# 1593: Play-By-Play

 Play-By-Play Title text: The thrower started hitting the bats too much, so the king of the game told him to leave and brought out another thrower from thrower jail.

## Explanation

 This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: I don't have time to add much, someone fix.If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Beret Guy gives play by play commentary of a baseball game with simple words and without baseball jargon, in his classic style.
Text Explanation
"We're on part 5 of a hitting game." Part of baseball is hitting the ball with the bat. A game is divided into 9 rounds, or innings.
"The next guy has a big bat, so he'll probably hit the ball real far." Every hitter uses a bat that fits his physique.
"Wait - he missed!" "Oh good, they're letting him try again." The pitcher tries to throw (or pitch) the ball in such a way as to make it hard for the hitter to hit the ball, but still have the ball go through the strike zone. A swing and a miss is counted as a strike, regardless of whether the ball passes the strike zone. A hitter is out when he accumulates three strikes (a strikeout); thus, swinging and missing will not get a hitter out if he has not accumulated two strikes already, and in this case he will be allowed to "try again".
"The people sitting on the chair shelves are yelling at this guy but he's ignoring them." Cheering is so commonplace that the players in the field are unlikely to react to it.
"This thrower is good! He keeps making people leave by throwing balls at them." The pitcher keeps striking out hitters.
"It's just him, though. None of his teammates are joining in." Only one pitcher pitches at a time.
"That guy just ran to the second pillow when no one was looking!!" Any baserunner (a player standing at a base waiting to run to the next base) can attempt to run to the next base when the pitcher is delivering a pitch (called stealing a base). The pitcher can throw the ball to a defense player to tag out the runner before he reaches the next base. Thus, an attempt to steal a base is most successful if no one notices.
"Everyone's real mad but I guess they checked the rules and there's nothing that says he can't do that." Successfully stealing a base, an infrequent event, usually receives a lot of cheers, especially if the offensive team is the home team. This may be a reference to 1552: Rulebook.
Title text: "The thrower started hitting the bats too much, so the king of the game told him to leave and brought out another thrower from thrower jail." A pitcher throwing pitches that get hit too often is undesirable, and will be substituted by a relief pitcher who will come out of the bullpen (the area next to the playing field where relief pitchers warm up; the "thrower jail") to join the game. Substitution decisions are made by the manager of the team (the "king of the game", though this name wrongfully suggests that one "king" controls both teams).

## Trivia

• Even though Beret Guy speaks in simple words, his speech fails the Thing Explainer word checker due to the words "bat", "shelves", "wow", "rude", "teammates", "pillow", "rules", "yikes", and "hopefully".

## Transcript

Beret Guy: For those just joining us, hi! We're on part 5 of a hitting game.
Beret Guy: The next guy has a big bat, so he'll probably hit the ball real far.
Beret Guy: Wait - he missed!
Beret Guy: Oh good, they're letting him try again.
Beret Guy: The people sitting on the chair shelves are yelling at this guy but he's ignoring them. Wow.
Beret Guy: Rude.
Beret Guy: This thrower is good! He keeps making people leave by throwing balls at them.
Beret Guy: It's just him, though. None of his teammates are joining in.
Beret Guy: That guy just ran to the second pillow when no one was looking!!
Beret Guy: Everyone's real mad but I guess they checked the rules and there's nothing that says he can't do that.
Beret Guy: Yikes. Hopefully they can fix that once this game is over.

# Discussion

First! Sorry. On a more serious note, is "how rude" a reference to the ugly guy on the first Star Wars? I'm sleepy and can't think well. Mikemk (talk) 05:41, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I strongly doubt it, since this is a completely unrelated topic to Star Wars 162.158.38.231 06:07, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Also, the comic doesn't even include the phrase "how rude"... 108.162.250.161 06:11, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Why is Star Wars and its trailer even mentioned? Completely unrelated. The trailer aired during a football game not baseball. If Randall was trying to make that point it would be as such. This is more akin to a non-sports minded son-in-law trying to enjoy the sport with his wife's father (been there done that). Or perhaps Randall is saying that baseball is having a hard time trying to attract new fans with all the scandals so baseball has turned to reeling in non-traditional fans who need the games rules and play-by-play toned down to an understandable level. Anything but Star Wars.--R0hrshach (talk) 15:56, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I read "Wow. Rude" as "How rude." 108.162.220.227 17:16, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Isn't the guy being yelled at in the "Wow. Rude." section the umpire? I think it's more likely that people would yell at an umpire (or maybe a coach) than any standard player. 21:19, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

