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.