Saturday, January 30, 2010

Merkle,Pesky and Buckner

Baseball and the Blame Game, Scapegoating in the Major Leagues by John Billheimer; 2007; McFarland & Company Publishers, Inc., Jefferson, NC; 216 pages; Inter-Library Loan from the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT; 11/12-11/15
A very thorough examination of why some players who make misplays or commit error are forever blamed for their mistakes and others aren’t. It examines why Fred Merkle shouldn’t be blamed for failing to touch second, why Steve Bartman, Bill Buckner and Mitch Williams should not have received death threats for the mistakes they made.  The author contends that a player likely to be remember for their mistakes if the play for an east coast team, if they are not a superstar, the play resulted in the lead being lost, if it was in the late innings and if it was a mental error.  Since the author  is a member of SABR there is a lot of math involved, complete with charts and graphs.  It was interesting to read and very enlightening about Ernie Lombardi, Johnny Pesky, and Fred Snodgrass among others.

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