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JamesSavik

Outside the Foul Lines

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I do love a good sports yarn and this is the best one I've seen in quite a while.

Rick Becks portrayal of John Dooley and his friends growing up and his friends as a young adult and their complex love-hate relationships is excellent (and pretty damned accurate if you ask me).

I fell for the story and fell for it hard reading the whole 10 chapters posted so far in one sitting.... and I can't wait for more.

Check it out. I give it a four cat rating.

:wav::mad::stare::wav:

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I totally agree. :wav: :wav: :mad::stare:

I don't know much about sports, and particularly little about baseball, but the descriptions of the actions, movements, and strategies is actually quite interesting, completely aside from the damned good tale. It is and has been on my "follow it" list for some time.

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I think you Brits are thinking of softball, which is a novice and girls game here too. Baseball, or hardball, is fast and powerful. That is not to say that girls don't play that too, but it is NOT for sissies. (Probably why I never played it. In fact, softball is scary for me.)

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All it takes is one hard pitch, up and in (or, for those uncomfortable with the vernacular, thown by the pitcher towards the batter's head and running towards him so even as he's pulling away, in the split second he has to do that, the ball is continuing to chase after him), for a kid to learn that baseball is not a game for the faint-hearted. It's nothing, nothing at all, like softball. Fear and the steadfast resolve to ignore it are a big part of baseball. Overcoming the fear of being hit by a fast moving, unforgivingly hard baseball, either while standing in the batter's box and having the pitcher thow it at you, or while standing in the infield and having it hit toward you, oftentimes coming at you blisteringly fast and bouncing erratically, or taking a short hop right in front of you, you must ignore the fear if you want to play the game. In softball, fear plays a very small part in the game, and it's almost exclusively on the defensive side. In baseball, conquring your fear must occur on both sides, offensive and defensive.

I don't think you have that in cricket. There the ball is plitched into the ground, not at the batter, it's thrown with a funny sort of straight-arm motion that robs the throw of any real speed, and in any event the batter is padded and protected like someone's little sister. The only fear inherent in the game is that one of the spectators might spill a spot of tea on his white trousers while sitting in his canopied box with his fellows, politely clapping and speculating on whether the batter might get his century while nibbling cucumber sandwiches.

In baseball, the batter's anxiety is frequently augmented by a pitcher who is intentionally intimidating. He will glower at the batter, spit in the dirt, glower some more, then take a couple of warm-up throws at a speed where the ball becomes a blur, and throw them over the catcher's head, then five or six feet outside and inside, establishing the fact, cementing the fact, that he has absolutely no control over the ball, and the batter knows he'll be standing right next to a very small target, and may well become a very large and plunkable target himself. With that thought in mind, he's supposed to step up to the plate, crowd the plate if he listens to the screams of his manager, and aggressively stride towads the pitcher while swinging the bat, watching the ball and hoping it isn't curving in at him.

Yes, it takes courage to stand up at that plate, look that pitcher in the eye, not back down, not shake with fear, while the pitcher is glowering at you, or myopically looking in your general vicinity but with a hopeless sort of shrug, then yelling at the catcher that he can't see the plate at all but he'll try his best, just be ready to jump for the ball, it could go anywhere. Then he'll throw the first pitch a foot inside (toward the batter, again for you vernacular-challenged chaps) and you best be lightfooted and quick on your toes if you don't want the ball imbedded in your ribs. Getting hit in the ribs REALLY hurts!

Where does the courage come from? From being a boy. The kind of boy who plays baseball. When he's 11.

C

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Pah! Softball, Hardball, Cricket, Road Rage. They're like nothing compared to Badminton! Now there's a game!

180px-Badminton_Peter_Gade.jpg

No one wants a shuttlecock whacked in their direction, fast. I think, looking at Peter Gade's picture, you can probably sing whilst playing, too. I know I do. :lol:

As I've said, I'm learning a lot about Baseball through 'Outside The Foul Lines.' I did think the story was Baseball heavy to begin with, especially as I've never played it. I've changed my mind.

:icon1: Oh, and as we're all nice sensible people here, I won't take extreme umbrage at the vitriol spattered in Cricket's direction. Baseball rocks ... and so does Cricket. However Badminton takes the biscuit, the tea, and the squeaky trolley they're served on.

Camy

PS before anyone gets on my case: I play Badminton. :hehe:

FYI - Cricket vs Baseball

Despite the differences in delivery action, the delivery speeds are similar for both sports with the fastest bowlers and pitchers propelling the ball in the region of 95 mph (153 km/h)-100 mph (160 km/h): the fastest recorded cricket delivery is 100.2 mph with baseball's record marginally quicker at 103 mph (166 km/h).

One main difference however is that the ball in cricket is harder and heavier in weight. The legal weight for the ball in baseball is not to be under 5 ounces but never to be over 5 and a 1/4 ounces. The ball in cricket must weigh between 5.5 ounces to 5.8 ounces.

Another major difference between the two sports is that the fielders in cricket are not allowed to use any sort of protection for the hands ? padded or otherwise, in spite of the balls being of similar hardness.

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In baseball, conquring your fear must occur on both sides, offensive and defensive.

I don't think you have that in cricket. There the ball is plitched into the ground, not at the batter, it's thrown with a funny sort of straight-arm motion that robs the throw of any real speed, and in any event the batter is padded and protected like someone's little sister. The only fear inherent in the game is that one of the spectators might spill a spot of tea on his white trousers while sitting in his canopied box with his fellows, politely clapping and speculating on whether the batter might get his century while nibbling cucumber sandwiches.

