Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Such Is Baseball...

"A good friend of mine used to say, 'This is a very simple game. You throw the ball; you catch the ball; you hit the ball. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose; sometimes it rains.' Think about that for a while." – Bull Durham

Baseball is a simple game. Yet, in more than a century of play, baseball has displayed a power of randomness that belies its simplicity. The game's design compiles a series of seemingly unrelated actions. Individually, each those actions are simple, but compounded they offer true complexity.

The paradox of this simplistically complex nature is why the game has captured imaginations for over a century. The game is cruel, yet fair. It’s ordered, yet unpredictable. It’s transparent, yet deceptive. By its very nature, baseball provides metaphors for similar paradoxes in life.

The brilliance of baseball exists in the unending attempts to quantify its simple transactions into a formula to predict its complex results. For decades, statistical analysis has been enhanced to increase the accuracy of these predictions, all the while enhancing the temptation to solely rely on the statistics, which can never truly capture the paradox of the game.

As my interest in baseball's nature has grown, I have developed a true respect for the game’s resistance to being "understood." In similar fashion, “life” presents a complexity based upon a series of seemingly simple actions, and in doing, resists being understood. Arising from this resistance is the idea of “C’est la vie”…such is life.

The intent of this blog will be to seek to understand the game: its paradoxes, its statistics, and its results. Without question, this intent will be stymied by the inevitable resistance to understanding, and when that occurs…

Such is Baseball.

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