Portal:Baseball
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Portal:Baseball

The Baseball Portal

Baseball (crop).jpg

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.

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Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in North American professional baseball. Specifically, Major League Baseball refers to the organization that operates the National League and the American League, by means of a joint organizational structure that has developed gradually between them since 1903 (the National League having been in existence since 1876). In 2000, the two leagues were officially disbanded as separate legal entities with all their rights and functions consolidated in the commissioner's office. MLB effectively operates as a single league and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States. It is currently composed of 30 teams--29 in the United States and 1 in Canada (the Toronto Blue Jays). In conjunction with the International Baseball Federation, the MLB also manages the World Baseball Classic.

Each season consists of 162 games (with an additional game, or games, if a tie breaker is needed to determine postseason participation), which generally begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in October, with the postseason played in October and sometimes into early November. The same rules and regulations are played between the two leagues with one exception: the American League operates under the Designated Hitter Rule, while the National League does not. Utilization of the DH Rule in interleague play, the All-Star and World Series games is determined by the home team's league rules. MLB is controlled by the Major League Baseball Constitution that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. Under the direction of Commissioner of Baseball (currently Bud Selig), Major League Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. As is the case for most of the sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the "closed shop" aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and relegation of teams into and out of Major League Baseball by virtue of their performance. Major League Baseball maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law. This ruling has been weakened only slightly in subsequent years.

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Ty Cobb, Major League Baseball's all-time leader in batting average, with Shoeless Joe Jackson, a great hitter best known for his part in the Black Sox scandal.

Selected biography

Clark Griffith Baseball.jpg
Clark Calvin Griffith (November 20, 1869 - October 27, 1955), nicknamed "the Old Fox", was a Major League Baseball pitcher (1891 - 1914), manager (1901 - 1920) and team owner (1920 - 1955).

Griffith entered the American Association in 1891, pitching 226 1/3 innings and winning 14 games for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Reds. He began the following season with the Chicago Colts, and in 1894 began a string of six consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories, compiling a 21-14 record and 4.92 ERA. Griffith lowered his ERA over the following years to a low of 1.88 in 1898, the lowest mark in the league.

Griffith won 20 games for his 7th and final time in 1901 as a member of the Chicago White Stockings in the nascent American League; it was also the first year he assumed managerial duties. His success extended beyond his own play as the White Stockings won the AL title with an 83-53 record.

Quotes

"Problem with (John) Wockenfuss getting on base is that it takes three doubles to score him."


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Dusty Baker, the current Reds manager
The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division in Major League Baseball. In chronological order, the Reds have played their home games in the Bank Street Grounds, League Park, the Palace of the Fans, Redland Field (later known as Crosley Field), and Riverfront Stadium (later known as Cinergy Field). Since 2003, the Reds have played their home games at Great American Ball Park. There have been fifty-nine different managers in the team's franchise history: four while it was known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882-1889), four while it was known as the Cincinnati Redlegs (1953-1958) and the other fifty-one under the Cincinnati Reds (1882-1952, 1959-present). In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. Pop Snyder was the first manager of the Reds and managed from 1882 to 1884. Sparky Anderson is the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season games managed (1,450) and regular-season game wins (863). He is followed by Bill McKechnie in both categories with 1,386 and 744, respectively. Anderson is the only Reds manager to have won the World Series twice, in 1975 and 1976. Pat Moran, Lou Piniella, and McKechnie have one World Series victory each; Moran was the manager during the Black Sox Scandal, which refers to the events that took place in the 1919 World Series. McKechnie led the team to the championship in 1940, while Piniella led the team to it in 1990. Jack McKeon is the only manager to have won the Manager of the Year Award with the Reds, which he won in 1999. The current manager of the Reds is Dusty Baker, and the current owner is Robert Castellini. The manager with the highest winning percentage over a full season or more was Pop Snyder, with a winning percentage of .648. Conversely, the worst winning percentage over a full season or more in franchise history is .382 by Donie Bush, who posted a 58-94 record during the 1933 season.

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