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“You always want even leads, versus odd leads.”

By Dan Gartland
September 02, 2019

That’s not the way this works

Don’t expect Alex Rodriguez to land a job in any analytics-oriented MLB front office any time soon, not after the astonishingly asinine theory about baseball he shared during last night’s Phillies-Mets game. 

With the Phillies leading 2–1 in the seventh, Adam Haseley led off the inning with a double. Jay Bruce came in to pinch hit for the pitcher, and that’s when A-Rod started playing manager. He argued that Bruce should lay down a sacrifice bunt to allow Haseley to advance to third, a move he thought would increase Philadelphia’s chances of extending the lead. 

This is already a momunmentally stupid idea—Bruce only has three sacrifice bunts in his career, and if you wanted to bunt you’d do it with the pitcher instead of burning a bench bat—but it was what he said after that was really the icing on the cake.

“You always want even leads, versus odd leads,” Rodriguez said. “Why? The solo home run doesn’t tie it and the grand slam does not beat you.”

There’s something to be said about the one-run lead feeling especially precarious in an era of increased home runs, but I don’t think that’s what A-Rod is saying here. The way he phrases it makes it sound like he believes a three-run lead is less desirable than a two-run lead. I really don’t think that’s what he means, but that’s the way it comes across.

Even if he’s saying that the best strategy is to increase your one-run lead to two runs so a solo homer doesn’t tie the game and your three-run lead to four runs so a grand slam doesn’t beat you, that’s still idiotic. It boils down to “it’s good to score more runs.” (And bunting isn’t the best way to do that.)

It also ignores the fact that there are ways other than the homer to score runs and that you’re capable of scoring runs two or three at a time. That’s why I like to say you always want odd leads, versus even leads. Why? The two-run double doesn’t tie the game and the bases-clearing triple doesn’t beat you. 

What a moment for Carlos Carrasco

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco made his first appearance yesterday following his leukemia diagnosis, pitching one inning in relief. He was treated to a standing ovation from both teams. 

Tony Hawk has never been so relateable

Tony Hawk put out a call on Twitter this weekend looking for someone in Southern California who owned a copy of the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game. 

Why did he want it? So that he could fire up his PS1 and play as himself on the game’s 20 anniversary. 

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Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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