Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cardinal Rule of Baseball

I have watched or listened to every Red Sox game this season with minimal channel flipping. That is one hundred and thirty-three games, but who (besides me) is counting?

The sports wonks, including my in-house Soxpert have pretty much given up on Boston. If they are right, and the Sox have really dug a playoff-less grave for 2010, my Sox-ucation will only last 31 more games.

Knowing that my games are numbered and at some point I am going to be left watching the Sox alone (fair-weathered, bluehatted fans), I am holding on to every last gem of knowledge my hubby spews these days. Including the "cardinal rule" of baseball. "never make the last out on third."

Perhaps I should use my last 31 games to stop you bluehats from institutionally preventing pinkhats from learning the game. When Dave yelled "Dude, that's like the cardinal rule of baseball - you never make the last out on third, " I went "huh?"

Somehow thinking that his ear-numbing tirade at the television had been less than audible, he repeated himself. And then, met with my bland stare, repeated himself again.

Nope, I (and all the neighbors) heard you fine. But how could you possibly expect me to understand that?

In the beginning of the season, "making an out" meant stepping on the plate, tagging the player, or hitting him with the ball. (See how far I have come?) Apparently bluehats understand the sentiment "never make the last out on third," despite its tricky wording. It means that the offense - not the defense as the wording suggests - should not have risked the out if he wasn't forced to third. The only sure way the runner will get home from third is on a hit... but chances are the runner could make it from second on the same hit. 

So if there are two outs, the runner should never steal third. However, if there is only one out, stealing third could be a good gamble. You MIGHT get home on a fly ball. But at least if you don't make it home you haven't ended the inning.

Simple enough concept, but did I really have to waste one of my dwindling learning opportunities deciphering it. 

Ugh, I never thought that after 133 games I would still need someone to point out a cardinal rule of baseball. And then require a translator to decipher it.

1 comment:

  1. Alli--- I just saw this happen! And my hubby was pretty impressed when I said, "he just broke the cardinal rule of baseball!"... then I had to explain it to him during which I directly quoted more than one of your blog entries! He loved that I knew that someone on first was not considered a runner in scoring position... which oddly is my most favorite piece of trivia I have learned from you! Thanks for the education :)