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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Stolen Base Gone like the Dinasaur

In this morning's Sacramento Bee Sports dated 8/21/'18, there was an article by Gary Peterson arguing that baseball was better before Metrics. I'm not a huge baseball enthusiast, but along with the article, there was a photo of Goose Gossage stating that baseball today was very difficult for him to watch. As much as I was a fan, Gossage was one of my favorite baseball players. He had a great name and a great flair and a great mustache. So, I read. After I finished it seemed to me he'd made his point: "The game is all home runs and strikeouts, absent all risk/reward gambits." Why? Because the actuarial tables say they result in negative metrics. The writer went on to illustrate with a bunch of comparisons between teams of the past vs teams of the future. Since he used metrics, my eyes glazed over. Let's see if I get the gist: Hits to strike out ratios - today more strikeouts than hits.  According to Scott Miller of Belcher Report: If you have a poetic bone in your body, you got to love this: As if they [batters] were 18 blindfolded men chasing a butterfly. As for pitching. American League as of today had turned in only 20 complete games. The National League only 10. At this rate, AL would complete 31 and NL 13. Giants Sam Jones in 1960 completed 13 himself. Onward and upward. According to the writer, there has been an average of 1.37 stolen base attempts in the majors this season, the lowest figure since 1964.

I told my wife. "Geez," she said.  "the stolen base was the only exciting play in baseball." That sort of summed it up for me. But I email my friend Larry Colton, ex of the Phillies and holder of the single game strike out record for the University of California for his thoughts on the subject, who is my baseball guru for his comments.

We wait with bated breath.

Metrics strives for some kind of statistical perfection. Not only is that impossible, it is boring.

Not exactly a baseball poem, but it could be.

Midnight Lazaruses   by Chaun Ballard, from Rattle summer 2018 issue


we were married
                                   to
concrete
                                   playgrounds, blacktops
                                 
                                   where seven days

nights
                                   a ball would drop

and like that
                                    bodies would complete

shadows
                                    and a game would be

found.


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