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Must-click link: Australian writer’s first MLB encounter

Mar 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

sydney cricket ground

Simon Crerar, an Australian-born staff writer at BuzzFeed, put together this comical rundown of his first experience with Major League Baseball, which just officially opened its 2014 season with a two-game series between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Crerar mostly points out oddities that we’ve come to accept as very normal, very necessary parts of the game.

Some highlights from Crerar’s writeup …

  • “Instead of a big oval with all the action taking place in the centre, baseball is played on a weird diamond, with all the action taking place in one corner.”
  • “Everyone wears pyjamas. Fancy pyjamas, but still PJs.”
  • “Half the time the players don’t seem to know what’s happening and the coach has to explain the rules.”
  • “Incidentally, these guys wear GREAT leather belts.”
  • “The balls are either super cheap or the MLB is super rich. Balls go into the crowd non-stop and never come back.”

How he ends it: “Thanks for coming Down Under, Major League Baseball! You blew our minds.”

  1. yahmule - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    That was a fun read. I want to visit Australia and New Zealand some day.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      I’m sure they’re beautiful places, but dude:

      Giant. Ass. Spiders.

      • marionleam - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        Totally agree. If there is one animal that almost literally scares the s**t out of me it is ass spiders…

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        Meh. The huntsman, the big daddy of Aussie spiders, is ackcherley not all that poisonous. They are, though, huge – a foot across – and fast as hell. They have great eyesight and will zip across a wall and down to the floor in an eyeblink to nail a cockroach – they’re the Cool Papa Bells of arachnids. II saw one operate on the wall of our hotel in Queensland. Impressive.

        The funnel web spider is the one with the really nasty venom, but the bite injects so little that unless you’re allergic you’d have plenty of time to go find some antivenin at a local clinic. The spider that really causes trouble in Oz, speaking of ass spiders, is the legendary redback, which is no more or less than our very own black widow ( and how did they get there, you ask? Well, newly hatched black widows, once they get done eating all the siblings in their maternal egg sac, climb up on a tree or plant or rooftop, spin a silk parachute, and let the winds distribute them – and yeah, if they get swept up in a strong air current or jetstream, the little bastards can get carried across an ocean and land in fine fettle in places like Australia).

        But what makes the redback so obnoxious isn’t even its strong venom. It’s the habit they have of spinning webs under the dunny seat in an outhouse, since flies….well, you know. But this brings them into contact with folks’ exposed parts pretty often, and the bite on the ass from the redback is the stuff of folktale in Oz. And song, too:

        Trust me: worry about the snakes.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        I actually did know about the hunter spider that eats all the other spiders and that it wasn’t venomous. That wasn’t the issue.

  2. The Common Man - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    George Bernard Shaw, he ain’t.

    • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      So he’s Ring Lardner?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        I loves ya, OG.

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM

        Let’s miscegenate.

  3. ezthinking - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Sweet BS made-up article. There are about 20 of these written every year. Probably was written before the players touched down.

    Sad you gave him play here.

  4. spudchukar - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    See, Craig is just trying to emulate Big Leaguers, lounging around in his PJs, down under in his cellar.

    • 4d3fect - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      Craig changed his name to Drew Silva?

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Craig is Drew Silva. And Paul McCartney has been dead since 1969.

      • spudchukar - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        No, I can refer to Craig, in a Drew Silva post, no?

      • 4d3fect - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        spudchucker, yes, by all means. Carry on.

        OG: goo goo ga joob.

  5. 4d3fect - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Pyjamas comment, loved it.

  6. historiophiliac - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    LOVED the part about the imaginary box that only umps and players can see. It’s the magic pyjamas, mate!

    • historiophiliac - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Dear person who goes around thumbing me (and others) down:

      You are exceedingly tiresome. I can’t imagine what your emotional reward is on that, but it is most pathetic. Perhaps someday you will get, as well, that it does not stop us from commenting, get the better of us, or make us feel bad about ourselves. You are really wasting your time. I just thought I’d drop you a note to give you some attention, since you want it so much. You should consider doing some work on your issues.


      • 4d3fect - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        histo: School’s out.

        Also, don’t feed the troll(s).

        And: giving this nonentity the title of person is overdoing it a bit, no?

        (BTW, not me. Quite the opposite in fact, I try to encourage observant or witty posts.)

      • ezthinking - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Apparently the thumbs up/down has a great impact on your life. if you don’t care as you say, stick to facebook, twitter or whatever other everyone-wins ranking systems are out there that will only give you affirmation. You don’t need it. Be confident in your opinions.

        By complaining about it, you only feed those who would bring you down.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Wow, that freaked some people out. Weird.

      • shutdownespn - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        I must agree with ezthinking. For someone who claims to care nothing about the thumbs up/down, you sure do comment on the “thumb harpies” a lot.

        It also seems curious to me that the people who dislike you/your comments must have “issues”. Have you considered ANY other explanation?

