Wednesday, May 04, 2005

quixotic questec

sigh . . . . despite our best efforts (see today's earlier post), sabernomics has gone and done it: a skipper-by-skipper study of walk-strikeout-ratio differential betw questec and non-questec ballparks. it's out there now, so read up in today's s'nomics post. for those in haste, here's the cliff notes version: data show barrister la russa to be perhaps the most active and effective dugout lobbyist in mlb.

which conclusion will shock no baseball fan --- duncan / la russa scratch n claw for ev'y pitch, ev'y inning, ev'y game. (misspent energy, many of us stl fans think, but hey he's the genius . . . ) nor can any honest one of us dispute sabernomics' summation: "Tony LaRussa has no moral high ground to accuse any other manager for influencing the game through umpires."

this inquiry's only fault lies in its pertinence. moral high ground? la russa is a lawyer and a baseball manager ---- a bigger stranger to the moral high ground has never lived. the mhg is worth less than nothing to him, worth far less than a single chris carpenter curveball six inches outside that gets called a strike in some midseason game. to get that one lonely call, la russa (like most successful mgrs/coaches in pro sports) would gladly muck through the foulest moral swamp all season. and be proud of his achievement afterward.

that doesn't bother me. what bothers me is, say, a congressman who sells out every principle he campaigned on to pick up one swing vote on a critical bill --- and then impugns the morals of the people who voted the opposite way. what bothers me is a moral high ground that can only be reached by trampling over gays and poor people. (see lerwin2's comment to previous post for more in this vein . . .)

call it rent-seeking, gamesmanship, whining, whatever --- on a baseball diamond, at least, it has its place.