The big issue I have is that he says there's no one else. There is the catcher. Would have made more sense to say two men are playing catch and someone else is rudely trying to hit the ball. Or that they're playing monkey in the middle... 108.162.236.235 15:18, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Simple Words

Could someone check if this is an instance of Randall Munroe doing a comic using only the 1000 most commonly used words? It looks like it might be. 108.162.218.197 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Nope! Lots of difficult words like "Wow" and "shelves" and "teammates" 198.41.235.59 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Yes should this even be references in the trivia. I vote for deleting the trivia, as I do not see this as an example of Beret Guy trying to speak simple, he just uses other words because he do not know the baseball version for these. --Kynde (talk) 12:50, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I put the transcript and title text into Randall's word checker and came up with eleven words that didn't make the cut: "bat", "shelves", "wow", "rude", "teammates", "pillow", "rules", "yikes", "hopefully", "king", and "jail". --108.162.218.65 12:47, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Now that I've read Thing Explainer, I have some guesses for what the simple word replacements could be:
"bat"→"stick", "None of his teammates are"→"No one else on his team is", "pillow"→"plate", "Hopefully"→"I hope".
--173.245.63.144 17:37, 26 February 2016 (UTC) (Same guy as 108.162.218.65 above.)
Surreal

I do not see this as surreal at all. His description is spot on, assuming that he knows nothing about the game.--141.101.79.73 06:32, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

What's surreal is the (somewhat implausible) scenario where someone who knows nothing about baseball (or softball, I suppose. Or sport...) whould be commentating on a game.ChrisBedford (talk) 06:46, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

That's not surreal. That's ironic. 108.162.237.81 15:11, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
It's also business as usual. "And that happened!"--108.162.242.127 15:54, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Pillow

Why is beret guy talking about a pillow? 173.245.49.125 07:12, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I read it as a reference to the points on the field (“bases”?) that the runner has to go around. The ones that are used as a euphemism for touching genitalia. --141.101.104.236 07:19, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
See 540: Base System! --Kynde (talk) 12:50, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Historically, the bases were made from stuffed fabric, they were essentially pillows.Tverma (talk) 08:15, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Baseball and cricket

Not being American, and never having watched a game of baseball in my life, this sounds like pretty much the way I would see baseball. Americans can get the same effect by watching a game of cricket. GreenWyvern (talk) 07:28, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Until he said "second pillow" I wasn't sure if it was commentary on baseball or cricket.Tverma (talk) 08:05, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, when you never have watched a full game of baseball even the explanation above is not enough to understand the rules and events he is talking about. So spot on ;-) We only play this in early school as we think it is a kids game (probably like many Americans consider soccer?) --Kynde (talk) 12:50, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
And just like the football/'soccer' difference in naming local variants in Association Football, our baseball is generally called 'rounders'. 141.101.75.185 13:21, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
While the description of the game might match someone who never saw any baseball, the failure to identify cheering and heckling suggest he never saw ANY game nor other sport event, which seems improbable. -- Hkmaly (talk) 12:25, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Although not for Beret Guy! --Kynde (talk) 12:50, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Main text says the words are not part of the "10,000" common words. But Randall's simplespeak is only a 1000 word corpus -- ten hundred. <digressing rant> That's somewhat irrelevant given the dubious qualities of Randall's simplespeak anyway. "bat" for example is a common word that kids learn early in kindergarten and elementary school when they learn the CVC pattern, not to mention it's a fairly common theme for Halloween and children books. Same goes to some of the other words. "wow" is not a word but an onomatopoeia, and "rude" is a basic English word known to everybody [citation needed]. Somewhere along the line, followers forgot this is all a game and are taking it way too seriously. </rant> Ralfoide (talk) 16:48, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Variant games

It might be interesting to mention which comments by the Beret Guy lead to the elimination of other ball and bat games, especially when only a single comment does so. For instance, it looks like the description of the game would also fit pesäpallo, a Finnish ball and bat game, save that in that game you don't throw the ball at the batter. 173.245.54.164 13:37, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

This comic makes me think of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptrSoRSq8vw&feature=youtu.be Macarthur1950 (talk) 20:27, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

It reminded me of this IT-crowd scene (never actually watched the IT crowd, just seen the video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjC38Z4T6zc Jack (talk) 22:15, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

It's amusing to see various games ruled out in the notes. The one game that can't be ruled out is Calvinball. Being utterly random, there is a possibility that at the moment Beret Guy is commenting that the game overlaps the rules of baseball. 199.27.128.82 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It can also be Nomic :D. --198.41.235.155 05:06, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

