Questions and Answers

From The Red Sox Fan Handbook

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What are leagues, and which one do the Red Sox belong to? Are there big differences between the major leagues? Where do the minor leagues fit into things?

Why do runners go back to the base if there’s a fly ball, but not if there’s a ground ball?

Can you explain the infield fly rule?

How does pinch-hitting work? What are double switches? What are some of the other kinds of in-game strategy I should look for?

What is the designated hitter (DH)?

Explain to me about stats. What do some of the terms people throw around mean? Why can’t everybody agree on which stats are important?

All right, I know that there are some stranger statistics out there. What are some of the measurements that the “statheads” use, and where do I find out about them?

What does it mean to score a baseball game? How is it done?

How does the manager decide on a lineup? What is platooning?

What’s an ace? How about a closer? What’s more valuable, a great starting pitcher or a great reliever?

How can I tell a good defensive player from a bad one when I’m watching a game? Why do people say defensive stats are unreliable?

How much effect does Fenway Park have on the Red Sox players’ stats? Do other parks have the same kind of impact?

What happens if the umpires can’t agree on a call?

Are players allowed to steal the other team’s signals? How about doctoring the ball or the bat? What’s considered legal and illegal?

What is salary arbitration? How does it work?

How many times can you send a player to the minor leagues? What does it mean to “option” someone? What are waivers?

When does a player become a free agent?

If a Red Sox player signs with another team as a free agent, do the Sox get any kind of compensation for losing him?

I’ve heard people say that big-name free agents don’t like to sign with the Red Sox. Why is that?

How does the Amateur Draft work? What happens if a player doesn’t want to sign with the team that drafts him? How do players from foreign countries get signed by teams?

What is the Rule 5 Draft? Is it good or bad for a player to be selected?

How do trades work? Why is there a trading deadline? What’s the 10-and-5 rule? Are there other ways that teams or players can block trades?

What’s the difference between the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster? How about the playoff roster?

How do the playoffs work in baseball? How many games do the Sox have to win to become world champions?

What does “games behind” mean? What’s a “magic number?”

How do you get into the Hall of Fame?

How does a player get put onto the permanently ineligible list? Can players be banned from baseball for committing crimes or drug problems, or just for gambling?

What was the “Curse Of The Bambino”? Why did people say there was a curse on the Red Sox?

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