Sunday, May 31, 2015


Obviously, baseball is a game dominated by statistics, mostly from an historical view point. In theory, you could  study a box score and pretty much figure out how the game went. There are, however, variables which can only be appreciated by actually watching the game. The numbers will tell you that a center fielder made 6 putouts in a game, but they won't tell you if the man ran down some long drives or he had 6 easy pop ups - "a can of corn" in the Phil Rizzuto vernacular.
But stat-heads aren't satisfied with that, they want to measure everything and come up with statistics that sound like what two drunks arguing in a bar would make up.
The unusual stat
 Mike is hitting .500 against left-handers after the 5th inning in day games, on the road within two weeks after his wife had a baby and his manager has a hangnail.  Now really, how often do you think that situation comes up? Mike's career could be over before those circumstances appear together again. I actually heard an announcer say, "This happens all the time...except when it doesn't." Sounds like Yogi Berra, doesn't it?
The misdirection stat
So-and-so has a history of getting a ground ball in this situation. If he's been around long enough, sure he does. He probably also has a history of three-run homers in the same situation.
The team is  hitting .330 with men in scoring position. Now this sounds like the team scores a run once out of every three times there is a runner in scoring position. Not necessarily so. Three times in the last week, twice in one game, I saw a batter hit a single into the outfield, but the runner on second didn't score.Does that mess up your statistic? Of course it does, but announcers go right on using it without any clarifications.
Can we get rid of the 'Hold?'
I can't figure out how you even earn one. If you come into the game with your team ahead, and you leave the game with your team ahead, is that a Hold? Can you give up runs and still get a Hold? Do you have to pitch a full inning? Is there such a thing as a 'Blown Hold?"  Lord, I hope not.

Try this sometime: Turn on the game and mute the sound for all nine innings. You will accomplish two things: You will discover and enjoy the game of baseball and you will put some analysts out of a job.

** Bryce Harper, Who is leading the Major Leagues in homers and arguments at home plate, is considering sitting out the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game. Will someone please tell him there are no umpires for that event?
** I used to think that the IOC (Olympics) was the most corrupt sports organization ever, followed by the NCAA (American Collegiate sports). Unfortunately, they are in there with the champs. FIFA (soccer) is showing both organizations just what real corruption is.

"Jack Nicklaus donated the 3-wood he used to win all 18 of his major golf titles to the USGA Museum. No word on whether Elin Nordegren plans to hand over her 9-iron."  -- Dwight Perry
" ESPN’s Skip Bayless once said LeBron James was the most overrated player in the NBA. Ohioans call that the King James libel"  -- RJ Currie
"RIP Lennie Merullo. He was the last living player who played for the Cubs in a World Series. And most Americans are thinking “How’d he make it to 130?"  -- Janice Hough
"Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected after arguing with umpires while exchanging lineup cards at home plate before a game even started. Somewhere, Billy Martin is smiling."  -- Brad Dickson
" The NBA finals are set. Why do we have to wait until next Thursday before they start? Does it take them a whole week to get the balls inflated to the proper PSI?"  -- TC Chong
"This is the most amazing part about the FIFA scandal: “Do you know how hard it is to take $150 million in bribes without using your hands?”  -- Jerry Perisho
"Slick-fielding Yankees third baseman Chase Headley, who committed nine errors all last season, already has 10 this year. Turns out he’d been giving his Gold Glove a try."  -- Dwight Perry
"Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary. As part of a promotion, next season LeBron James will attempt to make the NBA Finals playing with the seven dwarfs."  -- Brad Dickson
"Rehabbing Marlins ace Jose Fernandez faced live batters in practice for the first time since his surgery, and also became a United States citizen. Fernandez is proof that in America anything is possible, particularly if you can throw 97 mph."  -- Greg Cote
"For all the talk from the Yankees TV booth, funny what creates quiet. Tuesday, on Ch. 11, Michael Kay asked David Cone and Paul O’Neill to name the two players who finished a season with more HRs than singles. After Kay gave the answer, “Mark McGwire, twice, Barry Bonds, once,” silence."  -- Phil Mushnick


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