According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Baseball, YAY!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baseball, YAY!

Its baseball season again. Thank you Lord! It seems to Sam and me like we’ve been wandering around in the desert wasteland of basketball, hockey and soccer longer than the tribe of Israel wandered around looking for the Promised Land.
Today is the beginning of the 2011 season for the Seattle Mariners and the Promised Land for them would be to actually wind up in the World Series this year–at least in the playoffs. Statistically speaking, it’s possible.
Baseball is about the most statistical game I know of. That sport keeps track of so many things. The other day I was watching a spring training game on TV and the Mariners produced three home runs, back to back to back. The sports announcers began speculating whether the next batter up would also clobber a home run (he didn’t) and pretty soon they were quoting statistics about how many teams had produced four home runs in one inning; turns out there were more than you might think.
I’ve often wondered who digs up all of baseball’s statistics on a moment’s notice like that – some poor hardworking internet gnome who is a whiz at quickly finding facts stranger than fiction no doubt. Wonder how much money he or she makes. Wow. Think of the pressure of such a job. And what if you flubbed it and gave your sports announcers a wrong answer? Instant unemployment?
Anyway, baseball apparently keeps an incredible data base of trivia, otherwise known as statistics or “stats.” They keep so many stats I can imagine a sportscaster asking for information on how many times the left fielder on a team dug deep for a booger when he thought the fans weren’t watching. I’m surprised they don’t keep stats on how many times baseball players spit. Seems like every time the TV cameras focus on a ball player in the dugout he’s expectorating a big juicy wad Yuck!
What about farting? Does baseball keep tabs on how many times the third baseman farts while fielding a screaming line drive? Why not? Does baseball list all the times batters give the opposing pitcher the IQ salute? And hey, they tabulate the speed of a pitcher’s fastball, how about the speed of base runners? Here’s a stat to keep track of: how many times has the fan with season tickets sitting directly behind the catcher yell an obscenity at the opposing team?
Hey, ever wonder how many times a fan fakes a sick day at work so he can take his girlfriend to the ballpark rather than his wife? Oh say can you see by the camera’s big lens, that guy in the stands hiding her face in his nachos.
Like I said, I love baseball. If the game becomes boring, you can always fall back on checking out stats. But I insist that baseball is NOT boring. A lot of strategy goes into beating the other team. Now if the Mariners could just come up with a strategy to produce some runs.
That’s the way Sam and I see baseball and the business of stats. Care to comment?

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