29 Comments

Oh, the Yankees and the Holy Roman Empire function as one in the universe where the poor Old Cubs are Judea at best.

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I am a born and raised Yankee fan from CT and I love this article.

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Doug Stanhope described Yankees fans as being the sort who go to casinos and cheer for the House.

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What opinion do you have about the Houston Astros and the cheating scandal? (I personally consider them to be in baseball hell until all of the ages run their courses and God is all in all - and even then I am only hopeful for their ultimate reconciliation.) Also interested in your opinion about analytics vs. gut instinct - most specifically “the shift.” I also find it amazing that the Rays (100/62) won the AL East on such a limited budget. I guess baseball proves that money can’t buy everything (even for the Yankees). And even low market teams have a charm to them - especially when they are spoilers! I also wonder about your thoughts on better minor league development of players as a way to thwart the dominance of high market teams. The Rays seem to really develop great pitching in their minor league system. Maybe developing and supporting minor league pro ball is something we could all do to make the game more equitable at the top.

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Actually, "sport-relevant" theological question. DBH, if you had to design a game/sport, what would you want the relevant ratio of luck to skill to be? Would you prefer a totally "fair" game where everyone starts out on equal footing and winning and losing is determined purely on skill? Or would you be ok with some randomness and environmental factors (the weather for example, or an asymmetrical playing field) allowing "luck" to muck with things?

Just thinking about it, I guess a "purely skill based" competition could feel quite "pure", but also be boring, repetitive, predictable. Whereas adding in a touch of fortune could spice things up, for example the guy on top who's just about to win, suddenly the wind changes and he has to clutch harder to maintain the lead.

All of this is relevant to the earlier thread about e-sports. Game developers really have to think this stuff through deeply. Would definitely be curious to hear any Hartian quips on the topic.

So in summary, what ratio of luck to skill is required to maximise the theological aesthetic of a sport?

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David, you are simply wrong when it comes to Baseball being the most beautiful sport. It's a pretty game, but the most beautiful sport in the world is this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW6z5TyU8QA

Nothing beats a well thought out game of extreme tactical team based "tag you're it"

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This is where I confess that I am nothing more than a fair-weather friend of the Cardinals: Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was the last time I was seriously invested in baseball. I was sixteen, it was a Thursday, I had to go to school the next day, and I didn't care: I was up watching with my roommate, the sporting fate of the polis consuming my mind.

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Would DBH happen to have an appreciation for Cricket? Here in Oz it's more or less the national sport. I suspect the theological analysis of Cricket might be comparable to the sunyatta and samsara of baseball. Just for the information of anyone reading, Cricket looks drastically different depending on if the game goes for 6 hours, 24 hours or 7 days. The shorter matches tend to have more advertising and flame throwers and cheer leaders and special effects, plus the batsmen tend to take more risks. Whereas the long, drawn out, week long campaigns are much more refined and respectable: no advertising, either the Governor General or her royal majesty the Queen herself officially starts the game, everyone dressed in traditional vestments etc, that sort of thing. The longer games also are much more psychological and strategic (nationalistic too: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and Oz put much pride behind their success at international test cricket matches)

All that said I'm not a sports guy and tend to find whatever game i'm watching unintelligible unless i'm watching it with my Sports Journo Ex-Flatmate "Little Alex Blair." I need him to explain it to me otherwise it's all meaningless tohu wa bohu to me.

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