09 July 2009

The Advocate and I: Game 84 Unfair Loss Shares

Life is unfair. Baseball is unfair. Everything we do is unfair. Fairness has no chance against reality. This is the lesson the advocate must learn.

The first name I call is Casey Blake.

"Please", says the advocate for Blake. "Be fair. Be reasonable. My client walked four times. No Dodger got on base more often."

"And so?" says I. "He never scored. He never drove in a run. The Dodgers were adrift, and he did not paddle. He just rode on the raft."

The advocate stammers. "I -- I don't know what that means, and it's not his fault he didn't score."

"He might have hit a home run." The unfairness of my demand silences the advocate. How can you argue against such reckless expectations? We both know the reason, anyway. We both know why Blake is doomed. It has nothing to do with walks or home runs. Neither of us will say it. Third inning, Mets batting, one out, runners on first and second. Sharp ground ball to Blake's left, and they have a name for this kind of ground ball: 5-4-3 DP. Instead, the opposite of DP happens. What's the opposite of DP? PD. Pants Dropped. Blake let the ball go by, and he couldn't have been more embarrassed if his pants had dropped around his ankles. Two more runs scored because of his pants dropping moment.

The next name I call is The Rookie Kuroda.

"Hiroki Kuroda" corrects the advocate. He's cranky now, after he read my official summary where I referred to Blake's error as a pants drop.

"It's a little joke I have, because his first name sounds like 'the rookie' if you kind of say it slightly wrong. He certainly pitched like a rookie last night."

"He would have done better if not for Blake's error. He would have done better if all those ground balls hadn't found holes."

"He would have done better if he hadn't allowed so many doubles," says I. "The error had nothing to do with him loading the bases with no outs in the fifth inning. Kuroda was bad when he was unlucky and he was bad when he wasn't unlucky."

The advocate has nothing else to say. He knows the case for Kuroda is very thin. He's still upset about Blake.

The last name I call is Andre Ethier.

"What is the point," says the advocate. "You've already made up your mind. If you wouldn't have leniency on Blake, what chance does Ethier have?"

"He had his chance," I say, my outrage gathering. It is not outrage against Ethier, but against what the advocate is saying. "You use the wrong tense. Ethier has no chance now. It is done. He had his chance then."

"He lined out with the bases loaded," protests the advocate feebly. "If not for that ..."

"You are fading, advocate, because you know how the world works, and the assumptions behind your arguments are childish lies." I have an arrogant gleam in my eye as I speak now. "If Ethier's line drive had gone past Wright's glove, then he would not be in peril. It was caught, to his misfortune, to the Dodgers' misfortune, and yet he still had his chance. He had his chance, with the tying run on second, and go-ahead run on first, with one out in the ninth inning. Matt Kemp was on deck. Matt Kemp is still on deck. Waiting for that at bat, that chance. It will never come. The result is final. My judgment is final."

Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Blake -- 1
Kuroda -- 1
Ethier -- 1

Unfair Win Shares ( Mets )

Parnell -- 1
Wright -- 1
Reed -- 1

1 comment:

Dave said...

"What's the opposite of DP? PD. Pants Dropped." You have a crazy, wonderful mind Josh.
Crazy. Wonderful.