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From the Frontlines of the Nondigital: Breaking the Unbreakable

I’ve been meaning to post something about this for awhile but have been a bit busy. So here, finally, is a post dedicated to a moment that happen this summer in the fifth finest borough of New York: a young, ambidextrous man helped break a 150+ year old game in Staten Island. The game was Baseball, which is perhaps the most scrutinized game ever and commands a rule book as thick as War and Peace (not really, but close). One would think if there was a moment left ┬áthat could literally break the game, it would have happened by now. But leave it to players looking for a gaming advantage to exploit a weakness in the rules. What happened? Well, an ambidextrous pitcher faced off against a switch hitting batter. Batting against the opposite arm in baseball gives the hitter a significant advantage as it buys a few extra milliseconds for the batter to recognize the baseball. That may not sound like much of an advantage, but trust me, it’s one of the key strategies behind the game. So when both pitcher and batter are looking for the same advantage, you can probably guess what happens: a stalemate. And since baseball has no clock… well…

Baseball Stalemate

The NY Times wrote up a piece about this shortly after it happened. It’s interesting to read across baseball blogs about how the rules should be interpreted and which player — hitter or batter — should be forced to commit to a side first. The whole situation just goes to show: there’s always room for players to explore the boundaries of a game — and players will always do just that as long as there is motivation to find a strategic edge (I suppose one could apply this same adage to politics).

One Comment

  1. Frank wrote:

    Awesome. Seems like the obvious solution is simultaneous picking.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 2:46 am | Permalink

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