January 7, 2013
Adventures in Intentional Balls
It is my job to write an introduction right now. This means thinking about some appealing way to present the topic, using language in a way that effectively communicates to you what is ahead, perhaps something funny or novel, a metaphor, an anecdote. Words that are useful, basically. And to do it efficiently, so I don't lose you before the GIFs start. That's what an introduction is, and that's what my job is right now.
But what if my job was to write an introduction that does none of those things? If, in fact, the more of those things that I did, the worse the introduction was? Then my job would be so much easier! It would have taken me about 1/12th as long as my actual introduction-writing task took, because I would just copy some excerpt from whatever page I had open in a different tab, paste it here, like
And I would be done! Yesssssss.
So that's what intentional balls are like, basically. They are the thing a pitcher does that is the least like the thing that a pitcher is paid to do. It takes willfully incompetent competence to screw that job up. People screw that job up! This is the year in intentional balls, some of them screwed up, some just unusual.
Hardest-thrown intentional ball.