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Monday, September 17, 2012
A rare free “Pass” by Dunstan.
I seem to recall that you favor running a bullpen situationally as opposed to going with a traditional set-up/closer model and an occasional left-handed One-out guy (the so called LOOGY). Is this correct? If so, is Bruce Bochy more-or-less following the approach you favor?...
Well, no, your understanding isn’t correct. It’s always been my view that there are different optimal strategies with different assemblages of talent.
The Andres Torres appeal play at first base a couple of weeks ago (Torres doubled but was called out by umpire David Rackley on an appeal for allegedly missing first base) reminded me of a question that you asked years ago in an ABSTRACT or BASEBALL BOOK. (I think it was you, anyway; please forgive me if I am mis-remembering that.) The question is, why are these situations treated as appeal plays, where the pitcher has to go through the ritual of stepping off and throwing over, and the violation of the rules is ignored if the defense doesn’t spot it?...
Well, I understand why the ball has to be made “live” from a narrow standpoint. A runner is only put out if he is tagged off base or if the base is tagged when he has a responsibility to be there; otherwise the runner has the RIGHT to be off the base, therefore there is no call based on the fact that he is off the base.
What I don’t understand is why this ever came to be the standard interpretation of the rules. It is very much like having a practice that if a basketball player steps out of bounds while dribbling, the referee only calls it if, on the next dead ball, the other team steps out of bounds and throws the ball to the referee; otherwise the referee just ignores it. The REAL question isn’t how this came to be the standard practice; it is why baseball has never fixed an obvious defect in the enforcement of the rules.
We’re loving the pennant race out here in Oakland. By my rough count 650 of the A’s 1303 innings pitched so far have been by rookie pitchers, almost exactly half. Is that a very unusual ratio for a successful team?
It is, yes. I don’t THINK any championship team has ever had 50% of its innings pitched by rookies. There have been teams that won around 90 games with heavily rookinized pitching staffs. Disturbed by the fact that my word editor fails to flag “rookinized”.
I appreciate your comments about the difficulty of updating my favorite baseball book, the historical abstract, and the progress in analysis since it came out. But could you name off the top of your head a player (or three or four) that you now think you particularly overrated or underrated in the latest historical abstract, and say what the new knowledge is that makes you think this?
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