The chair shelves are the bunker, not the bleachers, no? This would make the people yelling from the chair shelves his team mates, providing "noise" and instructions about where to hit the ball? AFAIK In pro baseball, it's a slightly recessed secure box from which they send "signals" to the batter, telling them what to do -- either bunt, hit left field, keep infield, allow the steal, etc The batter has to not acknowledge the signals, and that way the fielding team doesn't know whether there was actually a signal sent at all. The psych strategy has the hitting team constantly send random signal "noise" i.e. movements that look like they *might* be signals, but mean nothing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dugout_(baseball) Bottom picture on the page shows the chair in the dugout (bench) and the plastic seats the crowd is in (basically the same as in any other stadium) https://www.google.com.au/search?q=dugout&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIhMiVt9DUyAIVYjimCh1JKw9N&biw=1549&bih=965#imgrc=dtPIvP1bSgcIMM%3A Importantly, dugout benches are often mounted to the dugout wall. Whereas bleachers (stadium seats) are mounted on poles attached to the ground. This, in my mind, makes me think that "chair shelves" would need to be wall-mounted, therefore dugout. 162.158.2.217 22:52, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Not at all. Most dugouts are actual benches. Hes talking about the folding chairs in the stands.

Notice they mount to the wall behind them. Some don't but some do. His explanations aren't perfect presumably because Randall isnt a baseball fan. Everyone is way over thinking this. 173.245.54.60 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Second Pillow

The text currently complains that Beret Guy wouldn't know which pillow was second, but this is the fifth period, folks! Beret Guy is not dumb just lacking experience. It's not unreasonable that enough runners have reached the second pillow or even gotten all the way back to the house pillow and given up, for Beret Guy to figure that out. 108.162.236.175 14:06, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Reference

Could this also be a reference to all the nerds being 'forced' to watch Monday night football to watch the new The Force Awakens trailer released just two days before this comic? 162.158.255.82 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It reminds me of the scene in OotP where Luna referees a Quidditch match SPECTACULARLY. ("Loser's Lurgy", ha ha ha) 162.158.72.191 21:38, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

The inning

he says their on part five of hitting game could that also mean their in the top of the third Fdfpi47 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'd say it's possible. Since it's likely Beret Guy is watching the game live in front of him, he may not know the distinction of top/bottom innings. --108.162.223.239 05:45, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Title

Can someone please explain the title "play-by-play"? --162.158.114.149 22:28, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

In sport reporting, play-by-play means giving detailed descriptions (in some level) of the events happening on the field. --108.162.223.239 05:45, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Isn't there another comic where Beret Guy uses all the wrong words for things?

I just can't remember which one it is... 173.245.54.116 17:41, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Neither do I. I do remember he said stuff like "stick trees" or whatever. 162.158.72.191 21:26, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Any significance to the fact that Beret Guy is apparently wearing Beats brand headphones? Sportscasters generally do not use such, maybe another indicator of his inexperience? Miamiclay (talk) 02:34, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Stolen Base

If the runner ran to second base and no one noticed, wouldn't that imply that there was no attempt to get the runner out? If so, wouldn't that be Defensive Indifference instead of a stolen base? 108.162.216.51 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Not likely, for a couple of things:
First, running to 2B "when no one was looking" may well mean simply that the pitcher didn't pay attention to the runner for a split second, instead of the entire defense ignoring the advance.
Second, there is no apparent reason for the defense to allow the runner to take second. DI usually happens late in a close game where a throwing error may prove fatal, and/or the pitcher needs to focus on getting the current batter out (bottom 10th of the 2016 WS Game 7 comes to mind). Based on the 3rd panel, this is either a high-scoring game (BB/HBP/H) or a pitching-dominant game (K), neither of which would warrant a DI.
Third, a DI mostly generates little reaction by the fans and/or the dugouts. Here "everyone's real mad".--Troy0 (talk) 08:59, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Fourth panel

Isn't "This thrower is good! He keeps making people leave by throwing balls at them." more likely a reference to the pitcher hitting the batters and advancing them to first base, rather than just walking them (or striking them out)? That interpretation would make Beret Guy's assessment of the pitcher's performance completely wrong (he's actually rather bad, not good), which seems to fit better with the tone of the comic. 162.158.90.220 06:47, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

I think that when he says "it's just him though" he means that the pitcher is the only one throwing balls at the batter. Implying that he thinks the other player might be allowed to do so but are choosing not to. 108.162.216.148 07:26, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Which would make sense with HBPs as much as with BBs. Beret Guy knows nothing about what players are supposed to do.--Troy0 (talk) 08:47, 5 March 2017 (UTC)