It has been said that the importance of a word to a culture can be shown by its length. Shorter words are more important because they communicate quickly.
Most of the words in baseball are one syllable: strike, ball, win, loss, hit, out, base, bat, bunt, steal, throw, catch, run, score, home, mound. I don’t know if this means baseball is more important than other sports or other things, or whether that just means those are the important parts of baseball.
Names don’t work that way, though. Jeremiah Taylor has one of the longer-syllable names and is one of the league’s best. Whereas some guys with short names are minor league roster-filler.
On the other hand, Ryan Rose has fewer syllables than Thunder Johnson. Does that mean I’m better? Maybe, maybe not. Thunder and I are in two competitions for individual achievement. One is the Cy Young race that every pitcher is a part of to a greater or lesser extent.
The other is the Bat Boy Battle. This is something between me and Thunder. A man to man battle between pitchers to see who will have the honer of carrying Lancaster’s jock straps. Obviously, this “prize” goes to the loser and neither of us wants it.
We’re competing in ten categories: winning %, complete game %, quality start % (this is bullshit but Thunder wants it in), PoG %, ERA, WHIP, K/9, HR/9, R/9, and IP/game. Here’s where it stands today, July 24.
|.||Thunder Johnson||Ryan Rose|
|Complete Game Percentage||47.6%||47.6%|
|Quality Start Percentage||81.0%||90.5%|
|Player of the Game Percentage||66.7%||71.4%|
|Earned Run Average||1.53||1.36|
|Walks + Hits Divided by Innings Pitched||0.75||0.67|
|Strikeouts per 9 Innings Pitched||11.8||14.2|
|Innings Pitched per Game||8.43||8.17|
|Home Runs Allowed per 9 Innings Pitched||0.20||0.10|
|Runners Allowed per 9 Innings Pitched||6.7||6.3|
As you can see, I’m ahead here. Very much ahead. And we’re somewhat past half-way there.
But when it comes to the Cy Young battle, well, I’m way down the leaderboard in wins. So what it looks like it Thunder Johnson will be a bat boy for the Lynx for a game, *and* take home a Cy Young. I wonder if there was ever a bat boy who won a Cy. Probably not.