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There are a couple of stretches during the year when doing this column can be a bit difficult. One of them is right now. We’re about ten days into the season, which is too late to be making any predictions about how things are going to go–although I do wish Dave Pease hadn’t nixed my line about Eli Marrero’s shot to hit .400–and too early to draw conclusions about what we’ve seen so far. Oh, we can throw some numbers out, and I stand by what I said the other day about the strike zone, but for the most part, the first couple weeks of the season are about watching and waiting.
One of the points we’ve been pounding for years is the concept of sunk costs. In baseball, it refers to the amount of a guaranteed contract yet to be paid. The money is committed, and must be paid to a player regardless of whether he’s playing or not.
Transaction Analysis, March 31-April 3, 2002
This week, let’s take a look at the divisional races in the National League. For each division, the average rank of each team is listed, along with the standard deviation for each team, which is a measure of how much variability there was for each team. The lower the deviation, the more agreement there is about that team’s place in the standings.
A ludicrous slippery-slope response to baseball’s recent announcement that they will enforce rules limiting the wearing of protective “body armor” at the plate? Of course it is. No one wants to see batters lose their head protection, no matter how much they crowd the plate.
I don’t mean to defend the actions of certain fans, which went well past the rules of decorum, but the emotion displayed by those people struck me as a large one-finger salute to those who want to say that the Montreal Expos can be eliminated and no one will care. Many people will care; perhaps not enough to make this destroyed franchise viable again, but certainly enough to make the point that the Expos didn’t die: they were killed by an ownership group content to collect welfare rather than compete.
“That’s not like a fight. Mike could have taken his head off and thrown it in for a souvenir.”
This week’s question comes from A.F., who writes:
I recently found an article from last season by Joe Morgan that I don’t quite understand…
My recent articles about competitive balance generated a ton of e-mail in which many people made reasoned, passionate, and most of all intelligent arguments about why competitive balance is so important to them as fans of baseball.
I’ve been convinced. Baseball is entertainment, and what’s more entertaining than parity?
So I solicited the other authors and with their help (particularly Keith Woolner’s), I’ve assembled this list of sweeping reforms that will guarantee the competitive balance I think we all can agree would be best for the game. Now, some of them run into each other a little, but we’re putting these out in the hopes that they’ll generate new ideas and elevate the level of discussion.