I finished Mike Schmidt(the former third baseman and Hall of Famer Michael Jack Schmidt, not the former third baseman Michael Glenn Schmidt)'s book "Clearing The Bases", and also finished Tim McCarver's "Diamond Gems" within the last few days.
Mike Schmidt made a somewhat amusing statement-if you're trailing by four runs with one man on, he would rather the hitter walk than hit a home run, because if you walk, you're continuing the "momentum" of the inning. Now, a lot of things factor in to this analysis, of course-if the walk brings up Albert Pujols, your chances look a lot better than if you bring up, let's say, me.
But if you are trailing by four runs, in the 7th inning, none out, runner on first, historically speaking, you win the game 5.7% of the time. (Check my math here: http://tangotiger.net/wins.html) If you walk, putting runners at first and second, you win the game 7.3% of the time. But if you hit the home run, so you now trail by two, but with the bases empty, you win 15.35% of the time.
McCarver's book also brought me two stories I hadn't ever heard about an event I thought I had read everything about: the 1986 World Series. In the interviews McCarver did, Ron Darling claimed that the Mets noticed that Roger Clemens had shaved during the late innings of Game Six, thus implying Clemens expected to be on television soon. Wade Boggs also said the third base umpire asked Boggs if he (the umpire) could have his hat, because he collected World Series winner caps. Boggs said he replied that the game wasn't over yet. Boggs was wrong, of course-the game was soon to be over, only not the way he intended.
My wife uncovered our Calvin and Hobbes books from whatever corner they were lingering in. Did I mention that I loved this woman?
CURRENTLY READING: Beyond the Sixth Game, Peter Gammons. (Library) Shockingly, Gammons' only book. I had it soon after it came out in hardcover-goodness knows where that copy is.