Saturday, June 4, 2011

On Small Ball

Recently on the World Series Dreaming Facebook page, the topic turned to small ball. I really do not like small ball. I do not like selling outs for the hope of more runs — it reminds me of buying snake oil and mystery remedies.

Anyway, here's my full comment on the thread:
I got to the party late, but still want to hurl my two pennies at the wrastling masses:

The concept of "small ball" came from the early 1900s, during the Deadball Era, when all-white teams played in ginormous stadiums, without lights, and with a single ball (which by games' end was tattered and dirtied, making it even harder to see in the fading light). Spit balls and scuff balls were also legal, doubling the difficulty of a batter's job.

THAT was the proper run environment for small ball. Now, power is cheap, stadiums are small, and avoiding outs is king. The refinement of the sport has also been coupled with improvements in defense, making bunts a riskier proposition than they were in the 1920s.

In short: The Cubs are unsurprisingly still employing the same management methods of Cap Anson and Frank Chance if they are pursuing about small ball. Also, Bob Brenly: He dumb.
To clarify: Bob Brenly forgets more about baseball while brushing his teeth than I will know in a lifetime. His in-game baseball knowledge appears unrivaled. However: He's got the Old School Knowledge caked on the walls of his brain, meaning we disagree on about 70% of everything.

In other words: He's not dumb. Not really. Just wrong.

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