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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Q&A: Jerry Seinfeld, Mets superfan

Jerry is a Mets fan. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Let’s end with this: What do you like best about baseball?

I learn something every time I watch it. Sometimes it’s about baseball, sometimes it’s about life. But it’s always something.

There is no other game that is so shockingly correct in its original form. You look at the fact that a shortstop bobbles the ball and the runner can run much faster. It still works out that they still have to do what they do as best as they can, and it’s still exactly even. That’s just incomprehensible. If it’s 91 feet, it’s different.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2014 at 03:47 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jerry seinfeld, mets

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   1. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4771217)
good interview. well worth the read. How did a video not blast my eardrums while clicking onto this page?

I too would like to see Uecker on "Comedians in Cars..."
   2. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 14, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4771229)
If Uecker is the guest, the car is definitely an Edsel.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: August 14, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4771239)
It still works out that they still have to do what they do as best as they can, and it’s still exactly even. That’s just incomprehensible. If it’s 91 feet, it’s different.


I'm glad people think this way but it's not true, is it? The shortstop chooses to stand at a spot where he can best balance range with throwing difficulty. If he's standing somewhere where he can still complete the play despite the bobble, it means that he is standing too close (for sake of argument). If the bases were 91 feet he would stand at a different spot to achieve a similar equilibrium. It would chance the game slightly, of course, but not in a drastic way. The game would rebalance itself.
   4. Jeltzandini Posted: August 14, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4771249)
I'm glad people think this way but it's not true, is it?


No, it isn't. Shortstops field a wide range of batted balls. Sharp one-hoppers where he's got all the time in the world. Plays where he's got to range far and throw quickly to get the out. Deep grounders in the hole against a speedy runner where he's got no shot. Making the bases 89 feet or 91 feet would change what's a close play, but there would still be the full spread of plays.
   5. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4771261)
the car is definitely an Edsel.


A shriner car.
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4771325)
Believe it or not, I was very fast when I was a kid.

When you cheat, of course you're going to seem fast.
   7. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4771354)
Curb Your Enthusiasm was (is?) great (I lurked in the Garlin thread, but never posted.) However, I prefer Seinfeld. It may be Philistine, but I like the traditional sitcom format and Seinfeld was the apeothisis of it.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4771396)

"It still works out that they still have to do what they do as best as they can, and it’s still exactly even. That’s just incomprehensible. If it’s 91 feet, it’s different."

One of the early Seinfeld episodes had a quick bit about how he was amazed that at the end of every day/night, exactly the right amount of "news" had occurred in the world to precisely fit the news hole of the next day's NY Times....

   9. Lassus Posted: August 14, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4771397)
Gee looks ####### terrible.
   10. AndrewJ Posted: August 14, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4771422)
I made a bucket list, turned the "b" to an "f" and was done with it.

These kids today -- I love 'em -- they don't need to work blue.
   11. TerpNats Posted: August 14, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4771499)
Jerry's one of the best comic minds around -- that said, I'm glad his team was just swept. (My mother, who passed away at 93 last December, would have felt likewise; she was an avid Nats fan and had a sibling rivalry with one of my aunts, who loves the Mets.)
   12. BDC Posted: August 14, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4771525)
"It still works out that they still have to do what they do as best as they can, and it’s still exactly even. That’s just incomprehensible. If it’s 91 feet, it’s different."

I would imagine that bigger and stronger players still using 19th-century diamonds is one factor in timelining, and in greater defensive efficiency over the decades. Not a huge one, perhaps, but 90 feet is not magically scaled to all human bodies any more than 10-foot-high basketball hoops or football goalposts.
   13. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4771596)
the car is definitely an Edsel.

A shriner car.


A Suburban. Jerry is driving, and Bob is in the back row of seats.

EDIT: No, wait! The 70's-era Brewers bullpen car.
   14. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4771602)
I'm glad his team was just swept. (My mother, who passed away at 93 last December, would have felt likewise


So two Nationals fans are or would have been happy that the Nationals won baseball games? Hmm.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4771605)
the car is definitely an Edsel.


A shriner car.


A Suburban. Jerry is driving, and Bob is in the back row of seats.

EDIT: No, wait! The 70's-era Brewers bullpen car.


