Fever pitch

Back to baseball… because it is America’s pastime there are numerous sites that you can search that will tell you the rules of the game, name the equipment used and reference the acronyms that make up the stats books.  My goal is to get you interested in your man’s team, or your own team, so you want to start learning the rules of the game and everything that comes with it.  My first recommendation, after you learn your man’s team name, is to visit the MLB standings page.  Find where they are in the standings list and take note.  You can easily begin a discussion with your husband, boyfriend, father, brother, uncle, et al, using the information you glean from this page.

Let me walk you through it.  First, you’ll have a breakdown of the different teams by league and division.  There are two leagues that make up the whole of  Major League Baseball, the American and National Leagues.  Each year, the best team from each of these leagues will play in the World Series to determine the Major League Baseball Champion.  Each league has three divisions:  East, Central and West.  The team is placed in their division primarily based on location.  The teams in the division play each other 19 times throughout the season which creates some great and historic rivalries between the teams and players (see, the drama can be found everywhere).

Now, the top team in each division makes it to the playoffs.  This is based on the record of the team.  If you have more wins, you are at the top of the list.  So, the first 3 columns are pretty self-explanatory:  W for win, L for loss and PCT is the percentage of wins.  Baseball depends on its statistics so they make up a stat even where there does not need to be one.  This might be why your man sounds like he is speaking another language when he is play-arguing his point as to why so-and-so is the best third baseman of all time (Mike Schmidt).

The next column is GB which stands for Games Back.  This stat becomes VERY important towards the end of the regular season because if your team is not in the division lead, they are X number of games back of the lead and if they do not catch up and pass the leader, they do not make into the playoffs.  Devastating if it is close.  If it is not close, then thank goodness for football!

I am going to skip over WCGB because it is not important right now but I’ll tell you it stands for Wild Card Games Back.  That is a conversation for a different day.

The rest is, again, pretty self-explanatory:  the record for the team’s last 10 games (L10), the streak of the team (STRK), the team’s home and away record (HOME) and (ROAD), the last game results and the next game on the schedule.

Finding out where your team is in the standings is very important, especially after the all-star break which is coming up in mid-July, so get into the habit of visiting the standings page.  Knowing the next game on the schedule and where that team sits in the standings compared to your man’s team could make for some excited chatter between you two.  Especially if you pick a different, rival team to follow.  Hint, hint…