A Short Excerpt From Every Piece In The Classical Magazine’s Baseball Issue – The Awl

byThe?

Awl

ThefollowingareexcerptsfromeverypieceinTheClassicalMagazine’sbaseballissue,“TheSameOldGame。

”Youcanread“TheSameOldGame”afewdifferentways。

Themosthighlyrecommended,ifyou’reanAppleuser,istojustgettheapp:it’sfree,andcomeswithafreeissue,thenit’s$3。

99foranissue,or$29。

99forafullyearof12issues。

(TherearealsoPDF,Kindle,and?

PuigfilesavailableDIYstyleatthesameprices。

JustgetintouchwithPeteBeattyatpete@theclassical。

orgtoworkoutatransaction。

)

Whyarewedoingthis?

Well,TheClassicalofferedusapiecefromtheissue。

Andwethought:wellthat’dbegreatandall,but,really?

Doeslettinguspublishathingonthewebhelppeoplediscoveryourmagazine?

Maaaaybeitdoes!

Butwhatifwejusttoldpeopleabitabouteverythingthatwasinitinstead?

Likeso。

Andherewe?

are。

EighthWonderbyTedWalkerTheAstrodome,fromitsconceptionandconstructionthroughitsgrandopening,representedthepinnacleofarchitecturalachievement,theheightofambition,andthesynthesisofcivicinnovation,nationalpride,andeconomicoptimism。

TheJudge,astheconductorofthismadorchestra,wasthemovement’sleader,andlikeaKennedyoftheplains,puthisuncommonenergyandsupernaturaldrivetousemotivatingthosearoundhimtoaccomplishfeatsthatnobodyhadpreviouslydaredto?

imagine。

WiththespiritofthespaceprogramandHouston’sproudnewroleasthebrainsoftheoperationglimmeringfrombehindhishorn-rimmedglasses,theJudgeemergedfromhisofficeonedayandannouncedtohisteamandtothecitythattheHoustonbaseballteamwouldnolongerbecalledtheColt?

45s。

Intheirboldnewhome,defiantofmeteorologyandbuiltatascaleneverseenonEarthbefore,theteamwouldbecalledthe?

Astros。

SixAvant-GardePlaysFeaturingCoreyKluberbyCarsonCistulliGROUCHOMARX:I’dliketomakeamotion。

MODERATOR:Goahead,GrouchoMarx。

GROUCHOMARX:Imovethathiscurveball?

—?

thatCoreyKluber’scurveball?

—?

resemblesstop-actionfootageoftwounicornsfreaking。

MODERATOR:Okay,noted。

LatecomicactorGrouchoMarxmovesthatKluber’scurveresemblesslow-motionfootage?

—?

GROUCHOMARX:Stop-action,Mr。

Moderator。

MODERATOR:What’sthat?

GROUCHOMARX:Stop-actionfootage,Mr。

Moderator。

GoLeafsGobySamRichesCaulfield,at27,isoneofthefewplayersontheteamthatstillhasbig-leaguehopes,andalegitimatechanceatrealizingthem。

Hewent5–0lastseason,devastatingtheleaguewithatwo-seamfastballandchangeup。

HewasdraftedbytheNewYorkYankeesoutoftheCollegeofCharlestownin2008,butafewweekslaterhewalkedawayfromthegametoattendaChristianministryschool,stunninghisteammates,coaches,andfamily。

Hesaidhisloveforthegamewasgone。

WhilesidelinedbyTommyJohnsurgery,hebeganreadingtheBibleandregularlyattendingchurch。

Hehadfoundreligioninanelbow?

injury。

TheSecretHistoryofSabermetricsbyJackMooreBattingaveragemakesenoughsenseonitssurface。

Thebatter’sgoalistogetahit,thereforemeasuringhowoftenhedoessoshoulddescribehisquality。

Butthisideacollapsesoncewetakeacloserlookathowrunscoringactuallyoccurs。

Thehitter’sgoalistwofold:toreachbasehimself?

—?

whetherviaahit,walk,hitbypitch,oranythingelse?

