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Co de Ha rm on ics

mastering the routine play

First Game, Bunting to get on base

Every game of baseball is an argument – an argument about how the game should be played. (Bill James)

we all bunted, all of us almost all of the time

Today we played the game like I never would have wanted to. I wouldn’t have asked my hitters to bunt as often. No, « often » is not the word. We all bunted, all of us almost all of the time – every batter in every part of the order, with runners on base or not, with none out or more, in early innings or late, with a high score or not. Given the result, though, I’m no longer sure what I had against the bunt. We scored something like thirty runs over two five-inning games; the other teams, who were carelessly swinging away, scored a mere two runs in comparison.

Our coach asked our beginners to bunt for hits, and he asked our best to bunt to advance runners. Everybody bunted and got on base. On my first time at the plate, pumped to hit, I was given the sign to bunt and I went after a low, unbuntable ball. I’m not used to bunting. And nobody really asks me to bunt since they like what I do with my swing. The next few at-bats, I learned to pull back the bat and not chase bad pitches with my stationary bat. But on the good pitches, let me tell you, I began to let rip nice slow bunts along the first and third base lines, proudly beating them out for infield hits.

Of course, this kind of strategy works well when the team facing you can’t field the bunt. That’s why the coach put a pause on our bunting when one of the relief pitchers proved himself adept at fielding the bunt. Otherwise, today’s game was an argument in favor of small ball.

 

Uncounted Events Part 3

The previous season should now be put to rest – in this blog and in my mind – with the realization that amateur baseball is not recorded nor recordable history. There is no history to the amateur game, it is not even witnessed by anyone except the players.

Digging up the truth of the past is impossible if the events of the past are not recorded. And even if they are recorded, they would be incomprehensible. The scoresheets are either missing or not accurate. The past makes no sense – neither when it happened in the first instance nor afterwards under any retrospective point of view.

The point of this article is that Power hitting is not useful when there are large amounts of errors, passed balls, wild pitches, stolen bases, and careless judgements. All bets are off in understanding the outcome of such games. Count the people on base, count the number of errors, and you’ll get the best prediction. A homerun is equal to a walk.

Continue reading “Uncounted Events Part 3”

Uncounted Events Part 1

I want to keep this article as simple as possible so as not to lose the point. I will follow this up with another article that investigates the conclusions of this article.

It turns out that in an environment where baserunners advance too easily because of errors, passed balls, wild pitches and stolen bases, the value of the extra base hit is almost neutralized.

My team lost a 4-run game and yet there were more similarities than difference in offensive stats between the two teams. This could lead one to question the value of statistics.

Continue reading “Uncounted Events Part 1”

A Gray and Difficult Day

As I stared at the Bastille one typically gray Paris day, I wondered what would happen if I were to carry an American flag during Paris’s labor day parade. I say parade, but in French the word for parade can also translate into march, protest, or demonstration, probably also into riot if we were to take into account that a French manifestation often results in a riot. The paranoia behind my flag idea clearly made me think of protest, in the sense of raising my middle finger: Surely, me raising my flag would be some sort of protest against some sort of annual parade already set up as a protest.

I was therefore left with the impression that carrying an American flag in a French labor day parade would cause an uproar, or worse. Life here is so complicated.

Continue reading “A Gray and Difficult Day”

A Story Come True

I wrote a story about you. About us, really. It was almost a fairy tale, almost cute. I guess it was a love letter – probably the love letter I have never written to you.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of removing it from our bedroom, so to speak, thinking it had some value outside the embraces of our romance. I read it aloud to strangers.

She swept past the open gate and whisked through the front door of her home, leaving the door spinning behind her and the latch unlocked. She then vanished up the stairs and into her bedroom. She fell back gracefully onto her bed. Her parents let out a sigh. Not a moment later the house went dark.

The girl had just been kissed. She was still in its hold, frozen as it were in its heat. She fell asleep in its arms. Continue reading “A Story Come True”

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