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The strikeout-to-walk ratio was mentioned as one of the most vital pitching statistics in your article about Moneyball but I contend that walks-to-innings-pitched is far more revealing. Another is baserunners-to-innings-pitched.

Strikeouts aren't the most efficient way to retire a batter. There's plenty to be said for the five-pitch inning that includes a pop out and two weak infield grounders, especially in this day where pitch counts dominate the pitching philosophy of the huge percentage of big league teams. Changing speeds and fooling the hitters are the key to efficient pitching. Strikeouts are highly overrated.

If one pitcher strikes out 75 and walks 50 in 100 innings and another strikes out 25 and walks 50 in 100 innings and their ERA's are equal, does that make the former any more effective than the latter? I would say no. In fact, the latter may pick up a few double plays to erase those horrific bases-on-balls which further strengthens my argument.

Ken Lipshez

Eds- We believe that strikeout-to-walk is more important for this reason: the first pitcher in your example retires the batter himself while the second will have to rely on his fielders... and our guess that if their ERAs are the same, pitcher B is probably on a decent fielding team. Moneyball discusses Voros McCracken's hypothesis that pitchers cannot control how many balls put into play results in hits, as opposed to outs. Many writers have crunched the numbers on this, and they seem to support McCracken's theory. If true (and we're not certain how true this is, if at all), then a pitcher who strikes out a large number of batters is more effective than one who doesn't. More than likely, pitcher B in your example will not consistenly have that low an ERA over the course of a few seasons.

"This is a copyrighted telecast" disclaimers aside, there is one correction to be made in your latest opining about the Tigers. Rod Allen, the new analyst on the Tigers' cable games, is black. Either that, or I gotta get a new TV.

Mark Pattison

This sentence was taken from your Washington DC. article: "Perhaps no one embodied this more than Sam Lacy, local African-American sportswriter, who was eventually enshrined in the Hall of Fame (and who passed away last May 8 at the age of 99)."

Will you please tell me where and when Sam Lacy was "enshrined" in the
HOF? I believe you wanted to tell your readers he won the Spink Award and btw was the first black journalist to be so honored.

You have a wonderful website and I enjoy reading "Mudville" but, lets not
perpetuate the myth about journalist's & announcer's being enshrined in the HOF or calling them HOFer's. Nothing is further from the truth.

Play ball,
Stuart Hodesh

Eds- We contend that the Spink Award, which the Hall confers upon sportswriters, is tantamount to entry into the Hall.

Do you know who wrote the article about Tiger Stadium? I live in Grosse Pointe Park Mi., 4 blocks from Detroit, 15 minutes from downtown Detroit, 20 minutes from Tiger Stadium. To be blunt the author is a moron! He slams Tiger Stadium, Detroit, and even Michigan. Some of his statements are just plain ignorant. You don't have to sugar coat things, but at least get things right. People who slam our town, without really checking us out, only put negative ideas in the heads of other people who haven't visited us. I was born and raised here, I see the bad, but I see lot more good then bad, and I love it here. I have to call this guy out. Your opinion on TS is your opinion, fine. Your opinions and your statements about Detroit and Michigan are just plain stupid and wrong. Actually the proper word would probably be ignorant.

Pat Giroux
GPP, Mi.

Does the quotation " There's no joy in Mudville tonight" refer to the infamous fixing of the Woeld Series by the Chicago (black) White Sox?


Eds-"There is no joy in Mudville" might have been applied to the fixing of the World Series, but it's origin comes from the famous close of Ernest Lawrence Thayer's "Casey at the Bat".

"Oh somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville--mighty Casey has struck out."


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