Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This one can be short

What strikes me the most about the runs vs. outs argument is that it's not unlike arguing whether light travels in waves or particles. It's both. Runs and outs are both extremely valuable; the only factor that makes outs > runs is that without the former you can't have the latter.

Would I "give up" a run to preserve an out? There's no one answer to that question; it depends on the situation. But knowing that more outs translates into more opportunities for scoring runs, I would tend to be very conservative when it comes to the concept of sacrifice. And, considering the statements you made about Juan Pierre and hit-and-runs, you agree in principal with the approach toward baseball decision-making I advocate. As far as I'm concerned, the nuances of the thought process behind our coming to fairly identical decisions is better discussed when there's alcohol and raised voices involved.

As for the defense/pitching thing, I didn't mention those things because it's a lot more difficult to talk about, and I do tend to concern myself more with offensive philosophy because it's the area in which you see the most variance. Murray Chass and I probably won't disagree about much when it comes to sound pitching and defensive decisions, with the possible exception of pitch counts and bullpen use. But does anyone really want to argue bullpen use? It's a little dry. On the other hand, Murray Chass and I disagree so much on offensive philosophy we might as well be discussing different sports.

BTW, it takes everything in my power to not comment specifically on what Chass wrote today, but it's been done elsewhere and frankly it's too goddamn easy.

You mentioned that pitching and defense are more important than offense. I don't believe that; at most, it's half offense and half split between the other two, which are so intertwined that it's unwise to discuss one without considering the other. But that's another topic for another day.

p.s. — Since I've ripped him a few times for saying dumb things, I figured I should give Wojo some dap for his reaction to Ron Santo getting fisted by the Vets again. Unlike Murray Chass, he's not always determined to be a moronic gasbag.


Colin E. Laisure-Pool said...

'What strikes me the most about the runs vs. outs argument is that it's not unlike arguing whether light travels in waves or particles. It's both.'

I would pay you to expand on this and draw Justin into a debate about the particle/wave duality of the photon. Or maybe a strident rebuke of the theoretical disaster that is string (and superstring) theory. How about the hegemonic right-handed chirality of the universe and the xenophobic dominance of matter over antimatter? Delightful.

Dude, seriously, you owe me after balking on the whole Screamin' A / atheist rant. Disappointed.

P.S. 'Ass like 14-year old boy'?!?!?! Like scheize porn, that phrase should not be in the world. It should not be in the United States. Disillusioned.

Diesel said...

Yeah, sorry about the Screamin' A. thing, but when it came time to actually writing it I was either getting too into it or just glossing over it. I didn't think it would turn out to be very interesting ("Hey! Let's hear an internet blogger attack moronic myths about atheism!") so I killed it.

If anyone is really dying to hear Doyle's Take On The Screamin' A/CNN "Atheism" Debate From, Like, 4 Months Ago, let me know. Maybe I'll oblige.

Colin E. Laisure-Pool said...

I think the ship has sailed on the Screamin' A scheize, I just wanted to bust your chops.

Actually, I find the baseball debate sort of compelling, which is a significant statement coming from someone who is generally indifferent to the sport and its rhetoric. I have my own opinion on the outs vs. runs row. I don't have the time for a well-formed, cogent argument (I write at about the tenth of the pace as you), but I tend to fall on he side of runs. Ultimately, the game results in the same number of outs, but a varying number of runs, and I challenge the concept that trading an out for a run is a bad idea. Theoretically, if one were able to forfeit each out in the game for a run, this would result in 27 runs; which is far beyond the expected value of any given opponent.

I know that I am ridiculously over-simplifying the circumstances that occur within an actual game, and I don't pretend to understand all of baseball's nuances. But this sort of 'take a step back and look at the big picture' analysis is important as the fundamental basis for a more detailed argument.

So essentially, the thesis is this:
The winner a baseball game is determined by the number of runs scored within a 27 out period, therefore the variable to be maximized is the run, as the out is merely a method for advancing baseball's 'clock', and will ultimately equallize for both teams.

Anyway, I should probably get back to work before I get fired.

P.S. You have a new reader for the blog. One of my fellow engineers is a devout sabermetrician who had me help him organize stats for his little-league players. He agrees with you, by the way.

P.P.S. I have the hook-ups if you want to lay down some flow on the NCAA basketball tourney. We get good parlays at the Orleans.

Anonymous said...

"OBP? That is so five years ago."


Anonymous said...

I'm dying to hear your atheist rant. I'm not sure which side you're on, but for the sake of entertainment, I'll take the opposite side of you in the debate. And, with all do respect, I'll destroy you.


Diesel said...

I call shenanigans: There's no way the person claiming to be Seth ("Set?") is actually D-Smoove ... "With all do respect?" I don't buy it.

And there really wouldn't be any debate when it comes to this particular atheist rant; the idiots on the clip in question accused atheists, among other things, of supporting the forcing of middle school kids to dress in Muslim garb at school while trying to take all displays of Christianity out of the public sphere.

Anyway, no. I'm tired of playing the role of token atheist.

St said...

I'm also not sure that's Seth. Do we know anyone with the initials SET? Maybe Seth's dropping the "h" from his name to protest hegemony.

Oh, and your light metaphor is racist and xenophobic. What about darkness? How does it travel? That's the real question here, Whitey-lover.

St said...

Oh, and the only thing that makes runs > outs is that they decide who wins a game. So there's that.

Anonymous said...


Sorry about the previous link.


Anonymous said...

Seahawk Seth here,

Yeah, that was me challenging you Diesel. The 'Set' instead of 'Seth' thing was an accident due to being drunk. Mike's hard berry kicks ass. If you don't feel like a debate now, maybe later. While I hate fundamentalists as much as the next non-asshole, I did receive an MA from UVA (go Cavs!) in Religious Studies, in part because I felt (and still do) that atheism is an irrational position. To be clear, I don't think Christianity follows from basic theism whatsoever, but I do think it's irrational to claim that consciousness comes from matter.

D. Suave, the man, the lover, the thinker, the Seahawk

Diesel said...

I tend not to take advice on rationality from men who admit to being trashed on wine coolers.

Actually (and probably not surprisingly) I would be interested to hear your points on the subject, though probably not in the form of a debate. As stated, I'm well past having earnest debates about religion or atheism, for the same reason I stopped punching walls a couple of years ago. But, I would definitely be curious to hear how well you could prove the irrationality of atheism, since those who have tried in the past have failed (IMO).

- Il Diesel