Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Softball World Cup

One nice benefit of working from home is that while (read: instead of) working, I can watch TV all day. I actually don't really do this, but today I noticed that there was a fastpitch softball game on ESPN, so I watched that. The USA beat Canada 7-0, putting them in the championship for the World Cup. It was pretty neat, and while I got the sense that the announcers were deliberately avoiding the word "baseball," they also did a good job of pointing out differences between the sports for those who aren't familiar with softball.

Some aspects of the game seem a little goofy to me (the double first base is a good example), but other details are really appealing. Because the softball pitch is a "natural" motion that doesn't stress the joints, pitchers only need to recover from muscle fatigue, so it's much more feasible for pitchers to play for a full seven-inning game: the US national team only needs five pitchers on staff! I also like the symmetry to the types of pitches: a curve goes one way and a screwball the other, there's a riser and a sinker, and there's a changeup. So simple.

ESPN is also hilarious. Why are half the commercials for home security systems? Because watching sports on television correlates inversely with the ability to achieve erection, is my guess.

Update: This game was a rerun, and was actually played on Sunday. The US had already gone on to win the whole "World Cup" (actually the "KFC World Cup," so I'm not sure how legit it is) by the time I watched them beat Canada.

2 comments:

Peter Hamtramck said...

I'm not sure if it's true but I read somewhere that because the pitching mound is closer to home plate in Fast Pitch Softball the batter actually has less time to react to the pitch than Baseball (even though the pitches are slower in softball). I guess the ball is larger (nullus) so it is probably easier to hit but it does put things in perspective.

-peter-

Travis said...

BUT HITTING A FASTBALL IS THE MOST DIFFICULT FEAT IN ANY SPORT>