The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, April 28, 2008

Deep Baseball Insights From OOD

OOD has become a serious Yankees fan over the past few years and I have spent a fair amount of time discussing with her some of the nuances of the game. In particular, we've talked about some of the conventional wisdom that influences how the game is played that flies in the face of statistical analysis. (For example, how stealing bases is only a good idea if you are successful at least 80% of the time).

So, it was with great interest that I fielded her question after a night game that she watched last week. The Yankees had apparently tried a hit and run. The pitch was way outside and the batter literally threw his bat at the ball in order to avoid a sure throw out at second base. OOD simply could not understand the concept of a hit and run. Why would someone waste a strike, or hit a bad pitch?

I explained the concept behind a hit and run ("staying out of the double play", putting the fielders in motion, etc.) but agreed with her that I thought the concept was hogwash. I've never been convinced that the hit and run is a good play and I'm not sure there is any statistical evidence that supports it. It seems to me that it is just as possible to hit into a line-drive double play as avoid a 5-4-3 one, or hit the ball right where a player moves rather than the spot he vacates.

I had much Yiddishe nachas from OOD that she inherently understood the fallacy of 150 years of baseball lore.



  • At 5:21 PM, Blogger Jewboy said…

    I would sit shiva if any of my children became Yankee fans.

  • At 11:23 PM, Blogger Baruch said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I assume you bring her to games and use those geshmak box tickets you get from your lawyer friend? I just went tonight--they are having serious bizyonos hitting this year. Cano is hitting worse than my savta right now.Brad


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