Saturday, June 27, 2009

a 90-feet-at-a-time game: baseball imitates life

Even with a home-run hitter like [Jose] Canseco in the middle of his order, [Oakland Athletics' manager Tony] La Russa says, "You've got your best chance to win when you've got good sharp line drives all over the park. Canseco stays in control, with discipline, trying to just hit the ball hard. He can hit .290, even in the .300s, he's got that good a stroke. And he's so strong that every once in a while, there goes one." Even in a year when there are 40 or more every-once-in-a-whiles from Canseco, he gets a lot more singles than home runs--more singles than extra-base hits. What is true of Canseco is true of baseball generally. In 1988 there were more than twice as many doubles (6,386) as home runs (3,180), but there were 25,838 singles. Baseball is still what it always has been and always will be, basically a 90-feet-at-a-time game.

George Will
Men at Work, page 40

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