Eclecticity: Dan Shafer's Web Log : Where author, poet, sports fanatic, spiritual teacher, and dabbler in things Pythonesque and Revolution(ary) Dan Shafer holds forth on various topics of interest primarily to him
Updated: 11/13/02; 1:49:04 PM.


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Thursday, May 9, 2002

Enough with the Walks Already!

Everyone in baseball, I suspect, is getting kind of fed up with the way opposing managers have chosen to "deal" with the power of Barry Bonds. Just walk the guy. At this writing, he has 42 walks, 12 more than his nearest competitor. He's been walked at least once in 21 of 30 games. Fans don't come to the ballyard to see walks. They come to see offense and while there are strategic times when walking Barry makes eminent sense, many of these are just "I'm scared" kinds of walks that have no place in the game.

My baseball buddies and I talk about this a lot. You can't outright ban walks, even intentional walks, because they are an integral part of the game. But I think we need a new rule to discourage frequent walks of the same player and I have a modest proposal that would have that efffect.

Under my proposed rule, it would be legal to walk any hitter once. If, after walking a guy once in a game, you walk him again intentionally (and I'm suggesting a change in the definition of the word "intentional" below), all runners on base move up two positions, rather than one.

An intentional walk gets redefined as follows:

(1) A hitter who has not yet been walked in the game can be intentionally walked by the defensive team notifying the umpire. No need to watch four straight pitches soar 3 miles outside the plate area.

(2) A hitter who has been walked at least once in the game cannot be walked intentionally at all and if he is walked, all runners on base advance two bases when he is walked. To facilitate this rule:

(a) The umpire can rule any ball an intentional ball if it is clearly intended not to be in the vicinity of the strike zone. This will force pitchers to keep the ball in the general neighborhood of the plate.

(b) The existing rule that says a catcher may not leave the catcher's box until the pitcher has actually thrown a pitch will be strictly enforced. Right now, on intentional passes, it's just flagrantly ignored.

What do you think? Got some better ideas? Join me on my discussion board and let's talk sports!
12:47:06 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

Giants on Cruise, A's Stumbling a Bit

Today, the Giants find themselves in first in the NL West, percentage points ahead of the D-Backs, whose 1-2 pitching punch of Johnson-Schilling continues to astonish. The boys from SF have the best record in the NL (21-11) and the third-best record in all of baseball behind the sizzling Seattle M's and the absolutely-on-fire-but-you-know-they'll-screw-up-soon Bosox.

Meanwhile, the Oakland A's, who started strong, have faded a bit. They're 4-6 in their last 10 games and barely above .500 (10-8) at Network Associates Coliseum. Now David Justice is being put on the DL and things don' t look shining. The good news is, Mark Mulder is finally ready for his first start. That will help a lot.
12:29:08 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

A Bit of Disenchantment

Well, I've been using OS X steadily now for several weeks and while I like its overall stability a lot, some things are becoming exceedingly annoying.

First, screen redraws often seem sluggish to the point of unacceptability. In Eudora, e.g., if I click from one email subject to another, there is always a noticeable delay in the screen update. In Word, things are even worse; sometimes I can type a few letters, not see them display, wait a few seconds, nothing happens, type another character and then the earlier ones appear. Closing windows very often takes 3-5 seconds. This on a 500MHz G4 tower with 500MB of RAM!

Second, I see weird application behavior (which is OK because this is all new) but can't seem to recover easily. For example, when Radio brings itself to the front when it's running, I get annoyed because it interrupts my work. But often clicking on the icon of the program I was running in the Dock - or even of some other program - nothing happens. So I click on the window of the app I want to run and that's visible in the background. No joy. It sometimes takes me two or three pokes at things to get back where I was. I'm bewildered.

Finally, navigating through directories from the standard file dialog in applications has become so gnarled and twisted that it reminds me of the old text adventure games. (Yeah, I know. I'm dating myself.) This in turn is a function, at least in part, of the way OS 9 folders are "integrated" into the OS X world. In any case, between "favorites" and "most recent" and the default standard stuff, I sometimes find it impossible to locate a file I just created!

I'm not going to move any of my less-than-savvy clients or my wife over to OS X until I'm really sure the transition is going to be, if not smooth, at least not jarring.
12:02:42 PM    Add your viewpoint [ comments so far]

© Copyright 2002 Dan Shafer.

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