Friday, October 5, 2007

William of Occam

Diesel at Two Guys Who, Like, Never Agree, breaks out Occam's Razor to carve up MSM columnists who insist on attributing baseball success or failure to things like grit, moxy, and chemistry as opposed to the simple inability to reach base, score runs, and get people out:

It's a product of human nature to grasp for patterns within chaos, to search for logic in apparent randomness. To that extent, one must provide some allowance for the kind of hyperbole we're bound to be drowned in at the conclusion of a baseball season. But the problem doesn't lie in talking heads grasping for explanations, it's only in the explanations they choose to put forth.

Baseball seems to be an especially rich breeding ground for bullshit explanations. It's got curses and ghosts in stadiums. It's got the nonexistent wars between small-ball and Weaver-ball, and scouts vs. statheads. It's got crafty veterans and hustling (and always white) hustlers of hustily hustle. It's a game that supposedly participates in active ageism, until a young team like the Marlins come along and win the World Series, and writers talk about the power of "energy in the clubhouse."

I realize that some people think this kind of stuff supplies the yarn for the wonderful tapestry of the game's oral history, or something, but it's all bullshit. Almost always, you can break things down neatly if you're willing to simply willing to accept one
essential maxim: Unpredictable things happen in events governed by human beings,
the most unpredictable creatures on the planet.


Diesel said...

Thanks for the link, Shyster. Hope your classy readers don't mind the profanity; I was a sailor before moving to my second career as a lightly read blogger.

Shyster said...

I'm sure they don't mind. One of my biggest (non-Neyer/Deadspin) link days came when I linked to that parody about Barry Bonds drinking elk semen. You'd be amazed at the Google search terms that brought people here.