Friday, August 06, 2010

A Contest (And A Rant)

[Me, in vintage Bomber uniform, circa 1999.]

I was showering this morning - What an experience! - and, while shampooing what's left of my hair, the invigoration of my scalp produced an idea. I figured out a way to keep you folks, who don't care about softball, caring about my softball posts.

A contest! With prizes!

Well, OK, not prizeS, just one prize. And I'm not yet sure what it will be. It will be something for nothing, though, so that should be enough for most of you slugs.

Here's what you have to do:

1 - Choose a winner in the playoff series between the team for which I play, the wholly-upstanding and beloved Bombers, and the evil nasty Renegades.

(The Renegades are nice guys, actually, but don't let that sway you.)

2 - Predict the amount of total runs scored by the Bombers and the Renegades.

That's about it. The winner of the contest will be the person who chooses the winner of the playoff series correctly, AND who comes closest to the number of runs scored by the Bombers. In the event of a tie, whoever comes closest to the amount of runs scored by the Renegades will win. Should there still be a tie, here's the tiebreaker: Guess how many hits and walks, combined, I had.


Here's a sample of what your entry should look like:

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 43 total runs. RENEGADES score 17 total runs. SULDOG has 3 hits/walks.

As a matter of fact, if those of you having trouble with this would like to just cut and paste that whole thing, substituting your own numbers for those given in the example, that would be OK.


Some guidelines for those who wouldn't have the slightest idea what to guess...

The series is best 2 of 3, so there will be either two or three games played.

In the previous match-up this season, the Bombers won both games. The scores were 11 - 10, and 11 - 8.

Through all games this year, the Bombers are averaging 12.3 runs per game, and giving up an average of 8.3 runs.

I am averaging 1.57 combined hits and/or walks per game I play.

BOMBERS website, for those who might like to do some math for themselves and make a very educated guess.

There you go! Give it your best guess and leave that guess in the comments. All guesses made before 9am, Eastern Time, Sunday, August 8th, will be eligible. You'll have the answer on Monday, August 9th. And one of you - perhaps even someone who wouldn't know a softball from a grapefruit - will walk away with a fabulous prize!*

*Prize will not be fabulous. But it will be SOMETHING FOR NOTHING!

[Me, about two months ago, in Swingers gear.]

And now, with nothing better to fill the rest of this space, I'm going to publish the rant I spoke of earlier in the week.

It mostly goes on (and on, and on) about a specific play sometimes attempted by first basemen. I figure it might be useful to some catcher or first baseman or coach. It specifically pertains to modified fast-pitch softball, so don't come to me with your baseball knowledge and start telling me I'm out of my mind, OK?

(When I say something like "my first basemen", I'm not implying ownership. I'm just talking about games I caught for The Swingers, over at M Street.)

In the brand of softball we play, there is no stealing, and the rules call for a force out back to the bag on a pick off throw. That is, a runner who takes off on a pitch doesn’t have to be tagged out when returning to his previous base. If the throw from the catcher beats the runner back to the bag, he’s out. During the 16 games we’ve thus far played, our first basemen have never, not even once, tried to jump in behind a runner and pick him off on a throw from the catcher [in most instances this year, me.] Staying with the honesty, I don’t have a very good arm anymore. I don’t expect to pick off too many guys. But, the only idea isn’t to actually pick off a runner, although it’s nice when that happens. The other goal is to put a thought into the runner’s head that he can’t just take whatever damn lead he wants to, never having to worry about being picked off. Even if the catcher never attempts a throw, the action of a first baseman running in behind you is enough to keep you a step or two closer to the bag, at least for a few pitches.

My first basemen stand eight feet off of the bag, like statues. They don’t move from that spot until someone hits the ball. Well, if you vacate that spot, to try and deke a runner, what do you lose? Most times, not a damn thing. If it’s a right-handed batter, the likelihood of him hitting one into the spot you just vacated is miniscule. For one thing, his eye is on the pitch, not you going to first, but even if he does see you going, his adjusting, in mid-pitch, and then hitting the ball to that spot, is highly unlikely. So, the worst situation you’re getting yourself into is probably just being on the bag early in preparation for a throw from your infielders. And, if you’re lucky, maybe you get an ungodly good break on a foul pop. Whatever else happens, the other team knows they have to keep an eye on you and your catcher, and that distracts them from other things. It’s a play with much more upside than downside.

[If it’s such a good play, why not do it all the time? It’s the SURPRISE of it that gives it effectiveness. If you do it too often, a smart hitter will find that hole in the defense, the runner will never be caught unprepared, and it becomes even more futile than standing stock-still.]

Since the time I told one of my first basemen all of the above, I’ve caught his eye a few times before a pitch, and I’ve seen him make a sort-of half-step to the bag when I got the ball in my hands following a pitch, but he’s never actually gone to the bag. And, anyway, it’s too damn late to run to the bag when the catcher has the ball. You have to run to the bag on the pitch, and be there, waiting for the catcher’s throw, if he decides to make one. That’s the only way the play works.)

