Our education system simply does not train our young in critical thinking, and hasn’t for a long, long time. Then, as adults, we listen and watch supposed professionals who make their living informing us, enlightening us and communicating to us, and the level of reasoning they model is uniformly incompetent.
Nowhere is this more evident than in sports reporting. If you don’t follow sports, you don’t know what stupidity is being pumped into unsuspecting brains on a regular basis.
Here is an example: I was just listening to the MLB radio channel’s “Loud Outs,” where the host, broadcaster and former player Ryan Spilborghs, was discussing the new baseball fad of beginning a game with relief pitcher who only throws an inning or two, and then bringing in the starter. There are theories that against certain line-ups this can create an advantage, but never mind: it’s irrelevant to the issue. Spilborghs, who really did attend college, says, “You know what convinced me? These stats…” and he began to read the won-lost records of various teams when they score first. “Overall, the average for all of Major League Baseball is that the team that scores first wins 70% of the time! Why wouldn’t you use this strategy if it meant that it increased your team’s chances of scoring first?” His partner, former player CJ Nitkowski, said, “You’re right!”
No, CJ, he’s an idiot, and so are you.
There is no magic to when a baseball team scores its runs. A run in the first inning is no more or less a run than a run in the 7th. The reason a team that scores first wins most of the time is, or would be, obvious if our schools weren’t crap, that in any baseball game, if one team begins with a one run handicap, it will lose most of the time. The team that scores first is like a team that begins the game with a one run advantage. Now, one run is a big advantage, but many of the teams in that 70% scored more than one run first. They really have an advantage: those teams probably win 85% of the time. Then there is this factor that pollutes that stat that Spilborghs found so amazing: the teams that score first the most frequently are also the better of the two teams. They figured to win before they had a one, two or three run advantage.
The team that scores the most runs wins 100% of the time. Prioritizing scoring first with the result that your pitching is more likely to give up runs later in the game does not convey any advantage at all. If the “opener” pitching strategy results in opposition teams scoring fewer runs, then it has value. Preventing the other team from scoring first, by itself, is meaningless. ( How often does the team that scores last win the game? How about the team that scores the most runs in the fifth inning? Can you guess? Sure you can. But don’t tell Ryan. You’ll break his heart.
Or maybe sports just makes people stupid. On Neil Cavuto’s show this afternoon, they were discussing the NFL’s new policy that requires players to either stand “respectfully” for the National Anthem, or remain in the locker room. Neil was talking to a Fox News field reporter, who said, “This will create a dilemma for owners, however, who will be fined if their team’s players violate the policy. Will the teams prevent the players who want to demonstrate and ‘take a knee’ during the anthem forbid them from doing so, thus possibly violating their right of free speech?”
ARRGHHHHH! This is the private workplace, you ignorant moron! The owners can make their players wear tutus and sing “Melancholy Baby”! The players can then quit: that5’s their right. Their rights of free speech are intact; the Bill of Rights only constrains government action. Why are you a journalist if you don’t know that? The NF, a private employer, has the same right to tell its players that they can’t engage in political speech on the football field that Home Depot has to tell its clerks that reading “Mein Kampf” out loud in the Plumbing Aisle is verboten and a firing offense.
Neil, of course, didn’t correct this false civic information. Either he was lazy and irresponsible, or he doesn’t understand his country’s Constitution either.