't know much about second base personally. However, I do know what second baseman are suppose to do and what there role on the team is. A second baseman maybe the best fielder in the infield but might not have the best arm. Second baseman must be able to cover quiet a bit of ground and field balls cleaning in order to get the batter out. He has the shortest throw to first base out of all of the infielders, which is why he does not have to be able to throw the ball very hard. Second baseman are good batters that hit for a high batting average. Typically they do not hit for power but are fast around the base path. A second baseman will sometimes have to turn a double play at second base. They could either field it themselves and toss it to the shortstop where the shortstop then throws it to first to complete the double play. Also, the second baseman might receive the ball from the third baseman or shortstop at second base and then throw it to first base for the double play. Dustin Pedroia is one of the Major League Baseball's most recognize second baseman. He was drafted in the first round of the Major League draft by the Boston Red Sox. He is one of the best second baseman in professional baseball and has a great mental understanding of the game.
The shortstop has the most priority in the infield out of all of the infielders. This means that when players verbal call the ball, which means they are telling the other players on the field they are going to field or catch the ball, if the shortstop calls the ball then the rest of the infielders must let him catch it. A shortstop should be quick and agile to cover plenty of ground to field the ball to his left, right, and in front of him. If the shortstop is not quick, the batter could be safe often on close plays at first base. Also, the shortstop must be able to throw the ball relatively hard and get it out of his glove quick. The shortstop has the second longest throw to first base on the infield and only second to the third baseman. As a batter, the shortstop with have a good bat and hit for a high batting average. Probably the most well known shortstops in all of Major League Baseball right now is Derek Jeter. Even if a person knows nothing about baseball, they have most likely heard the name Derek Jeter and know that he plays for the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter has played twenty years of Major League Baseball and for all twenty of those years he has played for the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter played in seven World Series in his twenty year career. In those seven World Series Jeter only had three errors, that is only three errors in the highest pressure games you can play in in baseball. Derek Jeter chose to retire after this 2014 season and will always be remembered as one of baseball's greatest icons.
A catcher, as the name implies, catches the baseball from the pitcher every time he throws the ball. The catcher is very important in baseball, obviously if there was no catcher, there would be no one to stop the pitch from going all the way to the backstop. A good catcher can change the outcome of the game for the better. A catcher does not only just catch the ball, but also does many other things. The catcher has to be able to frame each pitch to give the pitcher the best chance for the pitch to be called a strike. Framing the ball is a very difficult job and takes many hours of practice to get it right. Usually, catchers are big guys on the team, they need to be big to block balls from getting to the backstop. Also, they need to be big because in major league baseball, the runners can run the catchers over to try and score. If the catcher is small, the runner will be able to easily run through the catcher and score a run. It is also very valued for a catcher to be a power hitter. Since most catchers are big, strong players, they are usually pretty decent power hitters. In major league baseball there can also be different catchers for a specialty pitcher, such as, knuckle ball throwing Tim Wakefield or RA Dickey. A knuckle ball is a special pitch that has an arbitrary path to home plate, when thrown right, and is extremely difficult to hit or catch, thus major league teams need a special catcher to catch these knuckle balls.
Left field is a position I have not played very much in my baseball career. Left field, like all other positions in baseball, is an important position that needs to be filled by every team. Left fielders need to have a good arm and also be able to read the flight of the ball off the bat well. This means that when the ball is hit by the batter, the left fielder needs to be able to determine where the ball is going only after a few feet into its flight path. Some very good left fielders can determine where the ball will be going as soon as he sees how the batter is swinging. This gives the outfielder the advantage of having a good jump on the ball in order for him to catch it easier or even catch it at all. The left fielder is not usually the best outfielder, meaning they are not the best at actually playing in the outfield. Typically left fielders, like first baseman, are used as a position to put power hitters. Left fielders have to be able to track the baseball after they have seen the ball come off the bat. Tracking the ball is taking the velocity of the ball and the arc of its path into account to guess where and when the outfielder should be in a certain spot to catch the ball. The outfielders also have to keep aware of where the fence is when tracking the ball so they do not run into the fence and hurt themselves. One of the best left fielders in MLB is Yoenis Cespedes.
Out of all of the outfield positions, I have played right field the most. When I was younger, when I was not pitching I was playing in right field because I had the best arm on the team. Left field, like all other positions in baseball, is an important position that needs to be filled by every team. Right fielders need to have a good arm and also be able to read the flight of the ball off the bat well. This means that when the ball is hit by the batter, the right fielder needs to be able to determine where the ball is going only after a few feet into its flight path. Some very good right fielders can determine where the ball will be going as soon as he sees how the batter is swinging. This gives the outfielder the advantage of having a good jump on the ball in order for him to catch it easier or even catch it at all. Right fielders are more well rounded than left fielders. Right fielders are good at the plate but also have very good arms from the outfield. Right fielders have to be able to track the baseball after they have seen the ball come off the bat. Tracking the ball is taking the velocity of the ball and the arc of its path into account to guess where and when the outfielder should be in a certain spot to catch the ball. The outfielders also have to keep aware of where the fence is when tracking the ball so they do not run into the fence and hurt themselves. One of the best right fielders in MLB right now and potentially of all time, is Giancarlo Stanton. Giancarlo is a mere 24 years old and just signed a contract extension with the Miami Marlins for 325 million dollars over 13 years.
Center field is a position I have only played once in my life and I played it that one time because another player was injured and the team had no other players. Center fielders need to have a good arm and also be able to read the flight of the ball off the bat exceptionally well because they have so much ground to cover. This means that when the ball is hit by the batter, the center fielder needs to be able to determine where the ball is going only after a few feet into its flight path. Some superb center fielders can determine where the ball will be going as soon as he sees how the batter is swinging. This gives the outfielder the advantage of having a good jump on the ball in order for him to catch it easier or even catch it at all. The center fielder is the best outfielder of the three outfielders. Typically the center fielder is very fast because of all the ground he must cover in order to catch the ball. Center fielders have to be able to track the baseball after they have seen the ball come off the bat. Tracking the ball is taking the velocity of the ball and the arc of its path into account to guess where and when the outfielder should be in a certain spot to catch the ball. The outfielders also have to keep aware of where the fence is when tracking the ball so they do not run into the fence and hurt themselves. Arguably the best center fielder in MLB is Mike Trout. Mike Trout is an outstanding baseball player at the age of 22 years old. Trout was recently given the MVP title of the American League of 2014.