The Baseball Desert

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Anal retentive? Me?

Tim, a good friend of mine (who I am trying to turn slowly but surely into a baseball fan and who, incidentally, is the reason the Baseball Desert was born) is often amused (or is it bemused?) by baseball fans' obsession with statistics. I try to tell him that they are part of the game's charm, and that the inherent contrast between the beauty and grace of the game on the field and the cold, hard accountability of the stats in the boxscore are part of what makes baseball so interesting, but I don't think he's buying my arguments. He still thinks that ERA is a group put together by a French soundscape specialist (whatever one of those might be...).

So, in order to try to show him the error of his ways, I thought I would link to one of Jayson Stark's great Useless Information pages, this one inspired by Roger Clemens' last start. I know - I said (twice!!) that I was done with Clemens, but this page was just too good not to post, containing, as it does, gems such as this:

When Cabrera homered off Clemens in the first inning, they combined for one of our favorite World Series records ever -- biggest age differential between a player who hit a home run and the pitcher who gave it up. Clemens is 20 years and 257 days older than Cabrera -- blowing away the previous record, according to Elias. The old record was 16 years, 236 days between Mickey Mantle and Preacher Roe (1953 World Series).

In any case, I figured that it was OK to mention Clemens' Last Startâ„¢ again, since Stark suggests that it might not actually be his last one...

Anyway, enjoy the stats and watch this space for more on the Rocket's (non-)retirement.