I spent most of yesterday afternoon reading preview after preview of the World Series. Some were informative. Some were entertaining. But almost all of them offered a prediction.
I remain incapable of understanding how anyone who has ever watched a baseball game could possibly have any confidence whatsoever in making a prediction on the outcome. There are so many variables at play during every game, every inning, every at bat, every pitch that attempts at guessing what might happen over the course of an entire seven game series are as futile as trying to resist the Borg.
And yet there they were, prediction after prediction, suggesting this and that. So, how does the game of baseball respond? The supposed pitching duel between Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum was transformed into an 11-7 shoot out, 18 runs in total. Coming into the game, the Giants have only scored more than four runs once in the last month. No one would’ve guessed that this would happen.
So, what happened to cause two of the best pitchers in baseball to get knocked out of the game before completing six innings?
In Cliff Lee’s case, it appears that his pitches merely became too predictable. He kept going to the exact same part of the plate to find his strikes and eventually Giants hitters caught on. Of course, Michael Young’s fielding didn’t exactly help matters, nor did Vladdy Guerrero’s walking on hot coals route to balls in right field.
For Lincecum, there seemed to be a general lack of composure. How else could you explain his chasing back of Michael Young to third base in the first inning without throwing to third or tagging him out? Oh, right. It was all the marijuana. Thanks Chuckle brother.
Lincecum did eventually find his changeup and by the time fatigue set in and ended his night, the Giants had already done their damage to Cliff Lee with a six run fifth inning.
Such is baseball. Just when you think you’ve got all the answers from past performances, randomization steps in and completely does away with your precious predictors.
And The Rest
Yes, that was Ken Rosenthal and he was wearing a bow-tie. Tucker Carlson, look out.
Speaking of intriguing fashion choices, leather bound Barry Bonds wants to get back into baseball as a coach.
Willy Mays had to call in sick when it came to throwing out the first pitch. Watching the other former Giants participate in the ceremony, I couldn’t help but want to go out for breakfast with all of them, just to listen to them complain.
Tony Bennett, I don’t know if I appreciate you because you’re really good or because you’re really old. Either way, you did a hell of a job singing God Bless America in the seventh inning.
Kevin Kaduk is in San Francisco, and put together this awesome compilation of fan photos.
Finally, I don’t take pleasure in mocking Vladimir Guerrero. The guy is a class act in every single way in which people should measure class acts. Simply put, Ron Washington should not have played him in right field last night. He doesn’t belong out there. And it was unfair to put him in a position where he would more than likely fail.