Safechronicity

Cidu Bill on Jun 6th 2017

Boise Ed:

baseball-mike.GIFbaseball-and-boloney.jpg

Filed in Mike Lester, Mike du Jour, Mustard and Boloney, baseball, clowns, comic strips, comics, humor, synchronicity | 14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Safechronicity”

  1. Kilby Jun 6th 2017 at 11:28 am 1

    Clowns may be part of the problem in the first one, but the cartoonist isn’t helping the game, either. The first baseman is holding his glove in a ridiculous position, and in the fourth panel, the ball should be coming from the pitcher (or catcher), and not from first base, as the dotted line appears to indicate. All that said, I think the basic principle is the same as in this Calvin & Hobbes.

    P.S. Despite the surreal “slide into home” and the magnified half-tone dots, the second one does a much better job of depicting the game. Heck, it even has an overweight pitcher wheezing off the mound.

  2. James Pollock Jun 6th 2017 at 01:21 pm 2

    “in the fourth panel, the ball should be coming from the pitcher (or catcher), and not from first base, as the dotted line appears to indicate.”

    Maybe the pitcher attempted a pickoff play, but the clown was already on the way to second, so the first baseman relayed, trying to catch the clown between bases. Sure, that’s a pretty specific set of circumstances, but it’s not unreasonable.

    “the second one does a much better job of depicting the game.”
    A nitpick… the artist has left out the BASEs in a game of BASEball.

  3. Mona Jun 6th 2017 at 01:59 pm 3

    OT: Should that be changed to zwei?

  4. Cidu Bill Jun 6th 2017 at 03:15 pm 4

    Mona, thanks, I KNEW there was something I was forgettinng to do last night!

  5. Kilby Jun 7th 2017 at 04:52 am 5

    @ Bill (4) - Watch out. The next level (after “zwei“) could be “g’suffa.”

  6. Boise Ed Jun 8th 2017 at 02:42 pm 6

    Yeah, you don’t see many right-handed first-basemen.

    JP [2]: That’s a rather base accusation.

  7. James Pollock Jun 8th 2017 at 05:49 pm 7

    “That’s a rather base accusation.”

    It’s fairly clearly a NO-base accusation.

  8. Kilby Jun 9th 2017 at 05:23 am 8

    This may (or may not) be a duplicate copy. Wordpress sent the first submission to the bit bucket (not to moderation, it simply vanished):

    @ Boise Ed (6) - Thanks for identifying the reason that his posture seemed screwed up. I knew it didn’t look right, but I never noticed (was@3, is@1) that his glove was on the wrong hand.

    @ In my experience, Germans seem to notice “lefties” more quickly than Americans (in particular among actors in movies & TV, or when politicians sign something in the news). On the other hand, they never notice when scenes are overdubbed with a different (German) voice.

  9. Hank G. Jun 11th 2017 at 01:04 am 9

    “Yeah, you don’t see many right-handed first-basemen.”

    Only 22 of the 30 starting first-basemen in MLB are right-handed.

  10. Boise Ed Jun 11th 2017 at 01:28 am 10

    Hank [9]: Wow, that surprises me. Thanks.

  11. James Pollock Jun 11th 2017 at 02:38 am 11

    8 of 30 DOES mean that lefties are over-represented, because lefties don’t make up 25% of the population, even if you account for closeted lefties who got bullied or “corrected” into hiding.

  12. Ted from Ft. Laud Jun 11th 2017 at 11:30 am 12

    Lefties heavily predominated at first many years ago. They fell to around 50/50 with righties around WW2 and stayed close to that until the 1990s, when the ratio started shifting sharply towards righties. Apparently at that time, offensive production became viewed as significantly more important than defense at first, so the strongest available hitters - regardless of handedness - that were viewed as not particularly strong defenders were put at first, if necessary giving up the lefties’ defensive advantage there (since it was felt that - within limits - effectively anyone could handle the defensive needs at first adequately). Lefties with strong arms are pushed into pitching or - particularly if they are really strong offensively - put in the outfield, where those skills are seen as more important. I think you’ll still see pretty heavy concentrations of lefties at first in little league and high school levels - I’m not sure about college and the minors these days. (The little league and high school comment is personal research, based on “owning” 2 lefties.)

    As far as lefties being over-represented at first at 25% - I think roughly 11% of males are left handed, so perhaps. But given that the other infield positions (including catcher) are closed off to them, having lefties as 25% of first baseman under-represents them overall as infielders (about 5%). Of course, they are heavily over-represented as pitchers (though somewhat less than they were 10 years ago), and I believe (but can’t find the numbers) also in outfield (more because of a need to put the lefties with strong(er) defensive skills somewhere to take advantage of their offense than any inherent defensive advantages). It is generally conceded that lefties have advantages both pitching and hitting (some inherent and some because of playing against predominantly righty batters and pitchers, respectively) to go along with their (inherent) disadvantages defensively in the infield - and given the dominance accorded pitching and offense over defense these days, it isn’t surprising that lefties are pretty heavily over-represented in baseball in general.

  13. Hank G. Jun 11th 2017 at 08:13 pm 13

    Several of those right-handed first basemen bat lefthanded, since as Ted pointed out, batting left-handed conveys some advantages (although it is not clear to me that those advantages are larger than the disadvantage of batting the “wrong” way).

    Other than tradition, I don’t see any reason that a left-handed person could not play catcher. It does seem to be harder to find a catcher’s mitt for left-handers, but that is kind of a chicken and egg sort of thing.

  14. Ted from Ft. Laud Jun 12th 2017 at 03:58 am 14

    At lower levels, lefties sometimes do play catcher (one of mine caught for a year or so in little league - and yes, it was hard to find the mitts). At the higher levels, I think much of it is tradition, but I’ve seen a number of “actual” reasons raised - though there seems to be a lot of disagreement about the validity of those reasons.

    It is said that they have disadvantage throwing to 2 or 3 against stealing. (I see some validity to that going to 3, much less to 2, but steals of 3rd are relatively rare and apparently succeed at a high percentage even against righty catchers, so not a great reason. Further, it’s roughly the same move as a righty catcher going for a pickoff at 1st, and that’s not viewed as a major problem.)

    There is some disagreement about handling bunts, especially up the third base line - some argue it would be a disadvantage, some an advantage (it would seem a bit of an advantage to me going to 1 or 2 and perhaps a slight disadvantage going to 3, which is again less likely).

    The biggest claim is that they would have a disadvantage on plays at the plate (because they would have to sweep all the way across their bodies to make a tag and/or would be exposed to the slide in the basepath - which would possibly be illegal under current rules). Again, some validity, but it’s a pretty uncommon situation to actually have a contested play at the plate, so not really a significant argument against (statistically).

    I’ve read a couple of writeups in the last few years that went over these issues and did some statistical analyses, and basically concluded that there were some small advantages and some small disadvantages, and that overall there was no good (baseball) reason to not have lefty catchers. It was conceded that most lefties with good arms would be pushed towards pitching rather than catching, or perhaps outfield if they had the athletic skills for that, but that if the player really wanted to catch, there didn’t appear to be particularly good (baseball) reasons to say no. They did also agree that the lack of role models and a tradition made it fairly unlikely that there would be a big push on the part of lefties to go for the position…

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