R.J. Anderson and I were talking the other day about how much baseball analysis depends on getting the thing published before the player/pitcher plays another game and undoes whatever point the writer is trying to make. This is true for bad baseball analysis, but it’s also true for a lot of good baseball analysis, because player performances are just so friggin' random. If you ever see an article that cites a player’s stats and says “as I write this on Saturday,” and the thing gets published on a Monday, you can bet the writer is afraid his premise is going to be voided by a couple hitless games.
One Hairston has a high batting average and a whole bunch of home runs. The other Hairston has a really high batting average and a ton of walks. This is as specific as I can be, because, like most Americans, I struggle to keep my Hairstons straight. Hairston confusion is the cause of one in three car accidents between April and October, and two in three cruise-ship-related deaths. If you have ever read a recipe that called for a teaspoon of salt, and then you went to the stove and couldn’t remember if it was teaspoon or tablespoon, even though you just read it three seconds earlier and you were saying “teaspoon teaspoon teaspoon” over and over in your head, that’s the Hairston working in your brain. We’re not even totally sure Hairstons exist, or that there aren’t more of them. The act of observing a Hairston changes its state.
How well do YOU know your Hairstons? Take our quiz to find out, and you will never confuse the two players again. (Note: Many internet users apparently prefer to take such things in slideshow format. If this is you, simply reload this page after each question.)
1. One Hairston is currently on the Mets. The other Hairston is currently on the Dodgers. And one of the two is also on the Indians, and on the Tigers, and the other is on the Yankees. Question: Which Hairston is on the Rockies but NOT the Orioles?
a) Scott Hairston
b) Jerry Hairston, Jr.
c) Both Hairstons are on the Padres
2. Jerry Hairston, Jr. was named in the Mitchell Report. “One of Hairston's prescriptions was written by ‘A. Almarashi.’ Investigators believe Almarashi is an alias for a Queens, N.Y., doctor stripped of her medical license in 1999. She is awaiting trial on multiple charges after allegedly writing bogus prescriptions for thousands of online customers she never examined.” Question: What do you suppose the “A” in “A. Almarashi” stands for?
b) ABC, which, of course, stands for Always Be Concealing your source for HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs.
c) No, you’re saying the joke wrong. It’s Al Marashi. If you’re trying to be funny it’s Al Marashi. It’s not A. Almarashi. Children, near the phones.
3. Scott Hairston is the co-owner of an entire sport, called Sabakiball. In Sabakiball, teams of five players try to advance a ball across a field and throw the ball at a defended goal. Movement is non-stop, teams must be coed, and Stanford is going to be offering it as an intramural sport. A starter kit costs about $1,000.
Question: What is the official marketing slogan of Sabakiball?
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