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        I’m sure she has. She is thoughtful by nature. But given the long history of thumb harpies on this board, and the fact that some people really are targets of these idiots, there’s nothing particularly wrong with her observations. A few days ago there was a tantrum of multiple thumbs down by a cretin who got booted off the board for making a genuinely pathological comment about an injured player. Yeah, there are thumb harpies with “issues” here. If you want to go looking for other explanations, you can always find them on the pop psychology boards. There’s no shortage of those,

      • Reflex - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        shutdownespn – Um, can you think of any other explanation? Seriously, someone who spends their time manufacturing thumbs down on a comment board for someone else who posts sounds to me like someone with issues. It would be one thing if they just habitually thumbed their posts down, I tend to do that with dirtyharry, but someone who makes the effort to deliver a dozen or more thumbs down on every single post by other posters they don’t like? That’s someone with some serious psychological issues.

      • shutdownespn - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        “Um, can you think of any other explanation?”

        I can, indeed. There are two assumptions being made; the first is that the thumbs down are the work of one person with an agenda, the second is that the person in question has “issues”. I see no reason to take either of these assumptions as anything close to uncontroverted fact. In the absence of server logs with IP information, historiophiliac has no particular evidence that this is only one person. And even if it IS one person, clearing one’s cache a few times to get a few extra “votes” in is hardly evidence of psychological problems, not on the level of torturing cats or hearing voices or whatever.

        There are quite a few regular commenters on this board–cur68, Old Gator, Common Man, Jason @ IIATMS, koufaxmitzvah, El Bravo, Francisco–whose “thumb totals” seem to correlate pretty closely with the quality of their posts. There are also a number–nymets4ever, dirtyharry1971, halldaysbicepts, and historiophiliac among them–who seem to get a majority of thumbs down almost regardless of what they post. And to me, what the latter group has in common is that they are all kind of obnoxious. Obnoxious in different ways, yes, but still kind of obnoxious.

        Now, as OG points out, historiophiliac undoubtedly has some redeeming qualities that the others lack. But there’s also quite often a smugness and arrogance there that is VERY off-putting. I think that’s probably a better explanation for the thumbs down than “anonymous psycho with issues”…

      • Old Gator - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        Of course peoples’ styles inspire certain others to respond negatively. On the other hand, when, say, three or four or five (or more) thumbs down suddenly appear in the time it takes to refresh a page you’ve only been on for a minute or two, obviously, it’s some idiot with multiple accounts piling up (or down) these silly thumbs.

        Histy, as some others of us, have occasionally had literally dozens of thumbs down suddenly show up after our posts – and last week, said banned headcase put up hundreds of them on any post expressing concern or sympathy for the injured player in question (Aroldis Chapman) for several hours, either before his anti-psychotics kicked in or the guys with the butterfly nets caught up with him.

        Me, I find the whole thumb thing juvenile, ridiculous and, finally, self-defeating if the goal of a forum is to encourage discussion: it just makes it possible for someone to play games with expressions of taste, as it were, without ackcherley offering opinions or justifications for them.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        OG, don’t argue with him. My comment about the imaginary box was in no way inflamatory or obnoxious (yet it got thumbs down), so clearly, his comment is about animus (probably because I’m female) rather than anything I’ve said. Also, I pointedly did not only mention the thumb down for me — but for several of us on the page. That indicates someone so petty as to get their jollies from going through and just thumbing people down. That’s a personal issue. Mr. espn wants to make it about me, but it isn’t. I find it amusing, however, that the people he mentions as deserving thumbs up are some of the same people with whom I have positive interactions. What do you think that says? In any case, I enjoy occasionally calling the thumb-downing jerk a jerk. S/he deserves it once in a while.

      • Reflex - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:09 AM

        maikoch –

        After you were called out previously for your personal vendetta against historio you really should have kept a low profile with your new sock puppet account. Its pretty obvious who you are given the fact that you are using the same groupings and same arguments. Also, you are factually incorrect. OG probably gets the most thumbs down on this board despite having consistently the best community posts. Historio is simply penalized for having an opinion while saddled with a vagina by one or a few people with a problem with that.

        And yes, if someone sits there clearing cache on their browser while spending hours thumbing down a specific online poster….they have mental issues.

  7. realgone2 - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Every animal down there is deadly.

    • gloccamorra - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Yup. Even the eucalyptus-eating koalas. I hear their breath could kill and their crap is a fire hazard.

  8. garlicfriesandbaseball - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Reblogged this on Garlicfriesandbaseball's Blog and commented:
    GFBB’s Note: This Aussie writer compares baseball to cricket and, of course, to rounders. But his take on it, complete with photo’s, is wonderful if you’re a true baseball fan. Well, even if you aren’t! “Tis lovely, eh?

  9. baberuthslegs - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    See the pics he posted with his article enhanced it.

  10. umrguy42 - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    First off, that’s some serious foul territory there. Would be interesting to know if more guys got out on popped fouls there than the average, due to the extra room.

    Secondly, as far as baseball players being heftier athletes, I thought they played American style football (or darn close to it) Down Under. Has he never seen it? THAT’s a sport where more weight (for certain positions) = a good thing. (Supposedly.)

  11. renaado - Mar 25, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    Damn…….. How I Really Really Really wish MLB would play Baseball in the Philippines 😦.. I Really Love Baseball but alas.. Our Government Failed to understand on how Truly Beautiful this game is.

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