Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Balls and strikes or strikes and balls

A pitcher releases the baseball from the pitch...Image via Wikipedia

I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop this morning (The Royal Bean in Raleigh) fooling with my iPhone, and I overheard the most interesting conversation. It was between a woman and her SO, and it was obvious she was not happy. The conversation went something like this:

HER: I have my (inaudible) fundraiser this Thursday.

HIM: I'm doing a game that night.

HER: What time does it start?

HIM: Six o'clock.

HER: The fundraiser starts at eight.

HIM: I'd be hard pressed to be there before 8:30, but I am behind the plate.

HER: What difference does that make?

HIM: I can make a bigger strike zone, and speed up the game considerably.

HER: That's terrible!!!

HIM: Nah, they love it when you make them hit.

The moral of the story? Got me. Anyone?

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Vince Verbeke said...

From Ghostbusters (1984)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/quotes

[Dana is possessed]
Dr. Peter Venkman: I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people.
[Dana starts passionately making out with him]
Dr. Peter Venkman: Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule...

Players and coaches should keep this fact in mind when dealing with umpires/referees/game officials. That the offical is a person with their own set of issues. This could be the need to get somewhere else.

There are times when the official is going to make every small, OFFICIOUS (bureaucratic, self-important, intrusive, fussy) call that they can. Other times it will be "play on".

Dealing with the official is part of the game/match. Teams need to adjust to that as best they can. If you have an point-fixing NBA ref this can be really hard to do.

That said, the moral of the conversation is that we all need to account for the "spirit" of the game as it happens.

This spirit of "play ball" can be skewed by the person who interprets the rules for better or worse.

Are the rules, or guidelines, enforced uniformly? Or enforced on a whim (depending on who you are and what team you play for)? Or are they enforced based on the need to make an event?

Of couse, we can take all these same arguments into the workplace setting. But that's for another day.

Vince Verbeke said...

And I should have said above, that there ARE players who do love it when the officials allow/force them to play. Let's keep the match moving. No blood no foul as it where.

Steve Judd said...

I'd also note, as a little league coach, that the size of the strike zone isn't all that important (within reason), as long as it is consistently enforced. As Vince said, I think this translates into the workplace as well. Every manager/person is different and applies differing standards and has differing expectations. As long as these are consistent, everyone can adapt to them. When erratic it just creates confusion and discourages initiative and risk-taking.

DairyScienceMark said...

I think these new technologies are making a bigger strikezone, and I'm watching the 'games' move by faster. So fast, sometimes, that others don't even recognize that it's the 7th inning and we're stretching.