—?

andtomoverunners,includinghimself,alongthepathtohomeplate。

Assuch,thegreatcomparativevalueofthehomeruntothetriple,thetripletothedouble,andthedoubletothesinglebecomesclear。

Callingeveryhitahitisassillyascallingeverycoina?

coin。

TheStyleofPabloSandoval;or,TheIrrationalityofBaseballbyEricFreemanPabloSandovalmattersbecausehisstatsdonotconformtoapopularrationalexplanation。

However,itwouldbewrongtocategorizehimasanoutlier,someunholyaberrationthatcomplicatesanotherwisecoherentworld。

Because,forallbaseball’srelianceonstructure,thatsameorganizedsystemsupportsplentyofirregularitieswithoutcrumbling。

83-winteamsgetcrownedasthebestinbaseball,three-timeGoldGlovewinnersalsodowhateverthisandthisare,thebestplayerinthesportslapstheballoutapitcher’shandinthebiggestgameoftheseason,oneofthepuresthitterseverforgetshowtoplayacutoff,ateamwinsthepennantduetoaforce-outappliedamidstterriblecontroversyanddoesn’tcapturetheWorldSeriesagainforatleastacentury,etc。

adinfinitum。

Unpredictableeventsoccurduringeverydayofthe?

season。

162byPeteBeattyBaseballrunsonholycliches。

That’snotaknock,orit’snotmeantasone。

Baseballdoesn’tworshipitsclichesunthinkingly?

—?

theyarecelebratedandsubvertedinequalmeasure。

Weneedthesecliches。

Theyallowustoonlyhalfpayattention,tostareatthesky,tojustsnatchawayaninningwhenthat’salllifepermits,toplayourowngames。

Clichesgiveusacrappymapoftheworld,justenoughtokeepusfromdrivingofftheroad,justenoughtosurpriseanddelightuswhensomethingunclichedpresentsitself。

Ifwetookthetimetodealwitheverythingcarefullyandcautiouslyandcorrectly,nothingwouldevergowrong,andnothinginterestingwouldever?

happen。

InterimCommissionerforLifebyRobIracaneandKrisLiakosROB:Listen,Ithinkit’sagreatthingtohonorabravemanwhoovercameviolentracismtobecomethefirstblackbigleaguer。

Myproblemisn’tthatSeligishonoringhim,it’sthathe’snothonoringhimintherightway。

Forfiveyearsrunningnoweverysingledamnplayerhasworn42onJackieRobinsonDayinsteadoflettingjustonedudewearitassomekindofproudachievement。

LikehowKenGriffeyJr。

intendeditwhenhecameupwiththedamnidea!

Insteadwe’vegoteveryTom,Dick,andMannyrunningaroundinthesameuninumber,confusingradioguysandfansalike。

Honorislikewhippedlard:spreadittoothinandyoubarelynoticeit?

anymore。

1istheLoneliestNumberbyPatrickDubuqueAmongJoseCanseco’smanycrimesagainsthumanityandoverallgoodtaste,asubtleoffensetranspiredtwentyyearsago,onMay29,1993。

WiththeRangerslosingtotheRedSoxby11runs,thestaroutfielderaskedmanagerKevinKennedytopitchaninning。

Theresultingspectaclebroughtshameuponnearlyeveryone:Cansecohimself,theRangers,baseballfansingeneral,andespeciallythethreepeoplehemanagedtogetout。

Worsestill,Cansecohurthisarminthedebacleandwaslostfortheremainderoftheseason,hisfirstwiththe?

team。

AsFarasICanGobyTimMarchmanTheseweredifficultyearsforPeteAlexander,whenhewasmorefallingthanfallen,whenathree-daydrunkcouldbewrittenoffashissimplyhaving“brokentraining,”andwhenasagreatplayeronanindifferentteammanagedbyKillefer,hispersonalcatcher,hewasabletoplaybynonexistentrules。

Therewas,asalways,successonthefield?

—?

in1924hebecamethefourthmodernpitchertowinhis300thgame?

—?

buttherewerealsoanincreasingnumberofincidentssuchastheonewherehesoldWrigleyahugeinsurancepolicyandcelebratedbygettingintoabar-clearingbrawlatCatalinaIsland,wheretheteamtookspringtraining。

(Wrigleycanceledthe?

policy。