Wow! Was that way too much about strategy? Why, yes, it was! Sorry!

Remember to make your best guesses for the contest, and I'll see you Monday, which is likely to be...

Soon, with more better stuff.


Jazz said...

Even with your explanation I have no freaking idea what you're talking about. Seriously. None.

So... um... Bombers and 42?

Suldog said...

Jazz - For a tiebreaker, tell me the number of runs the Renegades will score, and how many hits and walks I'll have in the games.

The Good Cook said...

OMG you are asking me to do math?? In the MORNING?
I never, ever, understand pools of any kind, be they baseball, football, soccer, whatever.

Can't I just post a comment like "Good Luck. I hope you don't lose."

If you insist on statistics, then here:
2 cups dirt
3 bases
2 teams of ? number of players
hot sun
warm beer
1 pitcher (the throwing kind, not the beer kind)
1 catcher

Mix all together and PLAY BALL!

Brighton Pensioner said...

Now if this cricket, I might be in with a chance of understanding what you are on about. But since it seems all I have to do in this here contest is pick either Bombers or Renegades, then a couple of random numbers, Here goes:

Bombers to win by 12 - 9.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Now, on a pickoff play, does the first baseman have to tag the orange base or the white base?

Okay, here's my guesses:

Bombers sweep.

Runs by Bombers: 24
Runs by Renegades: 16
Hits/Walks by Sully: 2

Looking forward to the results!

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

And just a few more tie-breakers I'm making up on my own:

Utterances of the phrase "That was a wicked ha'hd linah to the shortstawp.": 3

Big Jay Atton K's: 9

Number of times Sully the First Baseman hustles to cover the bag in case Pickup goes for a pickoff (love the sound of that, by the way): 8

Bombers HR's: 3

Okay, that's the end of it.

Michelle H. said...

Okay, I'm not sure you want total runs added up or two different scores for the best of 2 out of 3. Here's my guess

First game:
Bombers 11-9

Second game:
Renegade 9-6

Third game:
Bombers 10-9

Suldog said...

Michelle - Totals were what I was really looking for, but this is just as good, at least. You've got the Bombers winning, and each team scoring 27 total runs. You may want to add a guess as to my hits and walks, for the second tiebreaker.

lime said...

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 28 total runs. RENEGADES score 20 total runs. SULDOG has 3 hits/walks.

lime said...

oh! and you'll be wearing your special socks, right? :)

Suldog said...

Lime - I will, indeed. As a matter of fact, I have a pair of them on RIGHT NOW. Just luck of the (sock) draw this morning.

Buck said...

You'll win. Trust me. But my connection with the spirit world seems to be out of service at the moment so there will be no prognostications and/or WAGs from New Mexico.

But you WILL win.

Michelle H. said...

Oops! Okay, as for your hit/walk totals, I say you'll have 4 hits and 6 walks.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Your comment on my blog is so sweet and so nice, if you'd've been standing there, I'd've given you a hug and a kiss - a sisterly one that is, since I have a GMR and you have a lovely wife :-D
But, t hank you *smiling*

As for the contest - I DIDN'T KNOW THERE'D BE MATH! AUGHGHGHGHGH! fiddled with yours and came up with this...made it SOOOOO close :-D

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 20 total runs. RENEGADES score 19 total runs. SULDOG has 4 hits/walks and five rants and six sighs and 28 sips of water and three spits and one cuss, okay, fifteen cusses because some are in his head and one cute wink to his wife.

Tara said...

Bombers winners

bombers runs = 21
renegades = 17

Sully = 7

Eddie Bluelights said...

Eddie's prediction:

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 138 total runs. RENEGADES score 2 total runs. SULDOG has 73 hits/walks - but he is totally exhausted and has to be carried off the field in glory.

Come on lad, I have every faith in you, chop! chop! I love the shot of you brandishing your bat.

Renegrades will be 'pants' on the day and Bombers will swamp them with sheer speed, power, cunning, tactics and brilliance - inspired by yourself of course! "Never in the field of human conflict will so much be done for so many by so few!" to quote our Winston Churchill.

I am flying over wearing my minishirt and waving a rattle to be your enthusiastic cheer leader!! LOL

I am optimistic, not necessarilly of me winning the prize LOL, but of your bombers team winning by a mile and you having a good day with the bat and the ball (in our cricket terms).

Regarding your rant and rules which you were so painstakingly explaining I have read it twice and must read it again because at the moment, "Je ne comprend pas!" LOL

btw I still don't understand most of the rules of American Football. Remember??? LOL

Bye for now my great bloggy friend ~ Eddie

Don't Bug Me! said...

Nope, sorry, even a contest and a rant is not enough to hold my attention - it is all still baseball afterall. How about something cute and furry? Oh, and I do appreciate you not squashing all those innocent insects out there, really, I do.

