Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Mark Buehrle pitches perfect game

Mark Buehrle pitching a perfect game

Mark Buehrle pitching a perfect game

So, yesterday Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game. It’s pretty amazing that this has only happened 16 times since 1900 – particularly when you think about just how many thousands of games there have been over that period, and that as something of a sporting ‘holy grail’, this is something most (all?) pitchers are aiming for every single day. I’m struggling to think of a similar achievement in another sport – one that is the ultimate a sportsman can achieve, but happens incredibly rarely. Any thoughts anyone?

Credit also to Dewayne Wise’s catch in the ninth inning. It would be an incredible catch at any time, but with the pressure of a potential perfect game in the offing, this was magnificent. It just goes to show how important teamwork and supporting each other’s teammates still is. The game was already won, essentially. That catch was for Buehrle.

Photograph from myisrblue529

Today’s tips

Three for today. After these I’m pretty much back to my original 100pt start – so tomorrow I may well be heading into a world of losses. These are a little longer odds than usual, so might buy me a little time…or are the sign of a desperate man.

Southwell 3.25 – Joshua (6.00)
York 6.30 – Bonnie Prince Blue (9.00)
Newmarket 7.40 – Burnwynd Boy (13.00)

All 1pt to win.

The intentional walk

Over at wezen-ball there’s some interesting thoughts on the intentional walk in baseball. While some people think the intentional walk is a valid tactic and part of the game, others are of the opinion that it robs baseball of some of its excitement, as the best batters are often walked, so the fans do not see the best batters actually hit.

I guess I should qualify my thoughts here, before I start. I’m by no means a true baseball scholar, having only followed the sport for a few years now, and only really fallen for it in the past year or so. So, the following may well be ill-informed, ill-judged, or just plain factually wrong. But anyway, here goes.

I can’t see a sensible option that avoids/prevents/outlaws the intentional walk. The pitcher’s job is to limit runs, and he’ll do that no matter what. If intentional walks were no longer part of the game, other less obvious tactics to walk a batter would be used. Perhaps a (secretly intentional) wild pitch or passed ball. And once these tactics are a matter of interpretation (did he mean that or not?) we’re in trouble. At least an intentional walk, is obvious…it’s clearly, well, intended.

Also, as a novice fan, and from looking at the success of other sports, I think the simpler the rules of the game, the better. The intentional walk makes sense within the current rules. Adding too many clauses/additions to the rulebook for particular scenarios is just too confusing or alienating for the average fan. While I can see the point of it, how many fans truly understand the infield fly rule? And would anyone want a game made up of even more rules of that nature?