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I love this time of year and what it brings to the senses: the crack of the bat, sunlight in your eyes, the smell of the grass.

Baseball? No, cricket. Opening day is alost here, but down in the Caribbean, sixteen countries are vying for the Cricket World Cup. These two games share a common origin, but each have developed a following in different parts of the world. Typically, baseball fans know little of cricket and think their game is superior, and vice versa. Link Building Service You can read Wikipedia's comparison between cricket and baseball for all the details, but we are here today to decide once and for all which game is better. There are ten categories worth ten points each, plus a bonus category worth up to five points. Play ball. One Way Link Building Forum Posting Video Promotion Video Submission

Best current player

Baseball 8 You could easily substitute one of a handful of other players here, but Albert Pujols serves as a good representative. He has a career .332 batting average and has 250 home runs in six seasons. In his career, he has been named Rookie of the Year and MVP, and last year won the World Series with the St Louis Cardinals.

Cricket 9 Ricky Ponting is currently the number one ranked batsman in the world, so this choice is a little easier to make. He has a 59.29 batting average (his average runs scored per batting appearance) and 58.95 strike rate (runs per 100 balls). If you look at just the past five years, his batting average jumps to 74. Putting it bluntly: he already ranks as the number three batsman of all time.

Best historical player

Baseball 9 Most of Babe Ruth's records have fallen to various players over time, but none of them had the complete package the Babe did. He is known for his batting, but remember, he was a pretty good pitcher in his time with the Red Sox as well.

Cricket 10 99.94. Any cricket fan in the world recognizes that number as Don Bradman's career batting average. Second place is a full twenty runs less; the rest of the pack tops out at 61. And these aren't just the Australians—we're talking worldwide, all-time players. Statistical analysis by Charles Davis in The Best of the Best reveals Bradman as the most dominant player in any major sport. He says by comparison, a baseball player would need a career .392 average to equal Sir Don's dominance.

Best rivalry

Baseball 9 Yankees/Red Sox: Love 'em or hate 'em, this is the best rivalry in the game. This intense rivalry stems from proximity, civic pride, divisional competition and the Curse of the Bambino. Fairly lopsided in the Yankees favor, but intense nonetheless, and more competitive of late.

Cricket 9 Australia/England: This rivalry dates to 1882, when Australia beat England on an English pitch for the first time, shocking the hosts and creating the legend of the ashes. It wouldn't be the last time. This rivalry is also rather lopsided, but both sides, and much of the cricket world, closely follow the Ashes Series.

Best venue

Baseball 9 This is another one that is up for debate, but I'll go with Wrigley Field. It's got ivy, day games and tons of history.

Cricket 8 Lords is considered the home of cricket. Many of cricket's greatest moments, particularly in the Ashes Series, took place here. It might be iconic, but I don't care for the look of the Media Centre.

Game length

Baseball 9 Three hours is a fairly standard time for the completion of a game in most major sports, and baseball fits the bill.

Cricket 6 There are variations of the game, but the most popular is test cricket, which lasts for five days. Even one day cricket lasts (surprise!) a day, or about six hours of playing time, plus lunch and tea breaks. Only the new (and often maligned) Twenty20 fits within the three hour window.

Outcomes

Baseball 9 You win. Or you lose. Short of a rainout, that's it.

Cricket 4 You win. Or you lose. Or, if you score the same number of runs, you could tie, although this is very unlikely. Or you could draw (which is different than a tie) if the game is not complete after the alloted time has expired. Yes, it is possible to play a game for five days and basically get no result.

Popularity

Baseball 5 Despite last year's World Baseball Classic, baseball is primarily limited to the US, the Caribbean, and parts of East Asia. And the WBC had to get a little creative to find sixteen teams—even Australia qualified.

Cricket 6 Cricket's strongest players are mostly within England and the Commonwealth. According to the International Cricket Council, there are ten full members, 32 associate members (cricket firmly established) and 55 affiliate members (cricket is played). By the way, the US is an associate member, but did not qualify for the Cricket World Cup.

Sportsmanship

Baseball 5 Baseball is notorious for the phrase 'if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying'. Corked bats, pine tar and of course steroids are all issues in the game today. Players and managers arguing with umps is also common, and a player would never correct a call to his own detriment. The redeeming factor is the unwritten code of respect that requires teams to stop stealing bases with a big lead or not show up a pitcher after a home run.

Cricket 9 Cricket players often police themselves during a game and arguing calls is rare. About the worst you get is sledging, the cricket equivalent of 'we need a pitcher, not a belly itcher'.

Trophy

Baseball 3 World Series Trophy — My little league trophies were cooler than this.

Cricket 9 The Ashes — Now this little urn tells a story, and you can read a little about it here.

Uniforms

Baseball 9 Personally, I like the simplicity of the &provider_id=314&ptp_photo_id=mlb:612683&sequencenum=120 home whites/road grays. But I hate the softball team look of the alternate colored jerseys.

Cricket 8 Test cricket looks great with the whites. One Day and Twenty20 looks ridiculous with the pajamas.

Bonus: Kooky Traditions

Baseball 3 More than a few baseball players don't step on lines, always step on bases or some variation when running onto the field.

Cricket 5 Cricket has the Nelson, representing a run score of 111. Named for Lord Horatio Nelson, supposedly for a missing eye, arm and leg, the score is thought to be unlucky. Umpires are often seen standing on one leg while a batter is on this score.

Well, the numbers don't lie: Cricket wins 83-78. Neither game is flawless, but you can't go wrong with either one. The good news is this: you don't have to choose. So enjoy the start of the baseball season, but make an effort to catch some of the Cricket World Cup action over the next few weeks, even if they are playing in their pajamas.

Also published at 110 Percent.


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