Ericka said...

i'm with jazz. *blink* um, what?

but, hey, i'll give it a shot. whoot! free prize!

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 50 total runs. RENEGADES score 30 total runs. SULDOG has 5 hits/walks.

(I like even numbers.)

Chuck said...

Bombers win, Bombers score 23 total runs, Suldog has 4 hits/walks.

Sandra said...

How hard can this be? I can follow a food recipe ... so I certainly ought to be able to follow a STATS recipe!

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 30 total runs. RENEGADES score 25 total runs. SULDOG has 5 hits/walks.

Taaa Daaa! Let me know when you need my address to mail my fabulous prize to me. :)

TechnoBabe said...

Renegades win.

Renegades total runs 26.

Bombers total runs 11.

Suldog has 5 hits/walks.

Skip said...

No stealing, but the runners can take a lead?
Good grief! There's probably no bunting either?

Daryl said...

I'll be sitting with Jazz congratulating whoever wins the contest ... I'd have an easier time guessing how many hairs are still on your head .. but I do hope your team wins BIG

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

What you guessed Jim...
BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 43 total runs. RENEGADES score 17 total runs. SULDOG has 3 hits/walks.

Seems to be the best guess of all! If anyone knows your team it would likely be you right? I didn't guess because I was always so bad with the football pools & whatnot when I worked in an office an effort to get into it I'll wager that...

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 48 total runs. RENEGADES score 34 total runs. SULDOG has 2 hits & 2walks.

Here's to everyone and your win tomorrow! Go Bombers!

Brian Miller said...

bombers win. bombers 41. the other guys 32. suldog 4 hits/ 2 walks....

slommler said...

Bombers = 42 runs
Renegades = 36 runs
Sully 9 runs and 2 walks
Go Bombers

Carolina said...

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 43 total runs. RENEGADES score 17 total runs. SULDOG has 3 hits/walks.

(shall I send you my home address, so you can send me the fabulous prize?)

Eddie Bluelights said...

OK Scrub my last ridiculous effort and substitute a more realistic score which will guarantee my prize.

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 33 total runs. RENEGADES score 27 total runs. SULDOG has 5 hits/walks.

Quirkyloon said...

Now which team do you play for again?

hee hee hee

Bombers win. Bombers score 16 runs. Renegades score 16 runs. Goes into overtime and Bombers score two more runs winning the game. Suldog has four hits/walks.

Elaine said...

I know diddly squat about this. However.....

Renegades win with a total of 32.
Bombers lose with a total of 25.
Sully has 2 hits/walks.

(I don't know what a hit/walk is, lol. What game are you playing? Sorry I haven't been around lately....I always click, but if it's sport I move on. That sucks, I know, but I miss the other stuff. x)

Angela Christensen said...

BOMBERS win. That goes without saying; it's a matter of loyalty and friendship.

BOMBERS score...I'm gonna go with 27 runs, because I'm a baseball person. This means I'm aware that softball is typically higher-scoring, but I think you overestimated - total runs. RENEGADES score 17 total runs - I like this number so I'm keeping it.
SULDOG has 3 hits/walks. Hmm. This I'm revising, again out of friendship and loyalty, and best wishes. I hope Suldog has more than one hit or BB (base on balls, for you non-baseball peeps) AND run per game, so my numbers are 5 hits or BBs, and 4 runs in the series.

Crossed fingers all around!

Jeni said...

Well, although I think I do have some concept of what you want us to do here, because I am operating not quite on one cylinder this week -recuperating from surgery ya know -I'm still not sure what all stats you want us to incorporate here. So I'll just vote with my heart for openers and that would be that the Bombers win. And that they win big with 18 points over a paltry 3 for the Renegades and that point differentiation being provided by the ever fantastic, superb athlete, Suldog, who taps out a big hit at each time he picks up that bat -4 hits, all triples no less! How's that for a prediction?

Retiredandcrazy said...

Softball, what's that? Is it anything like netball?

Daryl said...

the guilt ... oy .. and it was BOLD not ITALIC

BOMBERS win. BOMBERS score 10 total runs. RENEGADES score 3 total runs. SULDOG has 1 hits/walks. (just trying to play along I have no idea how high one can score but less seemed more real)

Stu said...

Team: Bombers
Total Runs: 36

Stu said...

And as for your rant: You bring this on yourself. You must get it by now that you care about things *far* more than most others. (That's a good thing in my book) - So when you get your gears ground because 1B doesn't make every effort to play every moment of every game, don't be surprised or pissed off. Accept that this is the way the planet works. Very few people are overly conscientious. Most folks don't give a blind tinker's cuss about anything but themselves. So when 1B sees that the pitch has been thrown, he'll give a quick notice as to whether the ball has been hit, and if it hasn't, he's gonna take ten seconds of "me time" to rest, relax, take a mental vacation. Certainly I am with you on this one. I am too old and broken down and Jewish to play organized ball, but if I did, and if I was 1B, I'd guard the bag like it was my little sister.

But that's me.