Overwrought Storylines

Do not ask questions about this. I don't know this.

I am lucky. Unlike Jeff, I am not compelled to listen to the national baseball media. I escape from the echo chamber. I can select who to follow and what to read at my pleasure, which insulates me from a lot of dreck. For example, I had no idea Ron Washington's decision to pinch hit with Esteban German instead of Yorvit Torrealba was at all a controversial decision until after the game when I carelessly ventured into some post-game recaps across the interwebs.

Jeff pretty much covered the reasons why German over Torrealba never raised a flag in my brain and though this post isn't about repeating those opinions and re-hashing the whole thing, I did want to throw another point out there. As far as the German was so cold because he hasn't faced a live at bat in weeks thing, isn't that an unquantifiable argument and wouldn't the manager be best equipped to judge that? What we know is what is publicly available. And the publicly available data indicates that German is probably the better hitter. The coaching staff knows (presumably) how German and Torrealba are feeling, how the two have looked during practice and a whole host of other intangible factors. As an outsider, it's foolish to propose an argument that could only be persuasively argued by an insider. Next time you want to, bring data. Discuss the history of players hitting after long layoffs. It's still not a killer point, but at least you would be on your own turf.

All that being said, a lesson to be taken here perhaps is yet another example of the folly of making snap judgments and reactions against the usual or expected. People expected Torrealba to pinch hit and not doing so was different. Nature urges us as a species to be immediately suspicious of what is different. Fight that urge. It is difficult to fight with mere willpower, but knowledge is a powerful aide. Knowing, for instance, the depth of the pinch-hitting penalty helps lessen the impulse to scream about a marginal pinch-hitting decision.

There's a bushel of other coping strategies that are useful, such as trying to play devil's advocate against yourself before making a conclusion, but for now let us stick to humbly trying to expand our baseball-related fact bank. Here is a place to ask questions, any question you like. I'm stuck indoors with a head cold, so I'll be around for a couple hours. Others here are well versed and can answer questions as well. Come with an open mind and speak up. What would you like to know more about?

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