Thursday, May 25, 2006

Baseball and Football

George Carlin has a wonderful routine comparing baseball and football. Football is played in a stadium, War Memorial Stadium, and baseball is played in the park, the baseball park. And so on. Are there statistical analogies? I mean everyone knows Aaron had 755 homers and Ruth (and Bonds) 714, but who knows how many TDs Jerry Rice caught?

In a football game, I generally expect an average team to score 7 points for every 100 yards of offense from scrimmage. That’s rough, but ballpark. For a baseball team, I expect a run for about every 3 men on base. So if you have a WHIP ratio (walks and hits/inning) of 1, then you’ll probably have an E.R.A. of around 3. If a team gets 6 hits and no walks, I wouldn’t expect much more than 2 runs.

Which brings us to the Sox? There are some exceptions, such as Tim Wakefield. Wakefield has a WHIP ratio of 1.35 and an E.R.A. of 4.57. What’s the missing link? Homers, as he's yielded 7 so far.

The D-Rays invaded Fenway tonight. The Rays have good athleticism (Crawford, Gathright, Lugo, Hollins) and some power (Gomes, Wiggington, Hall, and so on). After the dreaded Kazmir sweating us, their pitching isn’t very consistent.

The Sox had that missing link between men on base and runs scored tonight, left on base. Left on base is the football equivalent of the turnover.

Beckett wasn’t economical in pitches, which meant only six innings for him. Foulke was fine, and Timlin rusty, not having pitched in 5 days. It was a worry from the outset, as Timlin was ‘high in the zone’ and the Rays jumped all over him. Fortunately, Francona found the map to the mound tonight, getting Timlin in favor of Papelbon, seeking his sixteenth save. Four outs later, the Sox win 4-1.

I’ll post his secret shortly (below)...Jonathan Papelbon is 'The Mask'.

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