Dec 072011

Baseball seems simple but on the surface it is very complicated. Many of the baseball rules are very subtle. But there are some basics:

Nine innings.

Each team comes up to bat once, beginning with the visiting team.

Each team is at bat until there are three outs.

The team that is ahead after nine complete innings is the winner.

If the score is equal after nine innings, the game goes into extra innings.

In extra innings, a complete inning is played. If there is a team that is ahead at the end of the extra inning, that team is declared the winner of the game. Otherwise, another inning is played until there is a winner at the end of that complete inning.

The fewest number of “at bats” in any one game would, therefore, be 27: Nine innings, 3 batters per inning.

When a pitcher is pitching against a team and there are 27 up and 27 down, he has pitched a  “perfect game“.

The scorecard for Lee Richmond’s Perfect Game

Another special type of game is called a “no no“. This refers to a game in which there are no hits and no runs.  If there are no hits and no runs, then why isn’t it a perfect game?  In a “no no”, a batter can be walked*, in which case he will reach first base and ruin an otherwise perfect game.

In American Major League baseball history, by the current definition of “a perfect game”, there have been 20 official perfect games.  There have been several unofficial ones.

It is thrilling to watch a perfect game – and my baseball timing has been incredible on several occasions:  I saw Dave Cone’s perfect game in 1999.  I also saw John Lester’s no hitter (a “no no”) in 2008, which was also thrilling.

Click here to see video highlights of David Cone’s perfect game.


*In another blog post, we will discuss the ways in which a batter is declared to be out.

Jun 022011

This is my “in my dreams” interview with Rafael Nadal, one of the world’s greatest tennis players, from Mallorca, Spain.


Rafa, first I want to say that I love watching you play.  You are my favorite tennis player.

Thank you very much.

I have always loved watching the Spanish tennis players, including the great Manuel Orantes.

That’s the true.

That’s the truth.

Yes, that’s the true.

That’s the truth. It should be a noun, truthThe truth. “True” is an adjective, as in “That’s true.”

Thank you very much.  That’s true.

Rafa, I saw you play at the US Open in 2010. It was thrilling to watch you play.

I played my best match at a very very important moment.  Always I try very hard.

I always try very hard.

Yes, you do.

I mean – the word order: First “I” then “always”, as in “I always try very hard” and “You always try very hard.”

Thank you very much.

Rafa, what is the key to success in your sport? What is the key to your greatness?

Important thing is be healthy, be in the right position mentally.  I’m always improving.  If you lose something in one part, you have to improve something in another part.

Yes, the important thing is to be healthy, and to be in the right position mentally.

Rafa, you are an inspiration to people all over the world. People love you not only for your successes on the tennis court but also for who you are as a person.  Good luck tomorrow in the French Open.  I will be rooting for you. 

It will be a very difficult match for me.  Thank you for all of your support.

Vamos Rafa!