Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bill Simmons, Product of the Enlightenment?

I'm gonna start this post with two asterisks: (*), and (**). Now, onward!

Bill Simmons has a great article up on ESPN right now. Strangely, it's great from an analysis point of view and not a humor point of view (some of you might have found either one strange). Bill, known for his almost fanatical devotion to the idea of chemistry in football and basketball, slams the idea that chemistry is important in baseball.
But baseball … baseball is an individual sport masquerading as a team sport. You are a worker bee. You have a job, and it's up to you to execute it. Yeah, it's always better to get along, but couldn't you say that about any work situation? Ultimately, it's just you. You're the one pitching, you're the one hitting, you're the one fielding. If everyone is pulling for one another, fantastic. You can even win a division that way -- good karma invariably leads to goofy bounces and luck. On the other hand, the deliriously happy post-Manny Red Sox mustered just three hits in their biggest game of the season (Game 7, 2008 ALCS). At some point in baseball, talent trumps all.

I am in near complete agreement with this (not so much the karma part). Football and basketball are both sports in which teammates must actually cooperate to win. The idea that the relationship of teammates to each other is important is not that far fatched. In baseball, guys have to cooperate to turn a double play or make a relay throw or something. There just aren't that many ways in which good or bad chemistry can have an effect.

I never thought I'd be linking to Bill Simmons here. Weird.

* Did I really not post at all in March? I'm shocked (but not, you know, shocked, shocked).
** My apologies to those who don't get the post title. There are maybe four people in the world who really do.

**EDIT** Fixed a weird typo.


rklllama said...

Yeah, I saw that article when it went up. I thought you'd like it. Oh, and I got this post for the first time on Thunderbird. Finally switched my RSS to Thunderbird, because I just got frustrated at the fact that in Firefox I had to actually hover over everything to see if it was updated. Now I just flip of Thunderbird, and if there is something new I know. I know we've talked about this in the past, but I'm glad I finally caved.

L. H. Lynch said...

**If so, then I am one of the four.