Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ask An Expert: A ball is hit sharply at a runner on third base. What should the baserunner do?

Expert Answer:

I will answer your question with a series of questions: Is the game being played in a dome? Are there fewer than two outs? Does the manager like to hit and run? How flexible is the baserunner in his midriff area? Is the baserunner's uniform made of a synthetic polymer? Additionally, this question presupposes that the baserunner does not bruise easily.

Here is how I envision the scenario: It is a night game, the ballpark lights use halo-reducing technology, the always-solid Jerry Layne is the third base umpire, Jose Reyes is dancing off third, and a barely-healthy Cole Hamels is pitching and has an Effective Pitch Count (EFE) of 27. Obviously, it is the third inning (EFE = inning * 9).
Reyes is taking a 90% lead, meaning if the pitcher threw over, he'd only be able to get back to third 9 out of 10 times. The hit and run is on, but David Wright misses the sign. The ball is hit right at Reyes with 80e velocity (where e = .001 seconds) down the third base line. Umpire Layne is watching (professional that he is) but 73% of his thoughts are dedicated to a former girlfriend of his that he'd seen on the subway while commuting to the game.

What should the Reyes do? Try to get out of the way but get hit anyway. There is no way for a human, even a Reyes human, to get out of the way of an 80e line drive if it is hit directly at Center Of Gravity (COG). Still, because Reyes is so fast, the ball merely glances off his thigh.

Under normal circumstances, a batted ball that hits a baserunner relegates the baserunner to the bench in the form of an out. But Reyes, being a smart ballplayer with a Measurable Baseball IQ (MBIQ) of over 203, has taken his lead in foul territory. Upon the batted ball's contact of Reyes' muscular thigh, Umpire Layne correctly signals a foul ball. When play is resumed, Umpire Layne resumes thinking about the auburn hair his ex was sporting. It flowed like vino la naranja.


hannah said...

As the only female reading this site, and perhaps the only person reading this site of any gender, I have to ask: what in tits name are you talking about? EFE? COG? Did you borrow these things from some other field or area of interest? They make no sense in this context.

DrGravitee said...


Thanks for your interest in what TKS is doing. Perhaps you don't know this, but Anson is employed by MLB to host a bi-yearly talk on how to better use quadratics in ball sports. While I myself had no direct contact with GMs, Anson has written a primer that outlines - in great detail - the minds of a typical GM when it comes to algorithms and FOIL. I used his primer when generating this content and have already been in touch with a few GM (through Anson) who might be interested in applying my logistical analysis retroactively to the 2006 season on a limited, test-case basis. Now does that render you speechless? Forgive my misogynistic utterance (I've working on not using such degrading language), but: Boom, bitch.

Clem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Braun said...

Obviously this kind of thing is stupid, and we should wonder not about Reyes' genius (leading off in f territory) but at how stupid we are for wondering about Reyes' genius because he was in f territory when struck by ball. That umpire also should be focusing only on the game, obviously. I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees a problem there. Full disclosure: I have used in the above comment a blend of the language recommended by P.H. Aullenaufer's "stupendity approximation" (for the exaction and implementation of stupendity in ordinary phenomena) and Thomas Cowl's "Phenomes for Isocoles" (obviously).

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Musa D said...

Yes, thankful friend (amigo), I will try one of your Spanish croissants! And if its Breakfast Enjoyability Quotient (BEQ) holds up well against its Gallic rivals (within .2 standard deviation), I will reward you abundantly (using Consumer Price Index rates to adjust for inflation)!

Crescenet said...

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