Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baseball Explained

I declare this image (via) a Q.E.D. on the li'l point I made about statistics fetishism among American sports fans:
I think people who cherish 'stats' in sports are either just grasping at terms to anchor something less clearly definable about the experience; or they use stats as a proxy for a long-running engagement with the game and an appreciation for its history, which begs the question of what, exactly, is interesting to watch in the ebb and flow of the sport.
So now you know what is interesting about major league baseball: for this season and maybe others too, there exists a non-zero integer that represents the number of active players named Chad. Also, something something slugging percentage, something something earned run average, something something fielding percentage, and so on.

Over an annual season running from April to September, each team plays 162 games.* Batters hit the ball, or try to do so, using bats made of wood; in the rare instance the ball doesn't go into foul territory or fly into the stands (where upwards of dozens of fans are permitted to keep the ball if they need one) fielders retrieve it using large gloves made of leather, then throw it back to the infield so they can be allowed to resume dozing.

It is sometimes called "America's Pastime," and maybe it is, but if so, this underscores how desperate things are here. Please help us. Please send help.

* Even the Kansas City Royals do! Even the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Houston Astros! Even the Seattle Mariners and the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mondragon-Gabriel Prefecture, South Central Section presented by Delta Airlines! You wouldn't think so, but each of these teams and more play 162 regular-season games.

1 comment:

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Oh, please. Nobody is actually named Chad. They're all lying.

Actually, that makes it doubly pointless.


PS: Best. Baseball. Picture. EVAR.