Follis Bassus: Origin…Baseball

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 

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.

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