With the offseason upon us, it's the perfect time to sit back and think about baseball from a philosophic standpoint. To separate ourselves from the endless grind of reading boxscores, watching highlights, and feverishly pulling up Mike Trout's Baseball-Reference page before quickly closing our laptops when our significant other walks in the room, making sure to delete our browsing history before anyone thinks us a sexual deviant.
And when one is thinking philosophically about baseball, considering its grand shapes and movements, naturally one begins to question its arcane rules, deconstructing it like a postmodern puzzle, developing new rules that will never get implemented We'll get to one of those in a minute.
Recently, on an episode of the Effectively Wild podcast, Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh were discussing Robinson Cano's free agency and how Jay-Z is trying to position him as a game-changing superstar like those in football and basketball. Which, given baseball's makeup, isn't possible.
On a given day, a player will get around four plate appearances and, if they're a shortstop, touch the ball five or six times. Given the 74 or so plate appearances per game, that means a superstar shortstop is involved in maybe 14% of the action. An average right fielder is probably closer to 9%. Compare that to Lebron James who is involved in approximately 135% of the Heat's plays and that's practically nothing. (Or, more accurately, roughly 30% for most NBA stars.)