Well, it's a cinch he won't be toddling around in this one.
   16. depletion Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4771629)
90 feet seems to work. I'd still like to watch major leaguers play some games with the outfield fences at 700 feet, in other words, one less true outcome.
   17. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4771655)
90 feet seems to work. I'd still like to watch major leaguers play some games with the outfield fences at 700 feet, in other words, one less true outcome.
Interesting thought experiment. Gap doubles would become inside-the-park HRs, while some HRs would become fly outs. The defensive spectrum would be turned upside-down, with slow players put at 2B instead of LF. (Slow sluggers would still be desired, as hitting the ball hard would be rewarded even more.) And attendance would be lower because a front row seat 700 feet away is useless.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4771659)
I've wondered what would happen in a park in which the shallow part was in center, and the deep parts down the lines.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4771664)
90 feet seems to work. I'd still like to watch major leaguers play some games with the outfield fences at 700 feet, in other words, one less true outcome.


Interesting thought experiment. Gap doubles would become inside-the-park HRs, while some HRs would become fly outs. The defensive spectrum would be turned upside-down, with slow players put at 2B instead of LF. (Slow sluggers would still be desired, as hitting the ball hard would be rewarded even more.) And attendance would be lower because a front row seat 700 feet away is useless.

Not necessarily. They could always revert to the practice of the deadball era that lasted well into the 1930's, of allowing overflow crowds to stand in the outfield just behind the outfielders. That resulted in crowds (and box scores) like this. The Wrigley Field capacity at that time was 40,000.
   20. Squash Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4771671)
Not necessarily. They could always revert to the practice of the deadball era that lasted well into the 1930's, of allowing overflow crowds to stand in the outfield just behind the outfielders. That resulted in crowds (and box scores) like this. The Wrigley Field capacity at that time was 40,000.

As I recall (not personally), any ball that went into the crowds in those cases was some version of a dead ball, i.e. a double (as you can see by the multitude of doubles hit in that game).
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4771713)
If you ever want to read one amazing first hand account of that doubleheader, check out Frankie Frisch's memoir, The Fordham Flash. Here's the relevant passage:

From The Fordham Flash, by Frankie Frisch, pp. 122-123

The mob broke up the Cubs' infield practice, moving in front of the infielders to grab ground balls and run away with them. It was a hot, sultry day, with a threat of rain, and with that rich box office bonanza in danger, [Cardinals' owner Sam] Breadon marshaled help from the office and from the dugout to push back the crowd so the doubleheader could be started.

It was a joke. When they pushed back the center field section of the crowd, the mob bulged out behind first and third base. When they tried to push the ends, the middle bulged toward second base. Fans in foul territory blocked both dugouts and also the view of the box seat customers, who had to stand up to see the players on the field. Spectators in fair territory were only about 70 feet beyond first base, perhaps 100 feet behind third, and not more than 150 feet behind second....

Conditions were worse in the second game, which we won by the ridiculous score of 17 to 13. There were 32 doubles hit in the doubleheader, a record 23 of them in the second game. Not more than 5 or 6 of them were legitimate two-baggers.

During the intermission between games the crowd milled around curiously, surrounding the pitcher and his catcher warming up. By this time the sun was bearing down. It was red hot and the crowd tried to move from the sunny right field locations to shadier spots on the left field or third base side. Most of the mob, as the second game was played, was bunched behind third base, not more than 50 or 75 feet behind the second baseman, and that's where most of the pop flies dropped for doubles.

Fans even climbed to the dusty pavilion roof and many stood on top of the grandstand wall behind home plate. It's a wonder foul balls didn't kill somebody, but remarkably nobody got hurt.
   22. McCoy Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4771750)
That resulted in crowds (and box scores) like this. The Wrigley Field capacity at that time was 40,000.

You know that happened in St. Louis, right?

Try dealing with this
   23. Greg K Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4771767)
I've wondered what would happen in a park in which the shallow part was in center, and the deep parts down the lines.

There's a field here in Scarborough that's like that. No outfield fence at all in left or right, but the corner of a fenced off soccer field pokes into dead center about 250 feet away. It's amazing how guys will change their swings and just constantly try to hit lazy fly balls to center on that field.

It does put a huge amount of pressure on the corner outfielders though, as the CF is usually playing so shallow as to take him out of the equation on gappers.
   24. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4771779)
   25. JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4771783)
Highview Park?

