Alright, so I was walking through the green room at the theatre and due to our ambiguous “entertainment” status we get all sorts of notices. From movie screenings to casting calls to… notice of Extreme baseball!
I’ve scoured the Internet and have not found a word about it, but here is the info from the sheet in our green room.
It’s Baseball as we know it, except instead of alternating batting and fielding, both teams are on the field at the same time. They alternate batters between the two teams. I don’t really know much other than that, the sheet we got was a very brief press release.
From what I understand it will be a minor league sort of league to begin. Orlando and Miami will both have teams. The “Orlando Dragons.”
Oh, here is a copy of the sheet we received:
Oh dear. And now I found their ahem “Website” complete with a gifs and such. Wow.
So, both team’s defenses are on the field at the same time, but “The opposing fielding players are on Standby Mode and are not allowed to interfere with play”? Pfft. If this were truly “Extreme” baseball, then not only would the opposing fielding players be allowed to interfere, they’d also be carrying bats to aid in said interference.
I love baseball and one of the great things is that players are expected to be adept in both offensive and defensive positions. This xtreme version negates this need for versatility, so you’ll have teams that may have good fielders, good hitters, but never both (and since part of the appeal of baseball is the cult of personality involved with players who can do both, this will dilute the pool of potential personalities that any one club tries to develop).
Plus, if you have one team that truly overpowers the other (in terms of pitching and/or hitting), then it’s going to be boring because one team will be retired early and the other will still be out until their part of the inning is done. Chances are, I’d expect at least 1/3 of all playing time will have only one team on the field anyway. What’s so “extreme” about that?
Now, if they were pitching/fielding at the same time, with multiple balls in play and both fielders and base-runners trying to make sense of all the action on the field going on at once–now that’s extreme.
Much as I enjoy America’s Pastime, I doubt its rather laggardly image will be much improved by hitching it to a cultural trend that’s about a decade buried. Wasn’t the whole “x-treme” phenomenon pretty much over by around 1998 or so?
I note that the crawl at the top of their web page announces proudly that “BASEBALL HAS EVOVLED!!!” At the very least, they’ve managed to disassociate themselves from baseball’s obsession with minutiae.