Completely mistaken Cole. Let me educate you...

Having the ball bounce into the ground first makes batting MORE difficult. The bounce is often irregular meaning that you can't predict the motion of the ball from the time it starts coming at you. INstead, your reaction time is measured from the time the ball leaves the GROUND to jump up at your face or ribs not when it leaves the hand of the fellow hurling it at you.

Next, the straight arm action does reduce the speed of the ball, BUT not much. The best bowlers still manage to get speeds of 90-95 mph which is comparable to baseball. Travel time for a ball in cricket is about 0.5 of a second. IN baseball it's 0.4 (but remember, the real reaction time in cricket, like I said, is from when the ball hits the ground, so functionally, it is a lot less.

Next, padding... Yes, they are padded. However, that's because they NEED it. despite the helmets, gloves and other padding, players still suffer broken jaws, fingers and feet.

And finally, about the bravery it takes. In baseball it's considered a humongously brave thing for a batter to lean in and take one for the team.

In cricket, there is NO penalty for the batter being hit. That means that the bowler will often AIM for the batter. And the batter knows this. What's more, in baseball, if you get hit, you walk. IN cricket, if you get hit, you have to stay there and face the ball again. And again. till you get a hit or get out.

---------------------

That's batting.

In fielding, cricket uses no gloves. Again, bleeding fingers and broken fingers are an occasional part of the game.

What's more, you often field in very close positions. There's a fielding postion known as silly mid-off, because you stand about 4 yards from the bat. Many other fielding positions are almost as close. These posiitons are intended to cover the cricket equivalent of a bunt, but if the batter hits hard, then you better have good reflexes to get out of the way.

----------------

Now, knowing a bit about baseball, I agree it takes real courage, but don't think cricket doesn;t.

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I think my job is done here.

I got the blood flowing through the British veins among us.

As I've said before here, I'm a great fan of the James Herriott novels. He spends some time writing about his fear when facing a hard-throwing, intimidating bowler.

Most any competitive sport played by adults has intimidation as part of its structure.

And as for badminton, I love that game. In fact, I was my college's intramural champion, many many years ago. It was a sport I was made for, because I was tall, very thin, very fast on my feet, and cagey. I also could hit the cock about 100 mph from many hours spent on the tennis courts. I don't know why the game isn't more popular here. Competitive badminton is simply a great, great game.

C

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Nice to see you boys entertaining yourselves. And girls I'm not ignoring you, I just didn't see

you doing the same thing here... :wink:

Wasn't this about "Outside the Foul Lines"? I for one would like to see Rick back at it, and would

like to send him your comments to back up my whining. Do I need permission for this?

As I said under the Redemption thread, Rick has very poor eyesight, so I am his little forum

scout. It's a great job, since good writers get good comments, and the criticisms on this forum

are the most consistantly constructive I see.

Thanks James, for starting this off, you can't be held responsible for the train when it leaves the track!

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you can't be held responsible for the train when it leaves the track!

Hell the train has come off the rails and ended up in the river.

I don't think you need permission to send Rick our comments, certainly as you are helping him in your role as a scout.

Thanks too, Tracy, for your comments about the constructive criticism. We are very interested in promoting good writing and helping everyone to explore their potential.

But we want people to have fun too. Our stories are written for enjoyment and if they have a moral or open a door or two to a better world, we won't object at all.

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Tracy, if you want to add a comment to Rick about Outside the Foul Lines, tell him I absolutely love the story and absolutely hate the long waits between chapters.

Rick is an extraordinary writer.

C

Ditto. And I really am learning about Baseball!

Camy

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I will most certainly do that, and thanks to all of you.

This is the most fun i've had in a while, and yes, I know that is as good as an invitation for

you to have some more, Cole...haha, I don't mind if the laugh is on me, as long as it's a good one.

Time to do my famous copy/paste act. I've got that down to an art, and it only took me.....

Best to all of you, and many thanks from Rick,

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I posted this response from Rick under the Redemption banner a couple days ago,

but much of what I sent him actually came from here, so it seems fitting to post a

duplication rather than have his thanks miss anyone...honestly, if there's a misstep

to be be made, i'm going to find it.

Anyway, Rick says:

'It is particularly gratifying that respected writers enjoy my efforts at expanding the conversation about what it means to be a gay man. I do my best to draw on my own experiences and knowledge of the men I've known to bring them into the discussion. The email I receive is the fuel for my work and it expands again my understanding of the complex male state of mind. We do not wear labels well and just when you think you know it all, you discover the tip of a new, previously unidentified faceted emerging from someone on the other end of an email.

'I can't ever know what it means to be a gay man. I'll continue to search and to write about people who defy labels and reject being classified as this or that. We are all from a unique past set into a unique environment and each of us compromise who we are to varying degrees.

'Being able to hear comments from inside Awesome Dude is the best thing that's come my way in ages. I work alone and the only feedback is from email. Each one is a single individual who is or is not particularly pleased with what I have to say. Writers writing is more revealing and easier to allow me to feel as though I may be accomplishing something worth the time I invest. Tracy is open and of the moment and the spirit that encompasses me. Her efforts on my behalf are life altering. Love & Peace, Rick Beck.'

:shock: Tracy

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