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Justin M. Stoddard


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What I’m Reading
November 2, 2011 — 6:40 pm

I’ve been thinking that I should probably start posting around these parts again on a semi-regular basis. The problem is, I always have a ton of things to write about, but it all seems so laborious when I get down to it.

So, I figured I’d start writing about what I’m reading. Maybe that will get the creative juices flowing. So, for a while, anyway, I’ll be posting about the books that’s I’m reading, as I read them. Fun, huh?

Currently in my hands is, Watching Baseball Smarter. A professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks.

Those who know me, know that I’m not much of a sports fan. I have no love for football or hockey. I’ve never been interested in soccer or basketball. But, I do have a history with Baseball, of a sort. Like most kids, I spent a few summers playing the sport in loosely affiliated city leagues. I don’t remember liking it that much. I never have been much of a “team player”, so that’s not too surprising.

I do remember owning a baseball glove well enough. I liked the ritual of oiling it up, shaping it with a baseball and sleeping with it under my pillow. I always liked playing catch with the neighborhood kids, and older family members, if I was lucky. But, for all that, I never followed the sport, apart from watching a few games when the Cardinals are in the World Series.

Which, to be honest, is partly why I picked up this book. If you’ve ever been in an office environment during a home team’s post season play-offs, you know you can look forward to hearing about it, ad nauseum, until the end of the season. Which is what happened. But, I would find myself drawn to these conversations, in spite of my lack of knowledge about the overall game.

The conversations I would get sucked into were all about statistics and strategy based on all sorts of known and unknown variables. How pitching worked. What the probability of hitting a fast ball or a curve ball were based on how many strikes or outs there were, etc…

I find this kind of stuff fascinating. I’ve come to realize that baseball is a game played for and by individuals as much as it is played for or by a team. Individual strategy counts every bit as other factors. When I read the quote by Red Barber that said, “Baseball is dull only to dull minds”, I knew I found a sport I could follow.

So, in anticipation for the beginning of next year’s season, I’m reading as much about the sport as I’m able. And, since I live in St. Louis, I may as well align my tribal allegiances with the Cardinal Nation.

Go Cards!

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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