Hmmm, what are the ground rules for balls that smack the light stands?
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4771810)
That resulted in crowds (and box scores) like this. The Wrigley Field capacity at that time was 40,000.

You know that happened in St. Louis, right?


Glad you caught that, McCoy. I hadn't re-read the Frisch book for several years at the point I mentioned Wrigley.

The irony is that when I looked up the Wrigley Field capacity for 1931, it seemed much closer to the actual crowd size than I'd remembered from Frisch's description. And of course the reason it was "much closer" than I'd remembered was that the park in question was really Sportsman's Park, whose then-capacity of 30,500 was 15,000 under the announced attendance. A full third of the crowd that day was standing in the aisles and all over the playing field, as Frisch describes in that above passage.

Try dealing with this

Cute, but that was before the game, not during it. The biggest crowd at Huntington Avenue grounds for that 1903 World Series was about 6,000 over capacity**, but during the game itself the overflow stood along the foul lines and behind ropes in the outfield. Funny thing is that the final game there wasn't even sold out, though that was when the Red Sox won the championship.

**Compare that to the 15,000 overflow in that 1931 Sportsman's Park doubleheader.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4771815)
And if you want to see a truly amazing (and great) ballpark, check out Nashville's old Sulphur Dell, with its 262' RF wall whose bottom was elevated more than 22' above home plate. That made Fenway's "Duffy's Cliff" seem like an anthill by comparison.
   28. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4771861)
And if you want to see a truly amazing (and great) ballpark, check out Nashville's old Sulphur Dell, with its 262' RF wall whose bottom was elevated more than 22' above home plate. That made Fenway's "Duffy's Cliff" seem like an anthill by comparison.
Let's have walls that are 700' away, but put that hill in around 250' from the plate, and now you're talking.

Heck, let's keep all the outfield walls where they are, but make the entire outfield like Maya Lin's Wave Field. Every outfield hit will be like an Easter egg hunt.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: August 15, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4771936)
90 feet seems to work. I'd still like to watch major leaguers play some games with the outfield fences at 700 feet, in other words, one less true outcome.


I tried to do this in Diamond Mind Baseball but the computer was not smart enough to realize that it would be the fast line drive hitters that would start hitting lots of inside the park homeruns.
   30. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 15, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4771983)
I've wondered what would happen in a park in which the shallow part was in center, and the deep parts down the lines.
FWIW, the rule in MLB is that a new park has to be at least 400 to dead center (and 325 down the lines). Plenty of exemptions have been made, but that's the rule. If you put the wall at exactly 400 to dead center and ran the fence in a straight line perpendicular to a line running from home to center, you'd get about 436 to the power alleys and 581 down the lines. That would allow for homers to dead center, a few epic clouts to the power alleys, and the constant threat of a triple on any ball that goes down the line.

Better yet, curve the fences back a little to make it ~600 to the corners. The curve will make balls that hit the wall more likely to bounce towards the lines, which puts a lot more pressure on the corner outfielders. Fun stuff.
   31. bobm Posted: August 15, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4771998)
One of the early Seinfeld episodes had a quick bit about how he was amazed that at the end of every day/night, exactly the right amount of "news" had occurred in the world to precisely fit the news hole of the next day's NY Times....

Hence the paper's motto: "All the news that fits, we print."
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4772059)
Here's one way to create an interesting home field advantage without changing any park dimensions: Erect a giant "HIT SIGN, WIN $10,000,000" billboard, put it about 480' from the plate, but only show it when the visiting team is at bat.
   33. Greg K Posted: August 15, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4772112)
Highview Park?

Hmmm, what are the ground rules for balls that smack the light stands?

Ha!
It is in fact Highview. I once lost a Little League game when I was 13 or so by failing to execute a suicide squeeze bunt on a curve ball there. Always gives me bad vibes.

As far as I know the light stands are fair game.

My brother plays with a big, bad mother that once hit one that went into those trees in the right on a bounce. But generally no one else goes that far...he's a beast. That league plays an annual game at the Sky Dome and this year Mo (the big fella) hit one into the second deck about 30 feet foul.
   34. Greg K Posted: August 15, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4772116)
By the way Fatty Cow, do you actually know the parks in Scarborough, or did you find that purely through Google Maps sleuthing?
   35. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 15, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4772142)
Google maps sleuthing, baby!!
   36. Greg K Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4772187)
Impressive work!

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