Follis Bassus The origins of baseball (a thought experiment in field theory) for R.R.IV If I can hit this rock with this stick Will you bring it back to me? Sounds dangerous- here, hit this Dried baboon scrotum I’ve sewed Up, instead of the rock; I’ll catch it. OK, but it might be batted anywhere. Why not get your brothers’ help- That would economize time of Retrieval. OK, three of my brothers will stand Behind me to help field the cod. And if we catch it we’ll throw it Back to you as fast as possible. You just stand there. Hm, that cod looks pretty solid; What’d you use for scrotum stuffing, Cousin? Feels like packed rice! Maybe you could get another brother To stand here with me, to catch your Retrievals? That way, I wouldn’t have to Drop the bat; just to speed things along. OK, that’s a good idea, Cousin. But Are you just going to stand there and Hit the cod all day? It doesn’t sound Like a lot of fun, to be honest. Wouldn’t It be more interesting if you hit the cod, Then tried to run to, say, that stump Before my fielder could tag you with it? It would slow things down a bit, but… Yeah, sure, I can do that, but who will Bat the ball, then? -I mean the cod? I’ll have to enlist one of my brothers, I suppose. Another one of yours might Not act without prejudice, Cousin. My Brother could bat the ball and I’d try To run to that other stump, before you Could throw me out. You won’t hit me With the cod will you? That would be A different game, entirely, Cousin! How many outs should we allow? Three? Three outs each, per inning...yes, That sounds about right to me. And If we should hit you with the ball, you Could take a free base, Cousin. But What if you only pretend you’re hit? Maybe we need an impartial judge To referee the play? It could be Beneficial to both teams, although It might slow things down a bit… If the judge thought you were just Pretending, he’d have to make you Return to the first base. Say, is it Our objective to get through innings As quickly as possible? If so, then We should probably limit play to Just nine innings; we don’t want To boar the fans.